BMX action may have been forced off the track due to the COVID-19 health crisis, but a Blue Lake BMX Club “super coach” has ensured Limestone Coast riders still have a way to keep their skills razor sharp.
The dedication of club coach Stephen Jones can not be questioned and he has started a private Facebook group where he can continue to instruct riders throughout the pandemic.
Uploading a series of videos of himself, along with some tips and tricks, Jones has set training drills and challenges for riders, which caters for a variety of skill levels.
Jones said the prospect of home coaching was not something new to him and the way of current times gave him the push needed to act on a previous idea.
“I have had it in mind for a long time,” he said.
“I was going to do it in paper form and give people something to do to train at home.
“Then obviously with the coronavirus coming along and seeing a lot of the schools starting to go online I thought gee, I could nearly do that.
“I pretty much just grabbed my bike and had a go.
“I have not actually seen it done before – I have seen a lot of coaching done in paper form, but I have never seen it done in video form.”
The page was launched last Thursday and began with around 10 different skills of varying difficulty, from beginner to advanced.
From there Jones will continue to add content every Tuesday, which was the usual day for training sessions before they had to be called off.
“All I did was go through the exercises and videoed myself and then just put some key points and made up a Facebook group,” he said.
“Some of it is basic and some of it is more advanced.
“I have adapted it to sort of driveway and backyard stuff, with a lot of low-speed balancing and cornering and even a bit of bunny hopping.
“It is just about trying to get the techniques right, which is all baby step sort of stuff.
“When you actually are on the track those base skills will come into play.”
Jones said the key focus for the videos is on the up-and-coming riders of the club, while the “big” kids can also take lessons from the group.
“We have had such a good influx of kids at the track and it was just such a shame to have to stop,” he said.
“It is about trying to keep them enthusiastic somehow and keep some of the skills they have gained.”
The aim of the group is to have a bit of fun while everyone is confined to their homes and that is reflected through the name of the page.
“It is called the Super Coach Training Program,” Jones said.
“It is just a joke that got made up – they keep calling me the super coach because I am one of the only parents that still rides and I coach as well.
“I somehow ended up as super coach and it stuck.
“My wife made the page up for me and she put that up as the title and I cannot work out how to change it.”
Jones’ super coaching is an innovative way for riders to stay connected and keep learning, until the Blue Lake BMX Club can resume its weekly race meetings.
With the fluidity of the coronavirus situation, it is uncertain when racing will return to the track, but it is hopeful the annual June long weekend event will be able to go ahead, which will attract a field of interstate riders and families to the Blue Lake city for three days of pedal-pushing action.
Those who wish to be added to the coaching group can contact the Blue Lake BMX Club on Facebook.