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  1. Gary Semics

    Talent Characteristics

    A. TEMPERAMENT: Characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response. Having a good temperament is a quality that will enable you to stay calm under pressure. B. ATTITUDE: A mental position or feeling with regard to a state or fact. How you view and interpret things. It’s not just what happens or doesn’t happen that’s important; it’s HOW what happens or doesn’t happen affects you. C. DESIRE: A strong wish, longing, craving. How bad do you want to do well? Are you willing to do whatever it takes all the time, not just sometimes, but all the time? D. MOTIVATION: Something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act. E. DETERMINATION: Firm or fixed purpose. F. INTELLIGENCE: The ability to learn, understand and deal with different situations. G. CONFIDENCE: Trust, reliance, self assurance. H. COORDINATION: For all your movements to work, act and be timed together harmoniously. I. BALANCE: A state of equilibrium. There is an ideal balance to everything in life. You have to strike a balance in all aspects of your game. J. STRENGTH: The ability to do or endure, to have power. K. ENDURANCE: The ability to physically work hard for long periods of time. L. NERVES: Not easily excited or annoyed. M. GUTS: Aggressively tough, courageous, not afraid. The right amounts of each of these talent characteristics is what it takes to become a really good racer. Then the guys that have what it takes and want to get to the top are going to dedicate themselves and use all their talents to succeed. And even than it's a learning process, some trail and error. Everyone is different and has to find out what works best for them. Of course, there are certain guide lines that apply to everyone. But, everyone should learn what works best for them to make them the best they can be. The more natural talent you have, the better you will be able to become. There's only so much practice and training you can do. If you do too much and over train, your going to burn out. If you have an abundance of natural technical talent, but your motivation is lagging, it's no good either. These winning riders get into a cycle and rhythm of winning or at least placing very high. The more they do it the more power they get to continue doing it. Until something or someone comes along and continually brakes the cycle. It takes a combination of many things working together to get the desired results. PRICE- "Everything has a price. Whatever we want in life, we must give up something to get it. The greater the value, the greater the sacrifice required. There is a high price to pay for success. But we must realize that the rewards of true success are well worth the effort. The highway to success is a toll road". Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  2. This technique is similar to the previous technique of carrying the front wheel over an obstacle. When you hit a jump with both wheels, you are going to go higher and further than if you had wheelied over it. Of course, this technique can only be used in certain situations and on certain kinds of jumps (usually from slower speeds and more rounded jumps). You can’t do it on higher speed, steep jumps or you’ll endo quicker than you could leave chili in your shorts. You may find yourself in the middle of next week before you knew what happened. But in the correct situation, this technique is a big time saver. The art of wheelieing is more than just cool. It’s also faster and if that front end gets up there too high by mistake, you’ll know how to handle it (assuming you’ve read my previous nine tips of this series. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  3. I've said many times the foundation of becoming a really good rider is to learn, practice and develop all the absolute techniques of motocross into your automatic, natural riding style (55 absolute techniques). After that there are many other factors that come into play and one of the, if not THE most important, is what goes on between your ears, yes your mind. I've also said many times, it's mind over matter. If you don't mind it don't matter, ha, ha. No but really, once you get to a high skill level the rest is all in your head. Your attitude will determine your altitude. But that's another subject for another day. Why do I mention it now? Well, a rider would not be able to follow the practice strategies below if they're head wasn't into it. I will mention one more thing about mind for now. Developing the right mind is similar to developing your riding skills. You don' just suddenly, one day go, wow, I've got it. You have to practice, start off small and practice often. More on mental practice another day but for now, bike practice. You have to have a plan, a tentative schedule, do what you're suppose to do, when you're suppose to do it whether you feel like it or not. Getting started is the hardest step. And this is where most people fall short. So if you really want to become a better rider follow through with the practice strategies whether you feel like it or not. If you're already at the pro level and have all the absolute techniques of motocross (The Gary Semics Motocross Practice Manual) programmed into your automatic riding style you're pass the info below. But if you're like most and not to this level, read on. The most important training for a motocross rider is practice on the bike, especially before top pro level. So you need to get in as much quality practice time as possible. When you are too tired to ride you need to recover so you can ride again. This means that supplement training should be very little and very light, more of a recovery training. The four types of practice you should do are: 1. Practice certain techniques that you need to improve on, slowly at first and add speed as you progress. 2. Motos as long or a little longer as your races. 3. Sprint laps, as fast as possible until you begin to tire or slow. 4. Repetition practice of certain parts of the track. Do it fast and perfectly over and over again. Ride as many different tracks as possible with fast riders when possible. This is very, very important. Be smart when practicing and always have strategies in mind, some things that you are working on for that day like; looking further ahead, keep upper body loose for quick reflexes and body movements, riding on the balls of your feet, good over-grip for accelerating or whatever you think you need to improve on the most. Of course race on the weekends when there is a good place to race. Remember to keep your enthusiasm high. What's the ideal amount of practice per week? This may change a little week to week because of circumstances beyond your control but on average I say the best schedule before top pro level is 4 days practice and one day race. If the races are more than one day you can delete one practice day. For top pros I believe it's 2 or 3 practice days per week. Two reasons are; 1 they already have all the proper techniques programmed into there nervous system and 2 they're race day practice and motos are longer. Remember to be coachable and take older people’s advice who know what they are talking about and are trying to help you. Don’t take people’s advice who are trying to tell you how to race when they haven’t been there and done that, they usually don’t know what they are taking about and they may mislead you. Oh yea, and don’t make excuses even if they are real good ones, no body including potential sponsors and other riders want to hear excuses. I hope this helps. Ride smart, have fun, keep an attitude of gratitude and you can't go wrong. If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer
  4. The 2014 SX Series is about to start. Here's some video from Club MX's SX track. See what some pro riders have been doing to prepare and get some important techniques for how they are skimming whoops. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.
  5. Learn how the feet and ankles are suppose to work in Cycling and Motocross. What is the relationship and what are the correct techniques on the pedals and footpegs? Give the video a watch and see what you think: Motocross Body Positions and Movements DVD or Stream. The Popular Motocross Practice Manual. If you're serious about improving your motocross riding skills, be sure to follow this blog. How do you do this? In the upper right-hand corner, click the "Follow this Blog" button. Gary Semics Professional MX Trainer
  6. There are three important aspects of the start. The single most important aspect of the start is the clutch. Excellent clutch control is the key. The other two aspects are throttle control and body movements. Let’s look at each one separately. 1. Clutch control The following are all the techniques that go into clutch control. You have to hold onto the grip and control the clutch independently. This is true for when you’re riding on the track as well, but for the start, clutch control is even more important then when riding on the track. Therefore I teach using your three outside fingers on the clutch while you hold onto the grip with your index finger. This way your three outside fingers will allow you to have good strong clutch control while your index finger can pull your body position forward as you shoot out of the gate. If you don’t use any fingers on the grip you couldn’t pull and hold yourself forward. Or if you only used one finger on the clutch you wouldn’t have good strong clutch control for a perfect start. With your three outside fingers on the clutch, pull the clutch in and select first or second gear. Then let the clutch out until it just starts to engage and then pull it back in just the slightest bit under engagement. This is where you want to hold the clutch. This way it will begin to engage as soon as you start letting it out. With this clutch setting technique you will know that the bike is in gear and your clutch will be set and ready, not to far out and not to far in, but just right for the real deal hole shot. It’s very important to control the clutch all the way out. Don’t just start slipping it out and then let it go. And don’t release the clutch in a jerky motion. When done correctly it’s just one controlled smooth release all the way out. You are pretty much holding the throttle in one position according to traction and feeding the power to the rear wheel with the clutch. You see, when you feed the power to the rear wheel with the clutch the response is instant. If you rely on the throttle the power has to go through the engine and the response at the rear wheel can be delayed and not as actuate. Even after you are pretty far out of the gate, if the front wheel starts to rise slip the clutch a bit to bring it back down. Control the clutch all the way out at all times during the start. Starts are very hard on the clutch because of how much you have to slip the clutch from a dead stop. There should be about 2 mm of play in your clutch lever when the engine is at normal running temperature. If you are doing several starts in a row the clutch will get very hot and have more play in the lever. This is because the extra heat makes the clutch plates expand. You may want to let it cool for a few minutes or you will wear out your clutch plates in a hurry. Make sure your clutch lever is straight and in good shape. A bent lever will hinder your clutch control. 2. Throttle control The following are all the techniques that go into throttle control. You want to hold your throttle at a high idle. Not too low because the bike might bog when you come out of the start and not too high because you might have to hold it there for a long time and you don’t want the engine to be screaming too long. You don’t want to pump the throttle back and forth neither because you just might be turning it back when the gate drops. So hold it at a nice high idle so the engine is ready to launch. While you’re holding the throttle in this position you should have one finger on the front brake. This is not because you’re dragging the clutch. This is in case your bike tries to coast forward because of a slight downhill start. It’s also there in case you start too early and have to stop before you hit the gate. 3. Body movements The following are all the techniques for body positioning and movements for starts and there are a lot of them. Seated position Let’s start in the middle with seating position. For normal conditions you should sit in the front part of the seat. Not too far forward because if you try to sit on the very front of the seat near the gas cap you will slide back when you start and you are more likely to be off balance when seated this far forward. Over grip for starting While seated in the proper position, grab the handlebars with a lot of over grip. This is important so you can keep your upper body open and work from over the handlebars not behind them. This will allow you to get more of your body weight up and over the front of the bike enabling you to keep the front end down more effectively. This open body position will also give you better leverage for moving your body position from side to side across the handlebars, which will give you the control to keep the bike going straight out of the start. This body position will also give you better leverage factors between your body and the motorcycle. If you fail to do this and start with a low grip you will have less control. As you’re sitting in the front part of the seat and holding the handle grips, with high over grip, have one finger on the front brake and your three outside fingers on the throttle. When there's a lot of traction the main concern is to keep the front end down. So lean way forward. Keep all your weight on the seat and move your chest up and forward. This will help you get up over the front instead of leaning your chest down to the handlebars. Make sure you keep holding yourself forward as you go. Keep both feet down with your toes pointing forward in front of the foot pegs and close to the engine so you can feel the foot pegs on the back of your legs. This will help you keep your feet in front of the foot pegs when you go. A common mistake is to let your feet swing back behind the foot pegs when you start. This is bad because you would have too much weight toward the back, you wouldn’t be able to shift and you would have poor balance in this position. So keep your feet in front of the foot pegs and just lift him up off the ground when you go and keep them there until you have to shift. When you have to shift raise your left foot up hard and hit the shifter with the toung of your boot on the way up, shifting into the next gear as you place your feet back on the foot pegs. This technique will give you the best balance and allow you to shift exactly when you need to. But you have to raise your foot up fast and hard, keeping your foot straight forward and you may even need to fold the foot peg a little with the heel of your boot as you make the shift. I know it seems a little crude but it works and you only have to do it once per race. Another common mistake here is to put your feet back on the foot pegs as soon as you start to go. This is a mistake that will take your balance away. So keep those feet down until you have to shift. After you make that first shift stay on the foot pegs and keep hitting your shifting points from there. Getting the holeshot makes the rest of the race a lot easier. Practice these 3 main starting techniques and you will become a better starter. Get all the secrets of Winning Starts in my How To Win Starts DVD. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.
  7. Gary Semics

    Big Factors In Your Diet

    I remember one time when Jeremy McGrath and I were coming back from a long hard workout at the gym, we were driving pass a common fast food burger stand and Jeremy said we could go in there and ruin everything we just did. By now Jeremy knew that not only the training but also the diet was a necessary discipline for performance. You see, the bottom line of what training actually does is put a stress on your body which triggers an adaptation response. This adaptation response forces your body to adapt to the stress and get stronger. In order to adapt and get stronger it needs all the right building blocks at the right times and in the right combinations, quantities and qualities. This comes from your diet and supplements. If you put a lot of demand on your body by training hard and you don’t have the proper proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fluids for the rebuild you are wasting much of that hard workout. If you didn’t have the proper diet before, during and after a hard workout the benefit and gain may have only been 60% or even less instead of the potential 100%. If you do this over a long period of time you will quickly plateau, go backwards, develop overuse injures and/or get sick. What if you don’t train hard and have a poor diet, well then you better not get on a motocross track. I guess it’s safe to say that now a days most people know that a good diet has many benefits. I mean what the heck with all the scientific evidence how can one argue. So if not knowing isn’t the problem what is? For most people its probable many things like; procrastination, they’ll start a better diet next week but next week it gets put off to the next week and so on. For other people they don’t want to give up the tasty diet that they’ve gotten use to, these people think it will be too difficult to make a lasting change. Some kid themselves into believing that it doesn’t make that much difference anyway. Still for others it’s a lack of will power and the excuses go on and on. All these people are fooling themselves. They have themselves believing that to change to a high performance diet it would be painful and difficult when in reality their poor diet is causing them more pain and difficulty. Let me explain further. Our bodies are a complex organism. In reality our body is an ever changing field of energy. It is constantly regenerating itself according to its genetic code. For example every 5 days we have a new stomach lining and every six weeks we have a new liver. This goes on and on down to the last atom in one year. That’s right, science has discovered that through our cells dieing and regenerating new ones we have a brand new body every year. The food we eat not only gives us energy for moving and thinking it also gives us the building blocks that enable our ever changing field of energy to continue to reinvent itself. Sure we can survive without the optimum diet but we cannot strive without it. Without it our bodies and therefore our lives are compromised. We have less energy for mental and physical work and play, we have a compromised immune system and get sick more often; in short we age faster and end up living with chronic health problems. Then most people will fall into the pharmaceutical and medical industry loop seeking their medicated cocktails that can keep people alive longer but cause many side effects and people end up living longer but with a lower quality of life. Its high time people take their health as a personal responsibility and start eating for health and energy and not just for taste bud satisfaction. And you know what, taste bud satisfaction is a learned response and therefore it can be relearned and changed. For example up to the age of about 15 I really liked sweats but after I learned they were bad for my conditioning I stopped eating them, overall I started eating what I thought was healthy. After a few months every once in a while I would try a sweat drink or snack and didn’t even like the taste of it anymore. If you’re not already on a high performance diet you just need to get on one for a few weeks or so and change your eating habits. Once you do this and pass the test of time it will be easy. You’ve heard of certain aftermarket motorcycle products being referred to as a ‘must have’, well if you want to be a competitive motocross racer a high octane diet is a “must do”. Referring to the title of this month’s tip “The Big Factor in Your Diet” this paragraph hits that nail right on the head. Intake timing is another important factor regarding nutrition. Most people have it backwards, by eating a light or worse yet no breakfast, a light lunch and then a heavy dinner. By doing this not only is one not getting the fuel they need throughout the day, but they are also making their metabolism slow down and convert carbohydrates into fat for storage. In order to get the full benefits of sleep you should go to bed with an empty stomach. I’m not saying you should go to bed feeling really, really hungry but you should have already eaten enough earlier so you’re food is already digested and left the stomach. The ideal timing intake is a heavy breakfast, a hearty lunch and a moderate early dinner. You can have a nutrious snack between breakfast and lunch and/or between lunch and dinner but don’t snack after dinner. And you should eat dinner 3 to 4 hours before going to sleep. This will give you the fuel when you really need it and allow your body to shut down for a deep sleep at night. You don’t want your body to be digesting a heavy late dinner when it’s trying to shut down for a good hibernation type sleep. Do you know where the word breakfast came from? It means break fast; to break the night’s fasting state. If you’re not used to this type of intake timing it could be difficult at first but you can do it if you’re persistent and make the adjustment gradually. Once you’re body gets used to it you’ll be running on auto pilot. The majority’s habits are not always best; just look around you at the average person’s physic and health. If you want to sore with the eagles you can’t flock with the sparrows. Following are some meal samples and day and night race diet guidelines. Some of you may have seen the meal samples chart in my Training and Diet Manual that comes with my MX Conditioning Video or DVD, that is a good one too. MEAL SAMPLES Breakfast Try not to drink a lot of liquids with meals, unless you’re very dehydrated, especially coffee or tea. They dilute digestive juices. Go easy on margarine, butter, maple syrup, ect. You should have a good portion of fresh fruit with your breakfast. It’s good to add a ¼ cup of milled flax seed to a glass of juice. Add this to one of the following examples. Note; when eating eggs don’t eat more than two yokes a day, separate the yolks from the white on the other eggs. 1. Oat meal and toast or a good grain cereal and 4 eggs. 2. French toast or pancakes and 4 eggs. 3. Rice and 4 eggs or potatoes and 4 eggs and toast. Lunch Add a salad made from good green lettuce or spinach and some raw vegetables. 1. Salad - Steamed Veggys - Soft Boiled Eggs. 2. Salad - Steamed Veggys - Soft Boiled Eggs - Pasta - bread. 3. Salad - Steamed Veggys – Grilled or broiled Fish 5. Salad - Beans - Rice. 6. Tuna Salad - Soft boiled Eggs - Bread. 7. Salad - Potatoes - Corn or peas with chicken or steak. 8. Salad – Pasta – Bread. I know it’s difficult to get steamed vegetables so if you can’t get them eat a bigger salad and/or some brown rice or baked potato. I know many times you just have to get fast food or a sandwich, if so make the best nutritional choices available. Dinner Dinner is similar to lunch. If you ate a heavy breakfast and lunch and had a nutritious snack between lunch and dinner you won’t have to eat a huge dinner just a normal one and that’s what you want. You want a relatively empty stomach by the time you go to bed. You’ll notice that I emphasized salad, steamed veggys, soft boiled eggs, and fish in the lunch and dinner selections. You can have chicken or steak once in a while, but grilled or baked fish is better. It’s difficult to put all the foods of this list, of course there are many other meal combos and foods you can eat. Just try to get your proteins, carbos and fats from good natural, fresh sources. As mentioned earlier it’s important to have 4 or 5 small meals a day. The best way to do it is to have three meals a day from the above selections and have one or two smaller meals throughout the day derived from any combination of the above. Fruit and some raw almonds is also a good way to go for your between meal snacks. If you really do the diet thing right it will still take about two weeks before you can expect to see noticeable benefits. It’s not going to happen in just a few days. So stick to the plan. HOW TO FUEL UP ON RACE DAY DAY RACE Eat a good breakfast from the breakfast examples. Now, for the rest of the day, you want to time your food intake in the longest breaks between practice and each of your motos. Your next meal or snack could be something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or some fruit with almonds or a turkey sandwich or some sports nutritional products that you like. Then for the remainder of the day, choose from one of the above as needed. Remember to stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water and/or sports drinks. Don't mix sports nutritional products with other food. These products are designed and work best when taken on an empty stomach. With most of the sports nutritional products, wait at least 40 minutes before or after you eat. With most of the sports energy drinks, wait at least 20 minutes before or after you eat. These guidelines will keep you fueled up so you have plenty of energy throughout race day and at the same time you'll feel lite and ready for action. NIGHT RACE The best food intake for night races is very similar to day races. Now you have time to eat a good breakfast and lunch. Than instead of eating dinner you would eat the same as the day meal plan starting after lunch. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross fitness you may be interested in my MX Conditioning DVDs which include a lot of info about nutrition. Feed you body nutrient dense race fuel! Or you may prefer one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand subscriptions.
  8. t's common knowledge now a days that it takes a lot of seat time in order to get good and really enjoy riding motocross. Most riders don't get to practice as often as they would like. Unless you have a practice track at your house and don't have to work a regular job this is the case, right? Okay, so let's say this is your case. When you do get a chance to ride you're all gung ho on going out onto the track and having fun, right and that is normal. But, here's the thing, you expect to much from yourself. Most riders expect that they should be able to go out there and go fast, do most all the jumps and not make a ton of mistakes. This is impossible unless you have already logged many, many hours of practice. Through my 42 years of racing, practicing and coaching motocross it is becoming more and more clear to me that riders of all skill levels can have a great time practicing motocross. The primary key is to know how to practice for your current skill level. I mean think about how many riders enter races before they have at least one year of quality practice? Talk about expecting too much out of one's self? Not to mention that they are more likely to be injured. A good analogy is with golf and tennis. If a person is taking up golf they don't entry a contest after a few months of swinging the clubs. Or entry a tennis competition after a few months of practicing tennis. That wouldn't be much fun. In fact it would be more frustrating than fun. But at least there's not much chance of becoming seriously injured. Would you think a newbie golf or tennis player would be practical in thinking they should be able to go out there and start killing it? Well, why are most beginner motocross riders getting frustrated and not having a blast riding their bike? Could they be expecting too much? I have found that most riders do. I want to help you to enjoy the sport more by taking a different approach. By changing the way you look at riding. By understanding your skill level and practicing the most effective, fun way in order to, not only avoid injury but to make the most improvements as well. As I mentioned it's in the way you look at it. One of the best things about riding motocross is getting your mind off everything else and just into the present moment of riding. But instead of getting into that addicting zone most beginners are scattering their thoughts on other things, like judging themselves, analyzing themselves compared to other riders on the practice track, thinking about trying not to crash and sometimes even thinking about how bad they suck. Talk about distractions, how can one get into the zone when their present moment thoughts are scattered? That's not having fun doing what you are suppose to love doing. The world's best coaches in any sport have mastered the secret of improving the athlete's skills by supplying them with split second information on exactly how to attain new skills just out of their current ability's reach. In motocross for example, one scenario could be a rider is close to being able to double through the whoops but can't quite get it down. A coach's job would be to explain exacting what he needs to do differently in order to double through. That is currently a stretch but doable. What would be too far of a stretch is tripling, wheel tapping or pinning them. Since you can't always have a good riding coach with you at all times you have to become your own coach. You have to recognize your skill level and dangle the carrot in front of you on what is reachable and out of reach. So the next time you go to the practice track try staying at your skill level, find what you can improve on and keep your concentration on what you're doing and nothing else. Get into the zone and feel what is happening in each present second as it happens. Train your automatic reflex reactions to feel and react in a way that maintains total control, that's the magic, that's the addiction and that's when you will love it. Ride to live and live to ride! Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  9. Gary Semics

    Fear and Motocross Racing

    Is fear a good or bad feeling to have while racing? The answer is yes... and no. You should have just a little bit of fear but not too much. There’s that balance thing again, for everything in life and especially racing. When you do something like race motocross/supercross/off-road, etc, where a little fear is involved, all your senses are heightened. That little bit of fear turns on all your primordial energies. Your adrenal glands are activated, you have better concentration more blood is pumped into the muscles, your pupils dilate for better vision, and in short, your strength, endurance and reaction time are increased. You are ready for action. On the other hand, if you have too much fear you tighten up, your mind begins to race and you loose concentration. Think about this simple test for a moment. If we have two people, Harry and Chester, Harry is normal regarding heights but Chester is afraid of heights. We have a strong board that is twelve feet long and eight inches wide. We extend this board 3 feet off the ground and have Harry and Chester walk across it for $10.00. No problem, one at a time they both stand at the end of the board with relaxed muscles, steady concentration, looking out in front of them at the board and walk across it easily for the $10.00. Then we extend the board 50 feet in the air between two buildings and ask Harry and Chester to walk across it for $100.00. Harry is first; he stands at the edge of the board ready to walk across it. Harry has just enough fear to turn on all his senses, and he is 100% concentrating on his goal, walking across that board. He makes it no problem and collects an easy $100.00. Chester is next as he stands at the end of the board. His breathing is short and shallow, his muscles begin to tighten, the palms of his hands become wet and clammy, he feels a lump in his throat and Chester’s concentration is interrupted with thoughts of falling to his death or serious injury. Chester’s fear makes his goal of walking across the board much more difficult. Objects are those frightful things you see when you take your mind off your goals. It’s the same kind of thing when it comes to racing; too much fear makes you perform much worst. If anyone tells you that they don’t have any fear when they race, they are not being honest with themselves or you. Everyone has at least just a little bit of fear when they race. And besides, if they didn’t have any fear at all, they wouldn’t be able to perform as well. Remember, just a little bit of fear is enough to make it important enough to kick in the primordial juices without getting too much fear to tighten you up. So how does one produce just the right amount of fear without red lining the fear factor? Well, I don’t think anyone has a problem with not having enough fear. The question is how does one not have too much fear while racing? In short, the answer is confidence. The dictionary definition of confidence is: trust, reliance, self-assurance. If you have too much fear while racing or even riding a motorcycle, then you don’t have enough confidence in your abilities to do the job and the fear should be there. It’s there for a good reason; to keep you from getting hurt. The only way to get over the too much fear problem and to acquire the confidence is to earn it by being prepared and knowing your limits, not riding beyond your abilities. The following list breaks down the preparation and how to recognize your limits factors for an easier understanding. Preparation: Being in good physical shape If you’re out there racing or even riding and you’re not strong and in good shape, you’re just asking for an injury. And besides, you can’t ride well if you’re tired anyway. This is a big factor in earning that confidence, you have to put in the consistent hard training in order to get and stay in good shape. It’s important to be at your ideal weight and not be over weight so a good common sense diet is also necessary. If you don’t feel strong the fear factor is going to go way up. To get the most effective diet and training methods for motocross, check out my Motocross Conditioning Video or DVD from my website. Getting enough seat time There’s no way to feel really comfortable on the bike and not have too much fear unless you have ridden and still ride a lot. There’s no substitute for having the feel of the wheel so to speak. When you have a lot of riding time under your belt, the bike becomes an extension of your body and you know what it’s going to do before it does it. This way you can stay ahead of what is happening instead of not being sure and trying to catch up with it. How can you not be very afraid if you don’t know what that bike is going to do? If you’re going to ride really well, you have to put in the seat time. Having a well-prepared motorcycle If you’re riding a worn out bike, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks and you sure don’t want it to break on the face of a big jump. A serious racer has to have well maintained equipment. You or a mechanic has to go over the bike every time between rides. Every time before you get on it, you should have a checklist to go through. Things like: is there enough gas? is the chain adjusted correctly and oiled? Is the tire pressure right? Are the spokes tight? Are the linkage bolts tight? Are the controls working properly, especially the throttle? When you know your bike is going to do its job, it takes away a lot of fear and doubt. Don’t take unnecessary changes Whether you’re racing as a professional or an amateur, just go out there and have fun and do what’s necessary in order to reach your goals. If there’s a big double or triple that’s beyond your current abilities and no one in your class is going to be jumping it anyway, don’t be thinking you should try to jump it. If your thinking you should be pulling off some free style moves forget about it. Do you want to be a racer or a free stylist? If you’re finishing practicing for the day and your friend says, "Come on, you gotta try this jump I just found!", forget about it. Tell him you’ll check it out next time. Do what you feel is necessary and enough and leave it at that. Recognize your limits Every man or women has to know their own limits and you always have to stay within those limits while racing or riding. Racing is all about being on the edge, but you better know exactly where that edge is and don’t go over it. It’s better to slow down a little, get some points and race again next week than to crash and burn. Once you acquire a good portion of experience, it's really pretty easy to know where your limits are (you can feel them). When you’re flowing with the track and riding smooth, you’re within your limits. When you start to make mistakes like missing a line, making a bobble here and there, when your arms are pumping up and/or you’re getting really tired, when things begin to happen faster than you are anticipating them to be happening, these are signs of going over the edge. With the correct types of preparation and practice over each week and month, you should be able to increase your limits, but you have to be consistent and it takes time. Don’t try to rush it by riding over your head or it will end up taking you more time to improve. Remember to feel your limits and don’t go pass them. When you have these five previous categories covered, you will see the strangle hold of fear dissipate. Of course, as I explained earlier, there is always going to be some fear but it’s a good fear, one that will make you pay attention and heighten you abilities. Don’t ever take anything about racing or riding for granted. Just about the time you do is the time it will jump up and bite you. Always have that special kind of respect for it and make sure that you are always prepared and using your head every time you throw a leg over your iron horse. Over the years I’ve had a lot of riders, both young and older, tell me that they are having trouble jumping doubles. They say they can jump the same distance on a tabletop jump but they are afraid to jump that distance over a double. They are asking me how they can overcome their fear and do these doubles. Sometimes these riders are at my motocross school and are asking me this at the beginning of the school. I say, well I’ll watch your jumping techniques when we cover jumps and we’ll see what we can do about it. When I’m asked this question, I pretty much know what to expect and most of the time I’m right on the money. Their jumping abilities are in need of some serious improvements before they throw themselves at the mercy of the doubles. They say that they can jump the same distance on the tabletops but they don’t land on the down side every time. If that were a double, they would be doing some serious case landings and getting rebounded over the bars. They also have trouble controlling the angle of the bike in the air. Sometimes the front end is too high and sometimes it is too low. These are riders that are missing one or more of the five qualities listed above. I always tell them the same thing, that they should not be jumping doubles yet and that there’s a good reason for their fear. If and when they develop the control to jump and land just how they want to every time over safer jumps, then they will not have that terrible fear and they will possess the confidence to do the big doubles, big doubles no troubles. How does one acquire that confidence? Well, when we’re talking about big doubles, you first have to practice the proper jumping techniques over and over again on safe, forgiving type jumps, such as tabletops and/or step-ups. Once you have mastered the proper jumping techniques and you can feel the compression and rebound part of the jump so well that you can automatically react to it through your nervous system’s automatic reflex reactions, then and only then will you conquer the big no forgiveness doubles. Achieve the five steps above and you will conquer all but that little bit of fear that is suppose to be there. Mother nature cannot be tricked or cheated; she will give up to you the object of your desires only after you have paid her price. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  10. Gary Semics

    How to Deal with Armpump

    Following are some causes that may be keeping you from riding free of armpump. The most important single thing to keep from having armpump is to do a lot of quality practicing on the bike. Like 3 or 4 days per week and racing on the weekends. Or at least as much riding as you possibly can. Next is riding and racing with a smooth riding style, flowing with the bike, working with the bike and not riding tight and fighting the bike. Riders who are having arm pump problems should do more cardio and less lifting of weights. Don’t do your forearm exercises too hard. You don’t want to make the muscles too tight. Just give them a moderate workout. A lot of stretching and massage of the forearms is also good. A relaxed mind free of anxiety, stress and tension is also very helpful. Have fun with it and relax as much as possible. Ride with a low center of gravity. Use your legs to hold onto the bike as much as possible and relax your arms and hands as much as possible. A lot of riding time allows you to be able to do this. Make sure you are using all the proper techniques. Good luck, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  11. Rutted corners are a pros friend but they can be a beginner’s nightmare. The pros like them because they offer excellent traction. The beginners usually have a difficult time with them because they can’t stay in the rut. One of the most important factors about going fast on a motocross track is traction, especially in the corners. If the ground is pretty hard it’s going to be on the slippery side and not very good for building berms. But even then the good rides will have some small berms in the corners that they will rail through for improved traction which translates directly to more speed. Sometimes these hard berms can be so small that a beginner rider won’t even notice them. If you’re not noticing them and trying to turn across them you’re really going to be missing out on some available traction. In this case it would be something like going over a railroad track at a 90 degree angle. When the ground is softer and the berms are more noticeable (I mean if you can’t notice them you shouldn’t be on the track) the traction is 10 times better than not taking the berm. This usually makes a lot of berms in the corners with no other choice than to take one. How can one expect to be a competitive motocross racer if they can’t rail the berms. Like many things in motocross to do it really well it becomes an art. Let’s get the terminology right so we’re all on the same track. Just what is a rutted corner? Well of course it’s a corner with a rut in it. Instead of a straight rut it’s an arched rut. Most pros call these type corners bermed corners. But some beginners get bermed corners confused with banked corners. So when you think of a bermed corner think of a rutted corner. There are different types of bermed corners. Some have a hard berm, some a bumpy hard berm and then there are the beautiful cushion berms. That’s the nice soft topsoil that gets built up as a sponge type soft cushiony berm. When entering a bermed corner verses a flat corner the biggest difference is making sure both the front and rear wheels check into the beginning of the berm. When entering a flat corner you want to drift slide the bike into the corner. If you do this too much as you enter the berm the rear wheel may miss the berm and slide out. One thing that will work in your favor here is that when there are bermed corners the ground is going to be on the softer side so you’ll be less likely to be drift sliding as much into the corner anyway. Soft ground also means bigger braking bumps so make sure you get your butt off the seat and stand up. As we’ve been learning so far your control comes from two categories; maintaining the center of balance with your body movements and using a combination of all five controls (front and rear brakes, clutch and throttle and the gear shift). In order to pull off smooth, fast bermed corners it takes a combination of these two main categories and the individual techniques that go into them. Here’s the list of techniques for bermed corners. Then we’ll take a closer look. Look ahead and see the beginning of the berm as soon as you can. As you approach the berm stand on the pegs with your body position working from the rear of the M/C, downshift into the gear you’re going to use through the corner and slow down with the front and rear brakes. Now that you’re in the beginning of the berm look out and over the arch of the berm so you see where it’s going. Don’t just look in front of your fender. Look out around the berm a little ways. Once your rear wheel is in the berm you can pull the clutch in and lock up the rear wheel if you want maximum braking in the berm, even if you're still going straight, in the case of a long berm. At the "Transition" (where you go from braking to accelerating) come off the brakes as you begin to accelerate with the clutch and throttle. Continue to look ahead and stay on the line you want out of the corner. Now for a more in depth understanding. As you’re approaching the corner, as early as you can, spot the beginning of the berm and aim about six inches to the inside of it. This way you can check into it as you get there and you won’t overshoot it. Spotting the berm early not only lets you set up for it better but also gives your depth perception longer to work so you can come into the berm at maximum speed. One thing you have to get really good at is controlling your speed and momentum all the way through the berm. This is done by first controlling the front and/or rear brakes and then by controlling the clutch and throttle. Remember, this is where more than half of your control comes from (60%). The other 40% comes from maintaining the center of balance with your body movements. Make sure to keep the bike leaned over the correct amount for the speed you’re carrying. While your front wheel is in the berm you can use the front brake as much as you need to. It won’t slide out because it has traction down in the berm, like a slot car. But don’t use the front brake if the front wheel starts to come out of the berm because that would make the front fold or slide out real quick. As soon as you are able let go of the brakes and begin to exit the berm with the controlled use of the clutch and throttle. Let your finger slip off the front brake as you open the throttle. Don’t let go of the front brake before that time. This doesn’t mean that you have to drag the front brake or even use it all this time but you should at least keep your finger on it in case you do need to slow down a little more. Remember, that slowing down in this situation with the front brake not only slows the M/C down, it will also shorten the rake and trail making it turn sharper. Man, do the controls of the M/C give you more control or what? It's almost like magic. If you have the bike leaning over too far for the speed you’re carrying you will have to step with your inside leg in order to keep the bike up. If this situation is really bad you may get one or two step attempts in before you fall over to the inside. If the bike is not leaning over far enough for the speed you’re carrying through the berm the front wheel will come out of it (to the outside). This is why you have to lean over the right amount and continue to control your speed and momentum. The two mistakes mentioned earlier of not leaning the bike over far enough or leaning it over too far are the most common mistakes for amateurs along with not using the controls properly. Most beginners will use the brakes to slow down for the bermed corner and then just as they get their front wheel in the berm they will let go of the brakes. They are not accelerating yet with the clutch and throttle so they end up coasting at the most important part of the corner, the "Transition". The only control they have at this point is their body movements that have just turned into a statue since they just have given up the other 60% of their control, the front and/or rear brakes and the clutch and throttle. Another thing to be aware of as you pass through the "Transition" and begin to use the clutch and throttle is that you are going to be picking up speed which means you’ll have to lean the bike over even more. Make sure your inside leg is in a position that allows you to do that. In some berms the bike will lean over so far that the clutch lever will drag in the dirt. If you have your inside leg in the way it will limit how far you can lean the bike over. Make sure you either have your knee behind the handlebars so your knee can come up behind the handlebars or you have your leg up very high and straight so it can still fit between the ground and the handlebar. Like any of the aspects in motocross (jumps, whoops, starts or corners) riding bermed corners really well takes a lot of practice time. So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come to you as soon as you expected. Understanding the proper techniques is the first step, being able to do it correctly at a slower than maximum speed is the second step and doing it repeatedly day by day, week by week, month by month is the final step that will allow you to do it really well. Competitive motocross takes MIND, HEART AND BALLS! For an in depth look at how to master Berm Corners go to my 2011 Volume 3 DVD #5. See a free DVD. All the best! Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.
  12. Many riders have problems with their back from time to time. Is this normal or can a simple riding technique regarding posture keep your back healthy and strong? Watch this video to find out. This Strong Back Technique is only the tip of the ice berg. Click here in order to understand all the proper Body Positions and Movements of Motocross. To be notified when I post Blogs click the "follow this blog" link in the upper right corner.
  13. Weighting the outside footpeg is a popular riding tip now a days. We’re talking low center of gravity here. Many riders may know that in general weighting the outside peg is a good thing but why, when and how exactly does it work? That is the million dollar question. Yes, it certainly is beneficial in many cases but in many other cases it really isn’t necessary and has no benefits. Therefore if you’re doing it anyway you are just wasting energy. Even when you should be doing it if you’re trying to put all your weight on the outside peg while sitting on the seat you are also wasting energy. While standing on the floor try to stay in a half squat on one leg and you'll feel how difficult this can be. So when should you be weighting the outside peg and how much? When the surface is somewhat slippery and there is no berm (rut) in the corner is the most common place to use this technique. This is usually when you want to slid the bike through the corner. In this case the extra weight on the outside peg lowers the center of gravity (CG) and gives the tires more traction; keeping the bike from sliding out. If you fail to do this and maintain a higher CG more weight is pushing down and out from a higher angle on the bike which will offer less traction at surface contact making it more likely to slide out. So it is clear that weighting the outside peg in this situation helps a great deal but how much weight is enough without wasting energy? Too much weight will not only waste energy but it can also cause other important techniques to be roosted away. You see while sliding through a corner it’s important to keep all your body weight on the seat and outside footpeg and not too much body weight on the handlebars. While doing this your body movements would be pivoting form the seat in order to maintain the center of balance. This technique allows your upper body to remain loose for good upper body movement which is a very important factory to maintain control. If you were trying to put too much weight on the outside peg (like half of your body weight or more) your upper body would also half to tense up in order to hold yourself there. The proper amount of weight you should put on the outside peg is just enough to comfortably maintain good upper body movement. So it’s more like a little pressure down on that outside peg. Let the rest of your weight remain on the seat and keep your upper body loose enough to move and go with the flow. If you just take 15 pounds from the seat and put it on the outside peg; that’s a difference of 30 pounds from high to low; that’s the difference you need to keep up some good speed and momentum through the corner. You don’t need to weight the outside peg when there is good traction through the corner; especially when there is a berm (rut) in the corner. In this case just keep your weight on the seat and of course keep your foot on the outside peg. This will save you're energy and allow your upper body to remain loose for good movement. Sometime it’s even beneficial to weight the inside peg; that’s right I said inside peg. This is if you plan to keep both feet on the footpegs. This technique works really well on slippery higher speed corners that you would take standing up. By weighting the inside peg the CG is placed even lower and this extremely low CG will anchor the tires in traction like a plow cutting through a furrow. Just make sure you have the ball of your foot on that inside peg so it doesn’t wind up around the back of you neck. These techniques have proven to work well for many, many riders, I hope it also works well for you and gives you that extra speed and control you’re looking for. Quotes to live by: "If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results." "Nobody's a natural. You work hard to get good and then work hard to get better." Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  14. About this time of year (March) most of the Northern Hemisphere is beginning to thaw from winter’s frozen grip. When two feet down in the ground all that frozen moisture begins to thaw it spells MUD, mud. Of course, even at other times of year mud can be a big factory. You just never know when Mother Nature is going to through a mud race in the mix. Anyone would prefer no dust, no mud ideal conditions but there are some riders who always manage to shine in the muddiest conditions. Like Josh Woods who got 2nd in the main in the muddy conditions at A1 in 2005 and didn’t even qualify for the main in the next 3 rounds. Why is this the case, well let’s brake it down and see why. Nine times out of ten these riders come from a muddy back ground. In other words then grew up in an area that had a lot of muddy riding seasons and they just got used to riding in the mud, it’s no big deal to them and they learned at an early age how to best deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with it is to leave your bike in the garage and go to the gym. Just kidding, that’s maybe if you’re an amateur and you live in So Cal or Florida because you know it’s going to stop raining soon and you’ll have good conditions again but what if you live where it doesn’t dry out for weeks, even months. That’s the way it is in Ohio and back when young racers were still in school if we wanted to ride we had to ride in whatever conditions were out there. I remember many days during the week practicing in the snow. There was a 4 acre lake that Frank Gallo and I would flat track around. It was more like straight up track around. We just had regular knobby tires so we had to keep the bike straight up, get our momentum going in forth gear (400 Husqvarna 4 speed) and we could slid around the entire lake while counter steering to the steering lock. Of course, it really helped that the bikes were so low we could stand over them flat footed on the ice. Throughout the winter and early spring when there were no motocross races going on here were Hare Scramble Races just about every Sunday that were like a cross between and enduro and a motocross. My point is we rode, made the best of what was available and had fun doing it. That’s why to this day riders from these type parts of the country are better mud riders than the golden boys from So Cal and the likes. Some riders get bummed out and loose their focus when faced with muddy conditions. But the good mud riders stay focused and concentrate on the race instead of being distracted with negative thoughts about it. The attitude has to remain positive. The positive mind sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible. The dictionary’s definition of attitude is; a mental position or feeling with regard to a state or fact. In other words it’s your perception about the situation. It’s the way you think and feel about the mud race. So one of the main factors about mud riding is to have a good outlook about it, stay focused on the task at hand and enjoy the process. Have a good attitude about these less than favorable conditions. Of course there’s a lot more to it than just having a good attitude and not minding getting yourself, all your equipment and your motorcycle dirty. There’s some smart ways to better prepare yourself and your machine. Such as the following; 1. Look at the track: Study as much of the track as possible before your race. See where the best lines are, but especially see if there are some sections that you want to avoid. Like deep water or a place where you could get stuck. If you have a teammate or friend who just finished their moto talk to them and many times he can update you on important track changes. Many times when it’s this muddy you won’t get a parade lap, so take advantage of any other ways to know the track the best you can before you go out there. 2. Prepare your vision: Roll offs are probity still the best way to go for the wet conditions but now some of the leading goggle manufactures (like Scott) are make special tear off so thin that you can stack about 30 on there and still have good vision. The only problem is it’s difficult to just pull one at a time off and you may pull five or six at a time. Always make sure you have no fog on the inside of the lens. Keeping the out side clean isn’t going to help if you can’t see through from the inside. If you are using roll-offs fix one or two tear offs to the goggles. Put some duct tape to the tear off flap so it’s easy to find and pull off. These first one (or two if it’s really muddy) will work good at saving your goggles for the start when you may really get blasted with a nice refreshing mud bath. To keep the mud off the top of the helmet and visor many riders tape a course form on there. If you don’t have this type of foam tape some tear offs to your visor and the top of your helmet. When the heavy mud builds up on there you can peal it off with the tear offs. 3. Traction connection to the bike: When that bike gets wet and muddy, it’s not only going to gain some serious weight, but it’s also going to become difficult to stay connected to. A non-slip seat cover, full waffle grips, cotton mechanic gloves, and plastic grip protectors are some other helpful items. 4. The extra weight of the bike: If it’s a sticky type of mud you should have your shock spring pre-load tighten up a bit, and your front forks dropped about two or three mm to compensate for the extra weight. This will help keep the bike at it’s normal ride height even after it gains 20 or 30 pounds of mud. It will also keep the mud from accumulating as bad if you spray WD 40 under the fenders and anywhere else but the rider’s contact points and the disc brakes and rotors. 5. The Chain: Leave the chain extra loose because the mud packing in the chain and sprocket is going to make it much tighter. While the chain is still clean put an extra lot of chain oil and even grease on it. This will help to seal it up from getting as much mud inside the rollers. 6. Tires: You defiantly want a good shape mud tire on both front and rear. Mud tires are made from a harder rubber compound with deeper wider spaced knobs. They will clean themselves out better and give you a whole lot more grip. Dunlop has an excellent choice with its 990 model. 7. Attitude: And remember don’t let this part go unchecked. It’s still a motocross race and a good motocross racer is good in all types of conditions. Keep a positive outlook and have fun. “ The loser sees the difficulty in every opportunity, the winner sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. Following are some riding techniques that will also help you through the quagmire. Riding in the sand is similar to riding in the mud so if you’re already a good sand rider the adjustment to mud should come very quickly. Keep the front wheel light by keeping your body position and weight further back at all times than when riding in regular conditions. You still use your full range of movement but you’re a little further back in all those positions. Like; when you would normally be in the front of the bike you would still be toward the front of the bike but not quit as far forward. When you would normally be in the center on the bike you would still be toward the center but just little further back and the same goes for when your body position would normally be toward the rear of the bike, you’d still be in the rear body position but even further back. All this would keep the front end a little lighter than normal so it won’t steer with it as much and slide out or have it catch and plow into the muck and stop or throw your body over the handlebars. You also want to keep the throttle on more when riding in the mud. Of course, this is going to be obvious since you’ll need more power to get the extra weight through the soft ground but it’s also necessary in order to keep the front end doing what it’s suppose to do and not do what was just mentioned earlier. This means you don’t want to shut the throttle off any longer than you have to. As soon as possible get back on the power even if it’s just a little bit of power (acceleration) get on it earlier than you normally would in normal conditions. Keep the bike up straighter and steer more with the rear wheel. When it’s muddy it’s usually more slippery as well. This means you can’t lean the bike over as far because it will slide out from under you. The way to get around this fact is to steer more with the rear wheel than the front. This way you can still go fast around the corners by pivoting the bike on an arch through the turns. On some tight turns you can pivot it in one place but on fast more open corners you’ll have to pivot it through the turn on an arch. Of course this is only when the surface is slippery with no ruts. Set up the pivot or pivot/arch with the rear brake and continue it by slipping off the rear brake and onto the clutch and throttle. You go from the set up brake slid to a power slid in one fluid motion. If there are ruts check into a rut and get on the power early. Don’t try to brake slide into a rut, just steer into the rut with the front wheel and get on the power as early as possible. Mud like sand does not require as much braking power especially with the front brake. This is because the soft mud is going to really slow you down just by letting off the throttle. You have to be very careful as to how you use the front brake and many times you won’t need it at all. Remember you want to keep you weight back more but when you use the front brake it transfers weight to the front. This can cause many of the problems explained earlier. So use more rear brake and only use the front when you really need it and then use it lighter than normal. And remember to accelerate just before getting into the rut. Most of the time on these muddy tracks there will be really bad spots. Like; deep soft ruts or holes. In this case you want to slow down just enough right before the beginning of the rut or hole so you can accelerate into and through it. Many times you can carry the front wheel over a short soft rut or hole. If you come into this type area too fast and try to slow down as you get into the soft rut or hole it will be much more difficult to maintain control and it will end up slowing you down more than the correct way just mentioned. Quick reference mud riding techniques; A. Keep the front end light. B. Keep the bike more straight up and get on the power earlier. C. Not as much front brake. D. Accelerate just before getting into a rut. E. Carry the front wheel over the bad areas. If you want to be a competitive motocross racer you defiantly have to be a good mud rider. You may find, like I did, that many of my best races turned out to be muddy ones. A few days later when everything is all clean and shiny again it’s all good anyway. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  15. At most races there’s not much time to practice and get to know the track before you’re going to be on the starting line. The following tips will help you get the most out of your practice time. Get there early enough so you’re not rushed and make sure you have your goggle, gear, bike, and everything else ready for practice. This way you can take your time and sign up and walk the track before your first practice. When walking the track think about what lines you’ll be trying and what obstacles you probably can and can’t jump. When it’s time for your practice and it’s the typical short practice time, try to gradually work up to a comfortable but fast speed. Make it a point to jump any obstacles that you’re going to be jumping in the race early so you can get comfortable and confident on the bike and with the track. Once you figure out the fastest lines try some other lines so you have some options. This is probably about all the practice time you’ll have. If there’s another practice, like a late practice, take advantage of it and get back out there. After the break from your first practice this will help you get more familiar with the track and up to speed. After practice and before your first moto find a place where you can relax and not be disturbed. Close your eyes and visualize going around the entire track in your head. Make it as real as possible and keep your speed fast but realistic. Make at least two full laps. If possible go out and watch some starts and races before yours. Knowing that track as well as possible before your race will defiantly improve your chances for a good result. On all but walking the whole track, repeat the process before your next moto. It also helps to warm your body up with some light calisthenics and stretching before practice and your motos. When you’re on the starting line clear your mind of everything, be ready for anything and distracted by nothing. Take some long slow deep breaths and relax your body and mind. View the race as an opportunity to challenge yourself, ride to the best of your ability and have fun in the process. Don’t think about what place you might get or who’s there or anything accept trying as hard as you possibly can to ride the best race you’re capable of riding from when the gate drops until you get the checked flag. If you do this and enjoy the process the result will take care of itself. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  16. Clearing a jump right out of a corner can be difficult for beginners. The Seat Bouncing Techniques are usually the best techniques to use in these situations. You can find the seat bouncing techniques in the Free Riding Tips page of my website and also in my Volume 3 DVD #7 (Seat Bouncing and Launching Techniques) In order to get the most out of the seat bouncing techniques, you need to be really good at using the clutch and throttle to deliver a lot of power to the rear wheel at the precise time. To do this correctly, you need to use one or two fingers on the clutch. I prefer one finger because it allows you to hold onto the grip better with the other three fingers. This way you can get on the power hard with the clutch and throttle. You do not slip the clutch like you do when you do a start, but instead, you use the clutch more like a trigger, hitting the trigger (clutch) at the precise time you need to increase the power to the rear wheel. In this situation, it would be when the rear wheel compresses into the jump. This increased power will multiply the seat bouncing technique, giving you more height and distance. Most beginner riders do not use the clutch in this way, but instead, depend on just the throttle alone. Even on a four stroke, you need to learn to use that clutch and throttle together in order to control the power to the rear wheel more precisely. For all the details of these techniques and more, go to the Volume 3 DVDs numbers 3 (Clutch, Throttle and Shifting Techniques) and 7 (Seat Bouncing and Launching Techniques). I hope that this helps you. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources. Be notified when I post new blog entries by clicking the "follow this blog" button in the upper right corner.
  17. Gary Semics

    Mental Power, Part V

    To ever get to the point of winning you have to feel gratitude and love for what you are doing. Jeremy McGrath loved to ride and race Supercross. He came from a family that taught him to be grateful. They didn't have a lot of money. I first met Jeremy when he was 16. They were living in Sun Valley CA, a desert community inland from San Diego. The only heat they had in the house was a fire place and it gets cold there in the winter. But this upbringing of being grateful and not having all the common luxuries helped Jeremy become the best Supercross Racer of all time. Jeremy didn't have many distractions. He loved to ride. He could ride from his house and he rode everyday. I've seen him come home from a local race and ride his Supercross track that same afternoon. Why? Because he loved to ride. When Ryan VIllopoto was 14 Team Green Kawasaki gave him 16 bikes for one year. Ryan would ride 31 days straight, race on the weekend and start practicing again the very next day. Ryan would practice all the way thorough the week including the day before the race. After a month he would take 3 days off, do something fun with his family and repeat the process. How could Ryan ride this much and ride hard unless he loved it? The same goes for Reed, Stewart, Dungey and Canard or any other great rider, they all were grateful for what they had and they loved it. The more grateful you can be and the more you can love what you're doing the happier and more successful you will become. But don't just let this happen by chance. When you learn and practice gratitude and love you can have more then you ever thought possible. Try it, what do you have to loose by at least trying it? I would love to know what you think and what you discover. Well, I guess it's true, racing is all in your head. Keeping an attitude of gratitude, Spreading the love, Living the dream... Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  18. Gary Semics


    There is definitely a balance in being a great motocross competitor. It takes a quality of great stillness, calmness and clarity on the inside while being at battle on the outside. Calmness on the inside (your inner feelings) while in the race (chaos on the outside). There are also great expectations and pressures on the outside while there must be peace, focus and confidence on the inside, that along with a good dose of talent and desire are the bottom lines. Although talent is somewhat of a God given gift, it's only one part of the entire combination it takes to be successful. Most of the time the potential is there but the rest is learned and earned. What many riders are capable of doing is extraordinary, what they are willing to do is a different story. You don’t just win the race on raceday; you win or lose it the other six days of the week, week in and week out, not just by what you do and don't do but also by what you think. Before something manifest (becomes real in the material world) it is first a thought. The proper preparation, dedication, determination, persistence, desire, commitment, scarifies and willingness to do whatever it takes and the will to win give you the potential to win. Even with all this in place there are still no guarantees. However, if these things are not in place there is no chance to attaining access to the top level of the sport. Many riders have great potential but its how they use, hone and polish that potential over a long time span that makes the different between mediocre and greatness. Of course, the throttle is in their hand on the track but also in everyday life as well. Just like on the track you have to know when to back off and use good common sense and moderation. You wouldn’t keep the throttle wide open in the air or on super slippery ground. You also shouldn’t always keep it wide open in your day to day life. By the same token when hitting a big triple you better be into the throttle; likewise there are times in day to day life when you better be on it as well, balance on the track, balance in life. And you know what else, through all this good, bad and ugly you have to LOVE IT, a rare character in deed, a one in a million. For without loving it you couldn't consistently do all the hard work and make all the sacrifices in order to become great. Check out the before and after photos of Austin Harvey. This change took just 5 months. After this getting tired in a race was not an issue for Austin. Becoming a top star in the motocross world was not what Austin wanted to keep pursuing. However, what he learned and the confidence he developed in himself enabled him to build a successful Car and truck detailing business at a very young age (19). Know what you really want to do in life and commit to it 100%. Why not, what's the alternatives, it's only life, it does have an expiration date, you know? Concentration - "The jack of all trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim". (Napoleon Hill) Before After Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  19. Do you need to use the clutch when up shifting? How do you up shift when you're in the forward body position? Checkout this video tip on proper shifting in Motocross and more facts about Clutch, Throttle and Shifting Techniques. These 3 things of Clutch, Throttle and Shifting have to work together in order to keep the engine happy and of course improve your lap times. Motocross Clutch, Throttle and Shifting Techniques DVD or Stream. Want to be notified when I post new tips? Click the "Follow This Blog" button in the upper right. Thanks much! Ride hard, ride smart. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer
  20. 1. Being technically correct in your riding style. 2. Being physically fit. Riding Style What do I mean by being technically correct with your riding style? This means that you have all the basic techniques down in your autopilot riding skills. In other words, everything you do on the bike is technically correct. Meaning, you don't have any bad habits or at least not a lot of bad habits. This way you maintain your center of balance and work with the bike. You have a flow to your riding style. You're not fighting against the bike and getting off balance and then trying to hold certain positions in order to bring the balance back. A good example is when entering a corner over the braking bumps. The inexperienced rider will try to stop the handlebars from bouncing. They'll end up holding on tight to try and control the front end from bouncing so much. Whereas the experienced rider in this situation will allow the handlebars to bounce, loosen his arms a little bit and just let them bounce. They'll get into a rhythm with the bumps and let the bike kind of teeter-totter underneath them and bounce their way into the corner. This is a much more relaxed, smoother riding style. Much more relaxed than if you were trying to force this from happening. Another common mistake is in flat corners where there is no berm. The wrong way would be to try to push the bike down in the corner while your upper body stays on top of the bike, kind of leaning toward the outside while you're trying to push the bike down into the corner. This is a common mistake and will really wear you out a lot faster, besides slowing you down a lot and not being able to hold your line out of the corner. The correct way would be for your upper body to lean a little to the inside before you start to lean the bike into the corner. Then as the bike is leaning into this flat corner, your upper body can move to the middle or even a little to the outside, but you still maintain the center of balance. This is much easier physically and of course, allows you to go much faster and still maintain that critical center of balance. These are just two examples of common mistakes. But there are many more mistakes relating to the 55 Absolute Techniques of Motocross. No matter what your goals are relating to motocross, whether you're riding for fun, want to improve your results in local races or maybe you have your sights set on a Pro career, in order to ride well, you have to master all the fundamental techniques of motocross (a.k.a. the 55 absolute techniques of motocross). Most riders don't have the patience or know how to do this and end up putting the cart before the horse. They end up going out there and just trying too hard as they work their way around the track the best way they can. What ends up happening is they developed a lot of bad habits & techniques. If they ride with these poor techniques for too long, they getting deeper and deeper into their automatic reflex reactions. It's no wonder that the saying goes, "You can't teach and old dog new tricks." But, I have found that you can teach old dogs new tricks when you apply the proper strategies and methods to your practice time. This key ingredient is so important, why do you think the pros have to practice regularly? They like to be on the bike three or four days a week in order to practice all these basic techniques (55 absolute techniques of motocross). For them, these 55 techniques are automatic, but they still have to practice them regularly in order to keep them sharp. At this top pro level, there is a big difference. This big difference is that these riders already have the techniques ingrained into their natural riding style. That's another reason it's important to start relatively early in the sport, in order to go through that time where you can develop the proper riding style. Until you develop this natural riding style, your practice methods are going to have to be a lot different than the top pros and here lies one of the big mistakes; beginners and amateurs wanting to practice like the pros do. They want to go to the motocross track and start riding laps. Of course, this is how the pros practice most of the time, although they do practice some specific drills for individual techniques. And that is exactly what the beginners should be doing a lot more of, as they need to practice certain individual techniques separately. They need to compress their practice sessions into working with certain techniques in practice drills. In other words, breaking down all the techniques and practicing them separately in smaller chunks of techniques. I have found that this is by far the fastest, most efficient way to learn all the techniques of motocross. Of course, you can ride the entire track from time to time, but it's more important to practice in chunks of techniques while you're still learning all the techniques. So if you really want to improve your riding skills, learn the proper ways to practice. Physical conditioning. If you've spent any time on a motocross track, you know that it is very physical. But again, I see the cart getting placed before the horse many times in this scenario. You first have to be in good physical shape to expect to have fun riding motocross and especially if you want to get good results in even local races. So, save yourself a lot of heartache and humiliation by getting your body and mind in at least decent physical shape before throwing your leg over that motocross bike. The better your physical conditioning, the better you're going to be able to learn how to ride well. Most people hate fitness training. I have to admit, I never really liked it either when I was younger. I mean, of course I was very active when I was a child, but I didn't look at that like physical fitness training. It was just fun to play baseball, basketball, football, ride bicycles, horses, etc.... all that stuff was just fun. For most people, as you get older, get a job, have a girlfriend, have a family and acquire other responsibilities, adding physical fitness training to the mix can be a big chore. If it wasn't for professional motocross racing, I may have taken this route as so many do. But fortunately for me, I had to train in order to do well in my motocross career. I'd say, from ages 15 through 20, I was kind of hot and cold on fitness training and it was a big chore to that I didn't enjoy a bit. I still remember when I hit the age of 21, I made a commitment to do my training no matter what. Making that commitment and pushing myself through the workouts the first few months was very hard, but then I began to notice that it wasn't so hard anymore. Don't get me wrong, it was still very, very difficult physically. But mentally, it was starting to become easier and easier. Training had become a good habit. I believe that's what can happen for anyone who sticks with it. Your chemical make-up, your hormones and brain chemistry changes. The mind gets more and more accustomed to the pain that the body is feeling and begins to recognize it as a good pain, as a high. Your body and mind develop higher and higher levels of Endorphins. Endorphins are a drug and you do become addicted to them. Fortunately, this is a good drug, a healthy drug and it allows you to have a euphoric feeling from training. This is when training becomes a no-brainer, it's automatic and you want to do it. You crave the high that training gives you. Of course, to enjoy motocross as a fun hobby, you don't have to get to the addictive stage of your training. But you do have to be at least somewhat into training. So stop holding the couch down, get out and start moving, breathing and getting yourself in shape. Just become more active. Whether you're jogging, playing softball, going to a gym and training moderately or whatever you can do, you have to be doing something. Of course, riding motocross is the best thing you can do for your riding fitness, but as you know, that takes a lot more time, preparation and maintenance to ride more often. I would guess that most riders who are riding for a hobby only get to ride about once a week on average. If that's the case for you, at least do three more days of some type of exercise during the week. I am in no way a salesman. When I first stopped racing for a living, I tried being a sales rep for an aftermarket company and I only lasted two weeks. I'm just not the type of person that is going to talk people into what they need to buy. So, please don't take what I'm about to say like a sales pitch. It's just me being honest and trying to help people enjoy a motocross more. I've been doing motocross schools since 1985. By 1989, I became serious about it and ever since I've been doing it as a full-time business. Five years later (1990), I realized that I just couldn't reach enough people just teaching schools, so I had the idea to produce technique videos. At this time they were still VHS tapes. This way I could get out what I was teaching in my motocross school to the masses of riders. It was working so well that I kept production going and reached millions of riders around the world. If you already have some of my motocross technique DVDs or video streams, you understand how valuable they are. If you haven't already seen any of them, do yourself a favor and get at least one. You'll discover how much fun riding, racing and even training can be when you know how to do it right. I mean, really know how, knowing the most effective ways to improve. When you see and feel improvement, you will stay motivated and keep improving. Ever since I was 21 years old, I've been really into fitness training. Later on, I had the opportunity to train Jeremy McGrath for many years and many other top Pro riders with what I had learned from my own fitness training experience for motocross. Again, to reach the masses, I produced two MX Conditioning DVDs, both including Training and Nutrition Manuals. Here's a link to both of them. So, whether you're riding for fun, to improve your local race results or going for a Pro career, learn from my experience. I can save you a lot of heartache, humiliation and pain! Learn the most effective ways to improve your riding skills. See you at the races, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  21. Gary Semics

    Supercross Jumps

    Another Supercross season will be here before we know it so I thought it only fitting to have another lesson on Supercross riding techniques and this time to explain jumping. All the jumping that takes place in SX and especially those rhythm sections it truly is a thing of beauty and grace but when it goes wrong, it can get ugly real quick. Just like the whoops, the top SX riders make lap after lap doing all the combos of jumps look easy, but we know better, it’s a lot more difficult than it looks. SX jumping has definately become an art form. Jumping is one of the most important aspects of SX because you’re almost jumping the entire time. As soon as you land from one jump you’re taking off from another. If you’re not taking off as you land you’re setting up to take off in just a few feet. In this scenario there is not time for mistakes. So how do these racers make all this hop/skipping and jumping around these demanding SX tracks look so easy? Well, besides a good dose of talent, courage, practice and experience it does take the proper techniques, so let’s break it down and take a close look at them. All together there are six jumping techniques in SX and MX . Getting more height and distance. This technique causes you to get more height and distance in order to clear obstacles. Seat bouncing. Seat bouncing is used when you have a very short run at a jump and you still need a lot of height and distance. Slowing down and getting back on the ground fast. This technique keeps the airtime low and short. Jumping lower but still getting the distance. This technique is a big time saver on jumps that are easy to clear. Scrubbing keeps you low and also gets you back on the ground fast. Whipping. This technique is very similar to scrubbing as it also keeps the bike low, gets you back on the ground fast and can set you up better for the next corner or section. It also looks pretty cool. Rhythm jumps have to be executed from start to finish (take off to landing) perfectly. If not you won’t be able to continue jumping the rhythm section because your next jump depends on your landing. Takeoffs and landings have to be precise, you have to use your legs and body movements in order to help the compression and rebound for more height and distance or absorb the compression and rebound for a lower and/or shorter flight. You have to control the angle of the bike so you can land just how you want, with the front end high or low. You also have to control the clutch and throttle in order to deliver the exact amount of power to the rear wheel at exactly the right time. You have to look ahead early enough to see your landing just before you takeoff. If you can’t see it because the jump is blind you have to know exactly where it is from the previous laps. A tragedy of rhythm sections is getting your feet bucked off the footpegs. This usually happens because of coming up short and casing a landing. If this dredged mistakes happens the rear wheel will rebound violently and you will have to use all your body movement to the rear of the M/C; if that is not enough to even things out the next thing to go are your feet off the footpegs. This is a major problem because if you don’t get them back on the footpegs in record time you are going for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as you launch off the next jump by the seat of your pants. I would say that the on/off tabletops are the most difficult to master and the type of jump where all the above (A through E) are used to the limit. Sometimes when jumping up onto these on/off tabletops you have to use your legs and body movement to absorb the small jump just in front of the tabletop. This is so you can carry your speed up onto the table top and have enough speed in order to get all the way over the single jump just in front of the tabletop. Almost always in order to jump off the tabletop and over the single in front of it you have to really use your legs and body movement to help the compression and rebound. You have to really push down on the footpegs when the bike lands and then lift your weight out of the footpegs as the bike rebounds. At the same time the bike compresses you have to use the clutch and throttle in order to deliver a lot of power to the rear wheel so it will launch you off the tabletop. Talk about timing and control and it all happens in an instinct. Scrubbing and whipping it off jumps has become the new normal. Now a days all half descent riders are doing some sort of scrub or whip off just about every jump. I remember when I was training Ryan Villopoto when he was still on 85s I noticed he did a little whip off every jump. It wasn't a leaned over whip, it was just a hint of a whip. As he would go off a jump the bike would go a little sideways. Of course he would straighten it out for the landing. This wasn't just once in a while but on every jump, as long as the jump was relatively easy to clear. The only jumps he didn't do this cool trick off of was jumps where it was difficult to clear the landing. Here Ryan would help the compression and rebound and keep the bike straight. Even by age 13 it was effortless for RV to jump this way. Now at age 24 it's just as easy for him to do a full on scrub. Just like anyone Ryan had to start somewhere. Repetition is the mother of skill. If you do something enough your going to get good at it. If you’re a beginner or intermediate and want to improve your SX skills make sure you understand all the proper techniques, work on one section of the track at a time and don’t take any unnecessary chances, be consistent before you try to do more difficult sections. The popular Motocross Technique DVD Volume 3 Series has recently added 3 Jumping Technique DVDs; DVD 6 Basic Jumping Techniques. DVD 7 Seat Bouncing and Launching Techniques. DVD 8 Absorbing, Scrubbing and Whipping Techniques Or the second half of the VO3 Series Value Pack. Or the entire set of the VO3 Value Pack (8 DVD). Yes, even more options. Check out our Instant Access Video On Demand subscriptions. Keeping an attitude of gratitude, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.
  22. Gary Semics

    Mental Power, Part IV

    The first exercise is to notice your thoughts. Until you master this exercise you will tend to look at the world and yourself from your thoughts instead of looking at your thoughts. In other words you will tend to identify yourself with your thoughts instead of being a third party and looking at your thoughts. We are not our thoughts but most people follow their thoughts. Good or bad they are taken for a ride tied to their thoughts. It's like standing by a road, a car goes by and you attach yourself to the bumper being dragged along by the car. Instead you could remain on the side of the road and watch the car go by just as you could watch your thoughts come and go. So the first step is to watch your thoughts as a third party. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Just observe your thoughts and don't judge, compare, analyze, try to change or decide if the thoughts are true or false, just observe them. If you're like I was you will be very surprised at what you experience and how different you will see yourself and the world. You will learn a control of yourself you never thought possible. But this control will only come with continued practice. For example, if something or someone makes you angry, if you're like I was you would follow those angry thoughts and become more angry. You might say or do something you later will regret. But if you stay detached from your thoughts you won't get sucked in deeper. You can just remove yourself from the situation. This relates to what I talked about earlier. To focus and be aware of things you can be grateful for and love or at least like. How can you do that if you're constantly being dragged along by whatever thoughts happen to come into your mind? You always have a choice to follow the thoughts you want. It all works together. Your thoughts lead to how you feel, your feelings not only lead to what you do and don't do but the frequency you're on (like a radio frequency whether positive or negative) will attract more of the same into your life, which leads to the reality that manifests into your life. Legendary Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard said; You have to think you're going to win, you have to know you're going to win and you have to feel you're going to win. I believe the same goes for motocross. That's why racing legends like; McGrath, Carmichael, Reed, Stewart, Dungey, Canard and Villopoto have done so well. Once they win they believe and feel they can win and continue to do so. Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is loosing. Belief - "He can who thinks he can and he who thinks he can't, can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law". (Orison Swett Marden) Belief - "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right". (Henry Ford) Belief - "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today". Belief - "The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you belief 100%". (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  23. Does Your Pee Wee Rider Have A Million Dollar Future? Advice for Parents With top riders in motocross now earning four, five, and six million dollar salaries riding for motorcycle manufacturers and a lot of outside the industry sponsors, it’s easy for parents to start thinking their son could be the next motocross sensation. Most motocross kids will not grow up and achieve the stellar success of a Ricky Carmichaels or Bubba Stewart. But some young riders, although not quite destined for superstar status, may have the potential to make a very respectable living racing motocross and supercross. How can a parent determine if a child has what it takes to do well in the sport of professional motocross/supercross? And what steps should parents take if their child seems to have the necessary talent and determination to make it into the pro ranks? The first way to judge whether a child has pro potential is if he or she can’t get enough of it, they just absolutely love to be on the bike. If the child wants to ride all the time and go to every race, that’s a key indicator. On the other hand, if he frequently tells you he doesn’t feel like riding and wants to skip races, then you know he’s missing an important ingredient for success in the sport. The second sign to watch for is competitiveness. A child happy just to joy ride will probably not develop professional level skills. He’s got to have the desire to race and test his ability and challenge other riders. You’re not going to know for sure whether your child really has pro potential until just before adolescence, around 10 to 12 years of age. Up until then, they might not seem very good. But by 12, their talent, if present, should be plainly visible. A young rider destined for the pros will be constantly progressing in his skills. You’ll see a steady improvement in his riding and racing throughout the season. But if he stays at the same level for a whole season, unless there’s a problem with the bike or track time, it could be a sign that he’d make a better doctor than a professional rider. Parents who spot potential in their child should arrange to let him have lots of track time. He should be riding at least three days a week and racing on the weekends, almost every weekend. Three practices a week where he’s getting at least an hour and a half of actual seat time. That’s the minimum to be able to progress and make improvement. Parents spotting talent in their child should bring in a professional instructor as soon as possible. After the child has been riding for at least four or five months and has the basics down then he should start getting some instruction before he develops bad habits. It’s important that the instructor be properly qualified so the rider isn’t getting the wrong information. Even though getting an early start is an advantage, parents and riders shouldn’t give up professional aspirations if the child is introduced to the sport at a very young age. Ideally, the rider will have started by at least age 11 or 12. But Jeremy McGrath didn’t start riding and racing until he was fourteen, although Jeremy was competitive in BMX before that time. And John Dowd really didn’t get into steady racing until he was 20 or 21. Although these are two exceptions to the norm, it does prove it’s still possible to reach the top without a very early start. So it basically comes down to this: If a rider’s going to be good, he’s going to be good. If he’s not, he’s not. He either has the potential or he doesn’t. If he does have the potential he has to consistently hone and polish that potential. If he doesn’t have that God gifted talent, well there’s nothing you, he or anyone else can do about it. Sure he or she can still be competitive and have some success and fun racing but in order to make it to the top that miracle of talent will have to be in their arsenal. My advice to parents who think their kids might have what it takes to go pro is to provide the child with plenty of opportunity to ride and learn – but don’t force him. This is where many parents make a mistake. They get more interested in riding and racing than their child, and force him onto the track to be competitive when the kid himself isn’t really into it. If the child himself doesn’t want to get out there three or four times a week, then that’s an indication he doesn’t have the necessary interest in the sport to do well. You want to see how much the rider himself is driven to ride and just go from there. I hope this helps. Keeping an attitude of gratitude, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you'd like to know more about giving your youngster the best advice to ride better, safer and have the best chance to succeed get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate his riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.
  24. Motocross rhythm jumps are all about carrying speed and staying low. Don't be caught slowing down between the jumps and wasting time in the air. Understand it, be able to do it correctly and then do it correctly through repetition! That is the key to learning anything new. The two main techniques in this video tip get the job done. For more info on rhythm jumps and Scrubbing and Whipping click here. Click "follow this blog" in the upper right corner to get an email notice when I post a new blog.
  25. Hey, do you want to ride better? I'm sure that you do! Doesn't everyone, especially C and B riders? Most riders don't understand the ins and outs about how to learn to ride better. They expect too much, too soon. They are limiting their improvement by going to the track and trying to figure things out while riding laps. The problem is, they keep making the same technical mistakes over and over again, reinforcing bad habits. I understand that by the time you start your engine, you're raring to go! You don't want to be patient and slowly start learning new techniques. You can hardly wait to go out there and put out your best effort, getting your fix, right? Well, that may be the most fun, but by doing so, you are putting the buggy in front of the horse. In order to really improve, you should have a strategy in mind before your start that engine. Depending on where you're riding, do you have to ride the entire track? Can you do sections? Or is there some practice drill areas such as a turn track, oval or figure 8? Even if you have to do laps, you should have one or two techniques in mind that you're going to stay aware of and practice. Instead of me listing examples, let me just say that this could be one or two of the 55 Absolute Techniques of Motocross found in the Motocross Practice Manual 2nd Edition. Okay, okay...I'll give you a few examples: "The 3-step rear braking techniques" (this is braking while standing, going from standing to sitting and then back onto the foot peg or out for the corning to begin exiting the corner). Using the front brake until you begin to exit the corner. How how far you're looking ahead. If you're on the balls of your feet or the arches and when you should be on either. Weighting the outside foot peg through a flat corner. Whether you're pre-loading the suspension or absorbing the jump. And on and on... There are 55 Absolute Techniques you know! Now, if you're in a Gung-ho kind of mood because you just came from the office and was stuck in traffic, then sure, go right out there and do some laps to release some stress. But once you've got yourself calmed down and the frontal lobe of your brain is reactivated, get to your practice strategies. Through my over 25 years of teaching motocross lessons to all skill levels, I have found ways to get even the hardest learners to do many of the proper techniques in a matter of a few hours. And, this is in groups of 10 to 15 riders. How? By braking the technique down more and more until they could finally do at least the beginning of a technique properly. I'll use an example of the "3 step rear braking technique" mentioned earlier. I would say this is one of the techniques that I have taught the most over all those years and it has benefited the most riders. So let's say that I have 12 beginner riders on an oval track where I'm teaching this technique. They are suppose to accelerate down the straight while standing, then, as soon as they shut the throttle off, they have to start braking hard with both front and rear brakes and continue braking until they get a quarter way into the corner. Then they need to go from standing to sitting (while still controlling the rear brake) and continue braking like this until they are at the apex of the oval turn. At this critical "transition" part of the corner, go from braking to accelerating by simultaneously letting go of the brakes and getting on the clutch and throttle. Here's the process that would occur. After we have already tried the oval with just a verbal explanation which was a very unsuccessful regarding doing it correctly. Then we put all the bikes on their stands and spend more than a half hour practicing all the movements of this technique to the point that they could all do it correctly with this stationary practice method. Then it's back to the oval. I would put them out in 2 groups, in this case, 6 at a time. Most of the time none of the riders would be doing it correctly. What??? How could this be? They could all do it correctly in the stationary practice drill. It's like once the engine starts their brains disconnect from their bodies, like they can't think. Welcome to the world of a Motocross Instructor! After much more critiquing of each rider, I could usually get 3 or 4 riders doing it correctly. Maybe several more were about half way correct, like they were using the rear brake properly when they were sitting down only. But, all the other riders weren't even close. Then I'd have the one or two guys who would never even touch the rear brake while standing and just very briefly while sitting. After more and more critiquing of these last one or two riders, we would have to move on to other techniques. It would just seem impossible for them to do it right. Nothing I could demonstrate, explain and rehearse in a stationary drill would put them over this deer in headlights, non-learning fog. I'd finally have to tell them to keep working at it and they'd get it and we'd move on. This was up until 2010 when I discovered how to dissect the techniques into even smaller and smaller bite size pieces. Now, even with the hard learners, I had the tools to enable them to do these techniques correctly. Here's an example of breaking the "3 step rear braking techniques" down further. I would set a cone up on a straightaway of the oval. The cone would be where they would shut the throttle off and begin braking (rear brake only) while standing with their body weight back. I would also let them cheat by pulling the clutch in and locking up the rear brake. I mean come on, if you can't do this, you never even riddent a bicycle and you shouldn't be on a dirt bike! Thank goodness, they must have all ridden bicycles. I have never had a rider who couldn't do this. Once they all did this drill enough, I'd put another part of the technique into the same drill. I would have them do the same, but not pull the clutch in. This taught them how hard they could brake without killing the engine. The next drill was to do the same as step one, while sitting instead of standing. Then it was the same while leaving the clutch out. Finally, the drill was to do the entire technique of braking while standing to sitting, still in a straight line. After enough practice, they were ready to do it on the oval into the corner. Sure, not all of them could do it correctly all the time (or even most of the time) but, all of them got a good feel for it at least a few times. Once they felt it, they knew it well enough to keep practicing it correctly. If not for these few hours, they would have ridden for the entire season or longer not even using the rear brake correctly. I have always said and I'll say it again. A rider has to master all the basic techniques of motocross in order to really improve. So whether you have just come from the office, having been stuck in traffic, the construction site, school or even the gym, practice smartly. Build a good foundation, a building platform of all the proper riding techniques. Confidence - "What I do is prepare myself until I know I can do what I have to do in the game." (NFL Quarterback legend Joe Namath) Courage - "Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks." (unknown) Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer Add text into TT blogs. If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg. Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.