Ping discusses what it takes to be a motocross trainer, how the 2021 season will go, and how his career would have been different if he had stayed in Montana.

@PING is brought to you by Troy Lee Designs, Eks BrandVP Racing Fuels, and SKDA.


Want to get your advice of how to break into performance training in the elite motocross community. I’m an S&C coach and Sport Scientist with 4 trophies in pro sport to my name in those roles, on the pathway to a PhD with one of the top 20 schools in the world and I do actually ride moto, so I grasp it well. Many times, people in moto when they hear my background eyes glaze over and then crickets or, more commonly, I’ve experienced, people think that my professional credentials and education simply don’t matter to anything moto because, how could I know anything if I didn’t race pro. 

So, I’m curious for your advice because my end goal (aside from MX and SX titles) is to publish research in motocross that I can freely share to everyone so that the entire moto community can benefit from it and help kids stay in and be successful in school while still being competitive in moto. 

Thanks Ping



You need to get your foot in the door with a rider or team. Do you know any riders or team members? You might need to volunteer some time to build some street cred... A factory team isn’t just going to bring you in because you have a degree. Start out either working under another established trainer or do some pro-bono work to establish your reputation. One thing that needs to be clarified is that there is a big difference between a trainer and a riding coach. Former racers make great riding coaches because they have been there and done it. But there isn’t one former pro I know of that can explain the physiological reason why they do certain exercises. Their answer would be, “Because that’s what I did and it worked.” That isn’t an acceptable answer and on it’s face it shows their lack of understanding of body types and training personalization. There are a couple great trainers in the sport that are classically trained… Robb Beams and Charles Dao come to mind. But there are far more who have zero formal education in the field they are trying to work, and that is disturbing. Best of luck. 


Hey Ping,

Watched a documentary on the California fires of 2020...serious stuff! Leaving home and family for a long time to go work that hard in those conditions, wish I could send y'all some Alabama rain! In our "new world" and with the new supercross schedule, is there concern about the trucks and teams being in the downtown area of these big cities for such a long time? Will they move the trucks out and bring them back or stay in the danger zone for that long? The wheelie boyz need new stuff and a 250k factory foe-fiddy would look good on the streets! Also, only 20k fans at 10:30 pm leaving vs. 60k is something to think about as well (stay with the herd). It's back to racing and I am thankful to all who made it happen... I just learned from 2020 how to complain and find something wrong with everything, sorry.




The wildland fires have been nuts out here and it can keep us away from home for weeks; tough but necessary work. And I’ll take that rain for suppression purposes and for some riding in the hills! I’m not sure what they will do this year, but at Salt Lake last year, and in the past, they put fencing around the pits and hired security guards. There have been cases of theft over the years, proving that having Paul Blart on duty is no guarantee. Who would have guessed? Hopefully, with the additional days that the trucks will stay in place, there will be beefed-up security. And, frankly, in some urban areas I’d be scared to walk to my vehicle without a firearm on me, so I agree that fans should be careful. If you have a CCW, it might be a good idea. If not, find a friend who does. Despite the lunacy of 2020, life is good… don’t forget that. And I think this year is going to be amazing. Trust me. 



What was it like when you left Montana motocross and went on to bigger and better things?

Steve M.


Well, I was ten years old, so I didn’t have a lot of say in the matter. When my folks split up, I went with my dad to Arizona with the promise that I would be able to ride year-round. Looking back, I can’t imagine how hard that was for my mom, but it did set my life path in a good direction. I get asked often if I think I would have made it had I stayed in Montana. I honestly don’t think it would be possible. The weather keeps you off the bike for months and there isn’t enough competition to prepare you for a career in the sport. I spent nine years in Scottsdale and we probably made 100 trips to California in that time. While I could stay on the bike all year in AZ, it was the time spent racing against the best riders in my class, most of whom lived in California, that honed my skills. I don’t want to discourage riders with professional aspirations living up north, but this is reality. 


Do you have burning questions that need answering? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns.


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