- AJ Ciampa
"I'll just start tomorrow."
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Waiting to start training? Think that there is a perfect time to begin making changes? Let's address this now!
Why do we as people constantly put things off until later? Getting in shape. Eating better. Quitting smoking. The longer we put these things off, the longer it will take to reach our goals.
Start. Right. Now. Not tomorrow. Not later today. Now!
If we want to improve, if we want things to change, to get better, we have to start as soon as possible. We have to start now.
Riding a motorcycle is no different!
How can we expect our riding to improve if we are not doing anything about it? When was the last time we got some professional training? When was the last time we got on a bike with the plan to work on a specific technique? Are we working to improve off the bike as well as on it?
All of us can improve our riding. Period. Marquez, Rossi, Dovi...they are all constantly working to improve their ability to ride safer, faster, more efficient, more relaxed, more focused. They work on improving their riding and themselves every day. But more importantly, they do not wait. If they identify an area where they can improve, they work on it.
How do we begin?
Set a goal. It can be a simple goal: "I want to hit every apex this lap". Or it can be lofty goal: "I want to be the next World Superbike Champion!" Both are excellent goals. But they won't just happen. The goal needs a path. This path is made up of steps. At some point we have to execute those steps. We have to start. I won't get into the details of setting and reaching goals right now. I will be covering that later. The key is that we start this process as soon as possible. Set a goal. Have a plan. Execute.
Keep it simple. Choose just one aspect of your riding that you need to work on. This can be something you can do on or off the bike. Need to work on body position? Go sit on your bike in the garage with a camera or mirror in front of you. Need to work on engaging your eyes better? The next time you roll out on track, focus specifically on how you are using your eyes. Just don't wait. Do!
But I don't have a goal yet...
Whenever possible, we always want to start with a goal. But sometimes we might not have decided on a goal, or maybe we are trying to re-evaluate what our goal should be. How do we know what to improve if we don't have something to drive towards? If we don't know what our path looks like?
Start with your fundamentals. We can always be improving on our fundamentals. As you start working with qualified coaches, they will help you identify what your priorities should be, but at any time, we can always be improving on our fundamentals. MotoGP, WSBK, and MotoAmerica Champions are constantly working on their fundamentals. Yes, they can execute these fundamentals at a much higher degree than we can...but that's because they work SO HARD ON THEM!!!
Fundamentals. Eyes, brakes, body, apexes, direction, smoothness, focus...pick one. Work on it.
Do. Execute. Right now. Yes...NOW! Finish reading this, close your laptop, put your phone down...take a step towards improving something.
The more time we spend repeating old processes, the more we build muscle memory around those processes and the harder it becomes to break those habits.
Set a goal. Build a plan. Execute. Now.
"If we want to make a change..we have to make a change!" - Kyle Wyman
(Did I say "now" enough times? Sinking in yet? ;-)