Recruiting youngsters- why bother?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Aranesp, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. Aranesp

    Aranesp New Member

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    Recruitment is an axiom that is one of the strongest alibies you can use in any discussion in any organ having anything rudimentary to do with biking. The chairman of a bike team I used to ride for (a former euro-pro), used this trick ever so often when building contact with local politicians. And on every possible occation, he would have media, kids and politicians gathered for the first part of a race weekend, usually culiminating in an E1 category MTB race. Although he was as slick and cunning as you can get, I gotta give it to him- youngster-recruitment is a politically correct slogan that sells like hot shit. If you are afraid of local trails closing in front of you, forget about health issues, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, etc, just push your offspring in front of you- the most legitimate argument you can ever use if you wanna achieve something.

    But I am no politician, and I don't work in the human resource department, so I don't give a damn about fraternizing, nor do I have to buy into this crap. Stop and think. Why is it that important to get kids into cycling? Let's look at a few myths:

    a) If no recruitment, cycling as a sport will die.
    Answer: Bullshit. Where I live, people in categories 30-50 sign up like crazy 12 months in advance to participate in boring mountainbike-marathons mainly on fire roads and gravel!! As long as there is money to gain from such arrangements- they will exist.

    b) It is important to make kids pick up cycling, for health reasons.
    Answer: Again, this is bullshit. Cycling is not the only endurance sport you can participate in for a health benefit, but it is one of the most cost-intensive. Besides, to compete in cycling as a kid, you need to lay down a lot of training hours- a lot more than is needed to achieve most of epidemiologically documented preventive health effects. As for becoming a pro, you need to be in a small percentile range of the most talented to become a pro, and if you don't succeed, it was all for nothing!!

    Bottom line: is there any reason at all (besides using it as a stray man argument for your own competition needs, daddy) to push kids into racing? From my point of wiev, there is none.
     
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  2. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    This isn't an argument against youth cycling... In ANY sport, the chance of a person becoming a pro is a very small percentage.

    In youth sports, most coaches know it isn't about making a pro... It is about fun and nurturing a love of the sport, whatever that sport may be.

    Do you see the competitive activities in your youth as wasted because you are not a pro? I was never a pro, but I look back fondly at my time playing soccer.

    One person I coached baseball with said it best, "We are here to make baseball fans". If cycling had similar outlets for the youth of the nation, then we would probably see good coverage of bicycling as a sport beyond the TdF and X-Games.
     
  3. baj32161

    baj32161 New Member

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    There's cycling in the X-Games;) :D ?
     
  4. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

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    Who's pushing kids into racing? Parent who are living vicariously through their children?
    My son rides because he loves to. He's very competitive yet has no interest in racing. Is there a group pushing kids into racing? I've never seen it.

    Aranesp, I don't understand where you're going with your rant.
     
  5. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    Well there are events with equipment that looks like miniature bicycles... or am I thinking about something else?

    :D

    The thing is I find myself watching some of those events, even though I have no interest in people using bicycles as skate boards... but, it is the closest thing I can find to cycling on American tv. :eek:
     
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