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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  • profeshenal125

    1/20/2021 10:18 PM

    Hey Ping ever do any ice riding ? I know it sounds lame, but it,s pretty fun. Make turn tracks out in the bay or figure 8,s. A windy creek 5 or 6 th gear, burn a tank with out sitting. You get a great feel for the bike. Remember DeHoop said how much he improved, by ice riding. I agree 2021 will be awesome. Any plans for summer ? I suggest Wi. Dells America,s largest water parks, horse rides, zip lines, etc the 1st rail to bicycle trail in Elroy, easy trails for kids 3 long dark tunnels. Best camping in the country, dells area, western Wi. Northern, Door county. The most scenic lakes in the country. I,ve been in Ca. Since Sunday, out of hours in Barstow. Monday had my trailer repaired- beat ass roads.I have a pal, that’s a broker with the 2nd largest trucking co in the world. I told him find me a load out of Ca. For teus. I should be unloaded by 12.00. Talked with my dispatcher, about the setup, they know and like each other. Still no load teus, , late wed, got a Fresno to bay point. No loads leaving Cal. Is the word, very strange. The word is corvid 19 has Ca. Locked down. Jersey or nyc to Ca. There is rocks painted spelling Trump 800 feet long, school bus on a bus painted Trump, etc crazy time consuming show of support. Not a single Biden sign even. I didn’t trust what I heard , so I got a 1099 job with a Serbian co from Chicago. I,m setup as a scorp, 2,943.58 last check, 1 week, not bragging. I,m sure most checks will not be that big. Feels great making 90,s money again. a lot of people want to give up, if you stay the course what happens may surprise you. Ps all the Serbian and Bulgarian chics at my co, are super beautiful, very driven, very respectful, smart , hard workers. I feel blessed.
  • profeshenal125

    1/17/2021 10:12 PM

    Another Great pic. That,s all I have to say. And going back to Cali. Cali. Got another hazmat load delivering to Ca. Nice to see dry roads. Driving in snow 1 day, freezing drizzle 2 days, blizzard, next 2 states snow with high winds, 65 mph gust. My biceps are 2 inches bigger, I think. I40 in cal. Small 4-5 hr delay, from a a truck rear ended hard enough to break his trailer in half, apples everywhere. 2 funny Ca. Women pretending to raise there shirts for a hooter shot. Was the entertainment for the day. I agree riders living in the north, any who qualified for a big pro race. Usually went south for the winter. Some didn,t , but they raced arenacross the whole winter and made some good money. Chad Johnson from northern Wi. Trained with Jr Jackson in IL. ,jr was making come back in 98. Chad was 125 b, 250 b team green. No I didn,t beat him. Wyatt Liebeck 2nd in the last 125 all star race, almost won it. Mini,o s got a 5 th in 450a, he trains at club mx. Rides in wi. Some.
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