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How many of you practice with your kids - and how?

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Due to the style of our club track (old school MX with some man made obstacles), it is not very good from a standing spectator vantage point since it is spread out over some seriously hilly countryside, so I tend to be out on the club track practicing together with my son almost all the time.

Our club consists of over 500 members, but it just happens that our club track tends to be relatively available at all times and never too overrun, it's easy to just go and practice at a whim for hours on end, having the track mostly to ourselves or share it with a comfortable number of riders.

When we practice, I tend to ride out front (since that's what my son wanted) and have a harder time seeing what he's doing and how he's riding. Now a few months ago, I could take off and come up behind him after about 2-3 laps, unfortunately, this isn't really happening anymore, the faster I go, the faster he goes, staying on my tail all the time.

So I've had to change up my game a bit, at the cost of my practicing, I tend to slow my riding down now and after 2-3 laps, I bore him and he usually flies by me in a big wheelie or waits until a jump to take me mid air throwing a big grin (I'm guessing) in my direction (i'm still waiting on the finger point as he flies by - coming soon I think).

I prefer riding behind him because I can see what he's doing and see what he needs to work on, he likes riding behind me for whatever silly reasoning - he's never really said why...

So now that I've mentally tricked him to be in front, he's gotten very used to having a big 4 stroke sound ripping along behind him and doesn't worry too much about big riders coming up behind him anymore - which is great to see. The other day, I got passed by a really good 450 rider, as I followed along behind him, I noticed my son immediately stepped up his game some, riding very aggressively and was giving this guy a hard time, holding his line and not giving an inch, it took this guy over a lap to finally get past my son - on a table top side by side in the air none the less. After our session the guy came over and said to my son that he had fun in their little battle and told him to keep it up - that made the kid's day - probably way more than I could have done for an ego booster.

I love practicing with my son, and ever since that day, once he's past me, I start to push, he calls my bluff every time - almost every time out I see some improvement somewhere.

I'm finding that a little competitive pushing during practice is starting to work a lot better than talking strategy or discussing different approaches.

I'm seeing that if he gets loose one corner, he's he's adjusting technique to fit his speed and aggression the next, he's got great natural balancing abilities - I'm sure that helps, but I see him loading up pegs and transferring his weight appropriately more and more in order to carry the speed better.

Two nights ago, he came at a hairpin so fast I was already getting signs ready for the yardsale - instead he hammered the front brake, carried an endo right to the apex, threw his weight back/dropped to the seat and rocketed out of it leaving me with my jaw dropped in awe and a mouthful of roost.

I love the fact that we ride together to practice, having this new found perspective of being in the back is awesome - I highly recommend it!

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Matt

I practice with my son, but only concentrating on him. We practice at home on a small track at home that I made with my skidsteer, a lap time for me on my 125 is 32 seconds so its pretty small. I push him from all angles and it really has helped him out alot. Lately, I have been letting him race the clock as a time him. When we race at the track, sometimes he is by himself on the track and will let up some so this helps maintain his speed, even when alone in a section. When I want to practice my game, he watches and times me so I know he isnt going to be down on the back side of one of the jumps.

Personaly, I would let him on a track with big bikes. To risky. If he was on a 65, things might be a little different if traffic was low.

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We also have a small home track - never timed it - but I'm guessing it's a km long and takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes to do one lap, however, my son only rides it if there is no option to go to the club track - matter of fact we just rode it friday nite for the first time in 2 months.

I have to be on the track with my son because of the nature of our club track, the problem is our track is multi level, you really only see about 200 feet (10 seconds) of many KM's of track by being in the spectator area, you can hike up the hill to the top portion of the track and see about 40% of it (this portion is more like a typical outdoor track), but the challenging areas (non engineered jumps etc - natural rough terrain) are once again out of sight for the remaining 60%. It's best to follow the rider around the track so you can attend to any mishaps immediately instead of 5-10 minutes later because the rider didn't make it back to the front straight in good time. I don't care that much about my riding abilities - I work on to what extent I can while being out there with him, sometimes, staying out for 2-3 more laps after he pulls in to get a drink- although his stamina is getting better and better between breaks and soon enough I will need to pull in before he does....

I'm not one of those dads that takes his son to the track and makes him churn out lap after lap on a clock (matter of fact, I've never even set my watch to the stopwatch function to attempt timing him) - I take him out to ride for the most part, give him pointers, he seems to do just fine pushing himself, bettering himself. We talk lots about trying different things - mostly on our drives to and from the track and I may point out that he should try this or that if it looks like he's forgotten about the discussion on the drive.

So far, he improves daily with this approach - he probably wouldn't have half as much fun if I'd continually time him, this would lead to less track time, less seat time and less desire to go ride. He's got many many years of regimented life ahead of him - I'm not going to take the fun out of his days by starting on that now.

Next year - he'll likely move up to an 85 and I might take the timing thing a bit more seriously, but right now, I feel that technique is more important than speed - although he seems to have more than enough speed even though we primarily work on technique.

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