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Skill Development
(Make It FUN)

By: James R. Davis


Here is the problem:

You are the safety officer for your chapter of the XYZ Riders Group and you have observed that many members of the group have inadequate riding skills. Say, for example, that many of them are ‘wobbly’ at slow speeds, some cannot make a slow speed turn without going very wide, braking skills are marginal (usually involving over-use of the rear brake), and some don’t seem to understand the value of group riding discipline.

What can you do about it when you cannot get them to participate in either an advanced MSF class or chapter sponsored practice sessions?

Suggestion:

Announce that there will be an annual GAMES EVENT in which winners of various categories of game events will receive chapter awards of some kind. Then, tell the group that in order that WE don’t embarrass ourselves in front of our friends or significant others that you will host several GAME EVENT practice sessions throughout the year that will give everyone a chance to learn some tips & techniques for WINNING the various events.

Describe the event categories you plan to host (such as ‘Slow Ride’, ‘Tightest Turn From A Dead Stop’, ‘Cone Avoidance (swerves)’, ‘Shortest Distance Stop’, and/or ‘Road Captain Leadership’) and make plans to provide those skill practice sessions accordingly.

Now your job becomes keeping the group interested in the GAMES EVENT and awards while your EFFORT becomes planning and hosting the practice sessions.

It is my belief that you will get participation in the practice sessions as a result, which is your real goal, and everybody works toward a fun and COMPETITIVE GAMES EVENT.

In other words, practice and skill improvement should become fun and desirable instead or ‘work’ and if you use a bit of redirection to accomplish that objective, well who would complain?

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

     
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