When you are just 3, 4 or 5 years old, focusing on a task can be difficult.
It may be an advantage if coaches/minders are constantly in touch with the rider. This way you can help keep the focus.
It is a matter of constantly making little motivational comments, praising and applauding desired behavior. In that way, it is no different from regular parenting.
However, it can be a little stressful, constantly running next to the rider, and even though the small electric machines are not very noisy, you will still need to raise your voice a little.
There are plenty of benefits.
For a while, I had been looking at a Bluetooth motorcycle communication system we had laying around.
Eventually, I pulled myself together and installed one part in the rider’s helmet and the other part in an old pair of hearing protection. In the beginning, it was only meant as a test, but it quickly turned out that our son loved the fact that we now had 2-way communication.
It has proved to be a huge advantage to be able to constantly motivate, encourage, and give praise. I can advise him about when to get on the gas and when to brake. We are not yet at a level where we talk about which lines to ride, but the voice of a father (or mother) in the ear gives you a little more courage to do some things you might not dare otherwise.
At the same time, it gives the rider the opportunity to ask a question – which often happens!
Even though as a trainer/minder I NEVER let the rider out of my sight, the communication system also provides freedom. Now, I don’t need to stand/run right next to the motorcycle. While it gives me freedom, it also gives the rider some freedom.
The range of about 50-75 meters in the woods is more than sufficient for training purposes.
However, there are also disadvantages of using a communication system – aside from looking a little silly in a headset while walking around the woods. You have to think hard about how much information you give the rider. It is very easy to talk constantly, thus causing “information overload”.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that communication systems are not allowed in “adult” motorcycle races at the time of this writing. This means that a time will come when the rider must be weaned off the communication system.
Find a format that suits you.
It is easy to install the rider’s headset in the helmet. However, it is a whole different thing when it comes to the headset of the minder/coach. We tried different options before settling on installing the coach’s part in a hearing protection set (ala Formula1 or MOTOGP). Alternatives included using a boom mike (old-fashioned phone headset), a cord phone set like the kind you know from your mobile phone, a helmet mount, or something completely different – your imagination is the limit.
Find what works for you and experience the benefits.
We have to say it was a success, and we will probably keep the communication system in the future. Since it is a Bluetooth system purchased in China, the price is also low enough to be affordable for everyone.