Motocross session

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Budding motocross stars had the chance to learn from a highly successful former motocross rider at a special training session last Friday at Titri Park above Waihola
Josh Coppins, who came second in the 2005 MX1 world championship, coached a group of youngsters from the Mosgiel District Motorcycle Club. Coppins said the hardest thing about learning to ride a motorbike for children was patience. “They all want to go fast. They don’t want to take the time to learn how to execute it. My focus is smooth, safe and fast.”
Coaching was important to curb bad habits and give children the tools they needed to become better riders, Mr Coppins said. The sport, unlike team sports such as rugby, often lacked a formal coaching structure, Mr Coppins said. “In motocross, kids seem to just go for a hoon and put the bike on the trailer and as long as they’re happy, parents are happy. There needs to be more structure and consideration into how to go faster and what to do to be better rather than just cruise around.” Some potential bad habits were slipping the clutch and dragging the brakes, which felt fast but did not translate into real speed, Coppins said.
A big appeal of motorcycle riding was the sense of freedom it gave the rider, he said.
“The adrenaline’s a little bit higher because you’re on the bike. You’re not in a cage or a harness, you’re a bit more free and loose on the bike and that brings more of a thrill to it.”
Another feature which attracted children to motocross was “the jumps”.
“If you talk about the kids, they always say the jumps.”
Mosgiel District Motorcycle Club rider Jack Saxton, who has been riding for about a year, said he had learned “heaps” from Coppins and the coaching session was an “unbelievable” opportunity.