I want to share with you my five most important gate start components that I take into consideration while coaching my Olympic caliber riders. These components come from my Faster First Straight DVD.
#1- THE GOAL OF AN EFFECTIVE STARTING POSITION
While in the starting position, getting to the drive acceleration position effectively is the goal. Keep in mind once you start moving from the starting position that you’re immediately beginning and are in the Drive Acceleration Phase.
#2- THE FIRST MOVEMENT RULE
When you see that green light that your first movement is leading with the head and shoulders forward and they stay there in the next phase of acceleration.
#3- BODY MECHANICS EFFECT YOUR ACCELERATION
Body mechanics and positioning while accelerating is important for two reasons-
Delivering effective force to the pedals
Limiting time delay between the right and left pedal strokes
#4- TRAIN FOR QUALITY MECHANICS
It’s important that the rider learns the proper technique AND train the proper technique. Learning an improper technique will develop bad habits that will be hard to overwrite through correction.
#5- CORE STRENGTH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STRENGTH
Keeping the body forward with shoulders over handlebar grips with the upper body angle between 30-45 degrees will ensure the majority of the body weight is on top of the pedal and each pedal stroke. If the body is too tall and behind the bars, the rider will be out of position and the next pedal stroke will be either delayed, underpowered or both. It is critical for the trunk area of the body to be tight and strong. This is a factor of holding the upper body in the drive acceleration position.
I hope that these basics may improve your riding, helping you to be even more competitive at your next race. Practice safely and good luck.
Coach Greg Romero
Founder of BMXTraining.com