A great indicator of the health of a sport is how many kids are participating in it. Little athletes grow up to be big athletes and that means a steady stream of new people to keep the sport growing.
With the creation of NICA and several other kid-centered mountain biking programs we have more kids than ever taking up riding as a sport. Which is great, because it means that the future of our sport is looking better than ever.
However, as more and more kids get into mountain biking – especially competitively – it is important to address some of the unique things that kids bring to the table. As we all know, they are not just “small adults” and are instead going through periods of physical development that need to be considered.
One of the most important areas that this needs to be considered is when looking at when a kid should start using clipless pedals. And while this is a relatively new question for mountain biking, the world of BMX has been struggling with this question for a long time.
My colleague Jake Stephenitch specializes in strength and conditioning programs for BMX and has worked with a lot of kids. He’s had to answer this question a lot in his career and last week he posted a great article with the advice he gives to parents.
I really like Jake’s approach because he really gets that it isn’t about which system is “better” but instead is about the best application for both flats and clipless pedals. If you deal with kids that ride or just want to know how to advise people if the question comes up be sure to check out this post.
I’m going to get Jake on a future podcast to go over his take on this subject and how he trains kids to riding. Even though he coaches BMX he rides some MTB as well and I’m looking forward to learning more about how he looks at his improving performance on the bike.
Until next time…
MTB Strength Training Systems