OUR PRIORITIES – SAFETY / RESPECT / FUN
At Big Picture Cycling, we recognize the responsibility we take on when coaching a junior athlete. The junior years of an athlete’s career lay the foundation for their future, and a coach’s role in these years can hinder or develop an athlete’s love for their sport and potential as an adult.
Our training plans for junior athletes are the same for every athlete: individualized. We recognize the need to mold and adjust each plan depending on each stage of development an athlete is in, no matter what the age or gender. We recognize the physical, mental, and emotional changes that take place between the ages of 8 to 18 years old, and understand the steps we need to take during these changes to help develop each athlete. We also focus on technical skills, and safety on the bike, and emphasis the rules and etiquette of each discipline.
Not only is a junior athlete’s physical development important to us at Big Picture Cycling, but their personal development as well. We focus heavily on aspects such as sportsmanship, moral reasoning, fairness, and respectful behavior. We do not teach “winning-is-everything”, and do not tolerate cheating, bullying, intentionally injuring another rider, or faking an injury. We encourage athletes to be the best athlete they can, on each day, and use each situation to teach lessons that will develop them into not only better athletes, but better people.
We also recognize that in working with a junior athlete, we are also coaching parents. We welcome a parent’s involvement in the sport with their child, but we also encourage parents to be mindful that their words weigh heavy on their children. We encourage parents to have open communication with their child’s coach, but to also respect the relationship and boundaries set, and allow their child to develop as an athlete and individual. We recognize the correlation between overbearing parents, and an athlete’s poor performance, and we strive to teach parents how and when to step back and allow their child to excel. We encourage you to be a good listener and a great encourager to your child, win or lose.
All our coaches are certified in SafeSport, and have a zero-tolerance policy for athletes, parents, or coaches who break any code of conduct associated with this program, or Big Picture Cycling. We have also partnered with the Missile Mentor Program, and encourage all junior girls to use its resources.