During 2014 I was introduced to Anthony Kirwan and Talan Skeels-Piggins and the newly formed motorcycle race team, Talan Racing. Talan was returning to racing from a pretty major crash at Assen in 2013 and I was asked if I might be able to help with the psychology and performance development of the team.
Given such an opportunity, how could I refuse? So I helped the team out a bit and together we achieved some very good results, with Talan's performance showing consistent improvement. I was then asked if I might work with the team for this season, 2015, as they had some new riders coming onboard and they wanted my continued support. Naturally, I agreed.
What is so remarkable about this team?
'Talan Racing is the world's first privately funded disabled motorcycle race team' which currently consists of two riders who are paraplegic, Talan and Steve and one rider who has an above knee amputation, Louis. Added to this, Steve and Louis are complete racing rookies.
In the motorcycle racing world this puts them in a very special place and I think it demands a particular kind of approach to performance coaching. I will be writing more about my experiences and the principles of work applied throughout the season, not in terms of disclosing the content of the personal conversations I have with the racers, but more about discussing the themes that appear as part of the process. These themes will be just as applicable to any able bodied racer and I'm sure many of them will also be of value to anyone looking to enhance their performance in any area of their life.
The purpose of this post is to introduce this assigment and to express how excited and honoured I am to be involved in this amazing (ad)venture. It is a mutual relationship because not only does the team benefit but for me as a psychological coach, it represents an unprecedented opportunity for my own learning, development and growth, bringing with it some very unique challenges and providing some amazing rewards. It also allows me to blend two things I am passionate about - motorcycle racing and rehabilitation. On a personal level, it helps my own rehabiliation for my balance disorder too.