The first stage of the national series is about to get underway… are you ready?

COVER PIC: Riders competing at the 2018 BMXA National Championships in Bunbury, WA. (Pic courtesy of Energy Images.)

I have mentioned in past articles the importance of having a performance plan for the year. This will allow you to have a clearer understanding of the races you need to be prepared for and the goals you need to set.

With the first stage of the 2019 BMXA BAD BOY National Series fast approaching, I thought we should discuss your plan of attack on race day.

Getting into a routine on race days helps with your consistency throughout the day.

This is everything from warming up and cooling down, mental preparation, nutrition and also switching off.

When arriving to the track on race day, you need to make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to unpack and set up before your practice starts. Rushing to the track into your practice will only create further anxiety.

Practice on race days goes fast and it’s easy to lose track of time. Write down what you want to achieve from your practice session and mark it off as you complete it.

Warming up prior to each race is crucial for strong and consistent performances all day. Spend 10 minutes prior to your race preparing by using rollers, short sprints or an activation your coach has provided you.

Cooling down after the race is also key to a faster recovery in making sure you’re feeling fresh for the following races.

After your race, you should continue to turn your legs over for another 5 – 10 mins before you head back to the tent.  This should be followed by trying to keep your legs up while rehydrating and having a healthy snack.

The biggest area a rider struggles with throughout the day is keeping themselves switched on mentally. It is so easy for a rider to slip in and out of a positive mental state.

The best way to try and keep your emotions intact, is by the timing of when and how you’re analysing your races.

Prior to your race you need to make sure you have gone over a few key points in your head. This may be certain parts of the track, key jumps or lines in turns. Once you get up onto the gate, your thoughts and focus needs to be channelled back to your starting process and set up.

After you race and have cooled down, you then need to analyse your race and think about the positives and negatives you can take from it. Do not dwell on the negatives as this will bring you down emotionally.

No matter how bad the race was, you can always find some positives to pull from it.

Once you have spent time going over your race and working out your plan of attack for the next round, try switch off from BMX.

Sitting there and stressing about the next race or a mistake you made will only eat you up and cause more stress, anxiety and tension for the next round.

Listen to some music or go for a walk to speak to other people, but don’t sit there going over what you could’ve done better.

Parents, the hardest role for you is not let the results effect your emotions either. How you react after a race can make a rider feel so much better or so much worse.

Find positives from that race and work on identifying the negatives, but don’t make a big deal about it. These can be discussed in more detail on the car ride home.

Riders usually already know the mistakes they have made, so coming back from a race and having to hear it again might lead to some outburst.

We all know parents don’t know anything (haha), but the truth is that riders do care what you think and want to hear something supportive from you.

Lastly, as always, enjoy riding your bike. Don’t let the results determine if you’re having a fun day of racing.

Good luck and I’ll see you there!