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Old 01-11-2019, 01:55 PM   #16
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Yeah, I get that, but what I feel your takeaway misses a few key points. With Ken you get instructions. Do this and see results. I'm also a very analytical man. But the absolute most frustrating thing I found with my 4 (extremely expensive) dealings with Keith is his self help approach. Every swingle session he (I had him as my one on the last two levels, but one and two were the same) would ask what I thought I did wrong. What -> I <- thought I did wrong.
A couple of points on the above:

The CSS methodology lays out the day into classroom sessions that address a particular riding skill, followed by an on-track session where the rider is assigned a drill to support the topic of the classroom session. The classroom sessions address teaching, or delivering information ("Do this and see results"), where the topic is covered in some depth.

Coaching, or helping the rider become more proficient at what he learned in the classroom, takes place on the track and during the after ride briefing with your coach. During the debrief, the coach will ask the student questions to get them to recall what was happening on track. These are not normally wide open questions, like "What do you think you did wrong," but typically more focused questions like, "Do you have an apex reference point for turn 2?" Ideally, the questions will be based on an observation the coach made from the previous ride, though sometimes they are focused at diagnosing something that is bothering the student but the coach wasn't there to see.

We could just tell a student what to do and expect them to go do it. Decades of experience with tens of thousands of riders have shown that getting the student to participate in arriving at a solution for the next ride is more effective at giving them something to try that they can succeed with and it models an approach that students can use to continue to improve after the school day is over.

Coaches go through rigorous training and drilling on ways to ask focused questions that get to the heart of the matter with few words and distractions. It would be much, much easier for the coach to say, "Hey, you're late on the gas in turn 5. Roll on sooner there." Some students might go out and find a way to do that, but with most, there is a reason they are late on the gas. Unless the coach and student understand what the reason is, just telling them to roll on sooner may not help. It also fails to give the student a basis to correct a similar mistake in the future when riding on their own.

In the 20 years I've been with the school, this approach has been in place, though it has become more refined with each passing year, as we discover what gets results most often. This whole approach is most workable if the coach explains to his students at the beginning of the day how the interactions are going to work. This gets everyone on the same page about the approach and expected results.

I do know that not everyone sees the value in being asked questions. Thankfully, based on survey results and repeat business, they are in the small minority. In these cases it can be the coach could have done a better job of setting expectations or formulating his questions. We conduct end of day surveys as well as follow-up surveys after the school date. Before we leave the track, every coach reads every survey response. If the result is not strongly positive, the Chief Riding Coach contacts the student to find out what went wrong.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:08 AM   #17
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I did level 1/2 at a 2 day school. level 3 twice (few years between) with my own bike.

2 day school is less crowded and more instructors per student. you also get more 'practice' time for the drills. you also get camera bike to record and examine your body position. worth the time/$ IMO
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:26 AM   #18
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While I haven’t done one of Ken Hill’s courses, I have listened to his podcast. One thing stands out to me that makes his teaching style different from Keith Code.

At CSS, when techniques are taught, they are taught from “first principles”, which is to say, physics. They explain how the principles of physics (or human physiology) act on motorcycles, and then draw conclusions from that o how we should ride. If there’s any doubt, they use experimentation to validate their claims, like when they demonstrate counter-steering using slow motion video, or a rider steering with fingertip pressure.

Conversely, what I hear Ken Hill using to justify his claims in the podcast is “this is what the best in the world are doing, and you want to be doing what the best in the world are doing.”

I don’t want to knock Ken Hill, but the science/first principles approach resonates more with me. Part of what I think when I hear Ken talk about what the best in the world are doing is “but what if there’s a better way than what they’re doing? How would you ever find that if you’re just trying to replicate what’s already being done and not considering the ‘why’ behind i?” Also, anecdotally I never really “got” counter-steering and relaxing on the bars in a turn until he instructors at CSS explained the physics of it. When it went from “just do this because that’s what you’re supposed to do” to a true understanding of the forces at work, everything clicked for me. Not only did I understand more, but my brain applied it better and with more confidence/conviction as a result of that understanding.
I'll throw this out. Who are the best riders in the world? Do any of them have degrees in science or engineering? I doubt it. Why? Because the guys who are the best in the world don't need to understand the scientific rationale behind what they do. They need to understand how it works.

Major league ball players can throw to each other and hit a spot within a few inches at 100 feet. That requires some amazing calculus. They don't do it with a calculator. Their heads learn to do it automatically with lots of practice. Ditto with motorcycles.

Ken Hill showed me techniques that dramatically improved my riding and racecraft. And he gave me the best piece of advice I ever got.

"Ernie, don't be so lazy."

PS: If you ever get a chance to work with Ken ( you probably won't), you won't regret it. His podcasts are super great, and free, but they are not training, nor a school. They are the product of one man working very hard to pass on information to the motorcycle world gratis. The amount of content in them is incredible. I've listened to all of them multiple times. If you think that "the best do it this way" is the only message he is sending, you could not be more mistaken.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:41 AM   #19
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I guess this is a great thread which shows how people are wired and how they receive/perceive information given to them.

It is also true that some just want to be told what to do, and others want to get help to figure out what they need to do. The artform of coaching is to try and break down how an individual receives information and then create a solution on how to provide that information while staying on (your school name here) format.

And track day riders can actually want something much different than what racers want out of a school or coach.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:59 AM   #20
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I guess this is a great thread which shows how people are wired and how they receive/perceive information given to them.

It is also true that some just want to be told what to do, and others want to get help to figure out what they need to do. The artform of coaching is to try and break down how an individual receives information and then create a solution on how to provide that information while staying on (your school name here) format.

And track day riders can actually want something much different than what racers want out of a school or coach.
Correct.

Although I believe that until riders or racers learn basic fundamentals, what they actually want is not important, except to them. I see, quite often, people tell me that they want to work on "body position" when they are lost on the track. I work with them on finding a line. I think that the whole body position obsession is a mistaken assumption that somehow the correct position ( which is dynamic and changes constantly) will magically make them faster, which it won't. Most riders have problems understanding just how important the last hundred feet of braking and first hundred feet of acceleration are. The problem with asking people what they want to work on, or are doing wrong is that they don't usually know the answers.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:38 PM   #21
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They may not know the answer, but it gives you a great opportunity to figure out where their head is at on track. You can be busting your head against the wall trying to put them on a line and all they're worried about is that their body position looks good in GotBlueMilk's trailer.

So asking them gives them an opportunity to explain themselves and you the coach an opportunity of explaining to them when their issue can be of most value to them. e.g. lines, bp, whatever/etc.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:29 PM   #22
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It absolutely kills me to hear people toss out body position, and to a lesser extent suspension advice, as the solution / cure-all for new (street and track) riders. 90% of the time the rider would improve much more quickly if they started to turn their head and look farther up the road / track.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:46 PM   #23
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The best thing Keith did for me was to get me to analyze what I was doing via a riding mindset. First he set up what I was supposed to be thinking/doing with my focus and then expanded from there. Super helpful and ultimately when applied to racing was even more so.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:39 PM   #24
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Correct.

Although I believe that until riders or racers learn basic fundamentals, what they actually want is not important, except to them. I see, quite often, people tell me that they want to work on "body position" when they are lost on the track. I work with them on finding a line. I think that the whole body position obsession is a mistaken assumption that somehow the correct position ( which is dynamic and changes constantly) will magically make them faster, which it won't. Most riders have problems understanding just how important the last hundred feet of braking and first hundred feet of acceleration are. The problem with asking people what they want to work on, or are doing wrong is that they don't usually know the answers.
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It absolutely kills me to hear people toss out body position, and to a lesser extent suspension advice, as the solution / cure-all for new (street and track) riders. 90% of the time the rider would improve much more quickly if they started to turn their head and look farther up the road / track.
Both of you...BOTH OF YOU : HEARTS

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If people saw the BP of the riders at the front of club races, they'd understand the differences between "effective" and "picturesque".
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:30 PM   #25
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It's not often, but occasionally I agree with Ernie (for all mods concerned I can read him when I'm logged out as is the norm lately).

A few things I did learn from CSS that changed my riding forever is Dylan's take on eyesight. We spent the better half of the day getting me to look at everything as a whole instead of one singular focus. The other thing that really changed me was also from Dylan teaching me fluidity. That was the art (I will try to master till I die) of being able to make each corner connect. Meaning that I should always try to not only make the corner but do it in a way that I'm prepared for the next.

I wouldn't give back what I learned with CSS, but my money would have been much better spent had it been exclusively with Dylan. He seems more understanding that I may learn differently than his father's ideas.

I do fully admit there are probably people that learn that way, but Ken speaks MY language. I also don't know anyone that has walked away from Ken feeling taken. Ken is absolutely applicable to the street the same a CSS.

When the day comes that Keith is out and retired and Dylan takes over I wouldn't hesitate to give CSS another try. But until that day should come I'll spend my money at Ken's house.

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Old 01-15-2019, 07:31 PM   #26
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It is about perspective and where you are in your career as a rider. For a relative newbie CSBS delivers IMO.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:29 AM   #27
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It is about perspective and where you are in your career as a rider. For a relative newbie CSBS delivers IMO.
In my Trade(HVAC) I have nerded out a bit. Online forum, couple handfuls of nationally recognized certs. Still remain receptive but Most "schools/classes" I go to now I could teach, and often open up a dialogue that intrigues the teachers.

But I have MANY years of riding potential ahead of me. Im sure this school will be more input than I can absorb and apply. And due to not riding everyday/weekend ill likely forget and need to retake classes.....
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:25 AM   #28
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I’ve taken CSS a few times (repeat level 4) and I didn’t get as much out of it as other people, when it came to racing. I think they’re great for track day stuff, but there are skills they don’t address, like passing strategies.

I found the best gain, for my riding, came from combining CSS, with lessons learned at American Supercamp (although, I saw some guy named Danny Walker threaten a comedian on Twitter. I tried to confirm this with ASC, but they didn’t respond) and advice I got from Dave Aldana, at a Team Hammer track day.

My point is that your best generally comes from a variety of methods.

ASC taught me how to set up passes and better methods in slow speed corners. Sliding is also taught, but there’s more to it than that.

Dave Aldana taught me to think. I was racing at Indianapolis Raceway Park, my yellow shirt race. I asked him about the first corner strategy. He asked me how fast I was entering the corner, during a normal lap. I said around 70~ (I think.). Next, he asked me if I hit that speed from the starting line to the first corner. I said no.

He then said “then why are you braking for the first corner with all the other guys?”

Next race, passed about 15 people in the first turn.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:31 AM   #29
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Also, funny story about that race, saw Evelyn (WERA) yell at Earl Hayden for arguing with race officials about not allowing his underage son to race on 600SS.

Kid’s name was Nicky and he was eventually allowed to race
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:51 PM   #30
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I’ve taken CSS a few times (repeat level 4) and I didn’t get as much out of it as other people, when it came to racing. I think they’re great for track day stuff, but there are skills they don’t address, like passing strategies.
If you aren't aware, CodeRACE covers racecraft skills not covered at the cornering schools, including passing. We also used to do a passing drill in the cornering schools but it's been phased out of level 3, replaced with other drills more focused on cornering. As a level 4 student, you may absolutely request a passing exercise and your coach will work on it with you.
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