PAY ATTENTION TO YOURSELF– IF YOU DON’T WHO WILL?
You are generally the last person to know something about yourself. Riders can let the most obvious things go by unnoticed–sometimes it’s because of ego, sometimes it’s because they just aren’t paying attention.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY
Pain exists for a reason. If you have a physical problem week after week, take my advice: do something about it! Don’t be afraid of doctors. If you are getting tired, try adjusting your training. If you are getting weak, try adjusting your diet. If you are getting arm pump, try a different training routine involving your arms. If you see anything happening time and time again, sit down and think about the problem and try a solution. Even if the solution is wrong, at least you can rule it out and go on to something else.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MIND
To perform at your highest level, it’s important that you are happy. More promising careers are cut short because of bad attitude than because of bad riding. If you do everything else right, if you train perfectly, practice constantly and eat right and then show up on race day unhappy because you had a fight with your girlfriend, you aren’t going to do well. The trouble is, you might not know why you did poorly. At some point you might also discover that the fire is gone. You might not have the drive to win that you once had. Then it’s time to figure out why. Has it stopped being fun? Then do what it takes to make it fun again, even if it means a big change in your routine or even your goals.
LOOK AT YOUR RESULTS OBJECTIVELY
Sometimes you can’t see your performances objectively unless you look at yourself as someone else would. Look at the races where you have done well.
What do they have in common? Look at the races where you have done poorly. What do they have in common? You might suddenly discover that you do well under pressure or that you do poorly when your friends come out to watch you. When you recognize a pattern or a problem, you are 90% closer to fixing it.
CHOOSE THE PEOPLE YOU SPEND TIME WITH
Winners hang around winners, and losers hang around losers. If you suddenly notice that you are the only one in your group who has goals and ambitions, then frankly, they are dragging you down. A lack of ambition is contagious. Pretty soon you will think you are achieving something just because you are achieving more than they are.
Look at some of the best racers and you will find that their friends were other great racers. Rick Johnson and Jeff Stanton were roommates for a while, Johnny O’’Mara and David Bailey inspired one another. When I was racing, one of my closest friends was Eddy Merckx, the bicycle racer. His accomplishments helped push me higher. It doesn’t matter what they do for a living; good friends can be a source of support and encouragement. Whatever you do, stay away from drugs and alcohol. If you think you can handle that stuff and do well in motocross, you are just fooling yourself.
DON’T MAKE EXCUSES
Everyone wants to make excuses to some degree. It’s only natural. There is, however, real danger in making excuses so often that you rely on them. The worst that can happen is you might start believing your own excuses. That prevents a rider from exploring the real reason behind a poor performance. You see it all the time: a rider will get a good start and struggle to keep riders behind him. When they all go by, he pulls off the track complaining about shock fade. Sure, the bike might have been kicking around, but that was only because he was riding over his head. The sad part is that everyone will know it except the rider himself. If you resist the urge to make excuses, then you can defeat real demons, not make-believe ones.