Well 2016 is coming to a close and for many is a time of anxiety and a head full of dreams. Growing up in Australia I was very fortunate to have the ability to ride 365 days a year. Well this sounds amazing to most people that live in the Great White North but it also poses its fair share of problems.
The number 1 concern with warm climate locations is burnout and the ability to maintain a disciplined approach to following a structured Yearly Training Plan (YTP). The other issue is the competition season as many peaks and this is tough to train for. In a program there must be phases that include peaks and tapers to have optimal performance. With a combination of National and International calendars it makes it very difficult to be at your best 12 months of the year.
For the athletes in a cold climate its important to use this time to work on fundamentals and play some other sports. The fact is many athletes that become successful at BMX are well rounded in many areas including speed, flexibility and coordination just to name a few.
BMX is a tough sport. Athletes need tenacity, courage, quick decision making and some inner fortitude. There are many sports that not only compliment BMX but help with some of these attributes. hockey, soccer, rugby, basketball and volleyball to name a few. Just ask some of Canada's best who played high level hockey and soccer till the age of 16 or 17. Tory Nyhaug, Josh Samells, Amelia Walsh, Ryan Tougas and Curtis Krey just to name a few. Now you might ask why wouldn't we keep riding ? Well I think it is important to keep riding but many people don't have that luxury. Using this time of year to work on fundamentals is vitally important in gaining automatic skills.
We are very fortunate in Ontario to have the Worlds best indoor bike Park (Joyride 150). This park offers an opportunity to ride all year round. This time of year should be centered around learning new skills, pushing the limits and getting outside of the comfort zone.
I encourage parents to have athletes play some other sports that compliment BMX but not forget to get some fundamental bike skills on a bi-weekly basis. Having your young child ride rollers or a trainer is not the answer to being a better rider in the off season. It sure is a good way for them to build up resentment to biking. Remember the stats don't like over 50% of kids quit BMX by age 13. Keep that in mind. FUN has to be priority.