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Dr. Tim Laskis- "Strong Equals Asking for Help"

Mental Performance Coach Dr. Tim Laskis returns to Pit Pass Moto to discuss how being mentally strong is vital in the success of riders competing. He also talks about the ideal age to start working with a mental performance coach, and why he’s teaching others to be a coach so more athletes can get the help they need.

You can contact Tim at [email protected] and learn more at

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Pit Pass Moto is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson, Producer Leah Longbrake and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow.

This transcript was AI generated. There may be grammatical errors.

[00:00:15.310] - Dave Sulecki

Welcome to Pit Pass Moto, the show that keeps you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings the biggest names in motorcycle racing right to you. I'm Dave Sulecki.

[00:00:24.180] - Dale Spangler

I'm Dale Spangler. And this week's guest is mental Performance coach Dr. Tim Laskis. Moto America is the official sponsor of Pit Pass Moto. Moto America is the home of AMA Superbike in North America's Premier motorcycle road racing series. With ten rounds and 20 races of the best motorcycle road racing on two wheels, Moto America features seven classes of motorcycle road racing, Superbike, SuperSport Junior Cup, Stock 1000, Twins Cup, King of the Baggers and Mini Cup racing. Moto America has been reinvigorated motorcycle road racing in North America, and one of its primary goals is to send its riders to the top level international Championships of MotoGP and World Super bike. Moto America is not only proud to be stewards of the sport's rich heritage, but also the catalyst and guiding force for its future. Don't miss a minute of action. Practice, qualifying races and video on demand with Moto America Live plus streaming tickets, info and a complete schedule can be [email protected] this week's race recap.

[00:01:30.140] - Dave Sulecki

We've got the 80th running of the Daytona Classic event, which included, of course, the Daytona 200 also included this year the King of the Baggers, the Twins Cup event, and also the Rolling Sand Super Hooligans. While the racing on the track and the 200 came down to the final lap, the final corner. And Brandon Posh is now a two time owner of the Rolex, winning by .7 10th of a second and pulling a double draft on Cam Peterson and Sheridan Mariah in the final corner leading to the checkered flags. And it was one of the really great events to see. And now Brandon is in close company with one of only three riders ever win the Daytona 200 back to back on different brands. He did it on Yamaha last year and Triumph this year. And Dick Man did it on a Honda 1971 on a BMW. And then Danny Asleep, who was actually in the race this weekend, did it back in 2014 on a Triumph and then a year later on a Suzuki.

[00:02:29.750] - Dale Spangler

Yeah, Brandon Paasch, he can't say enough about this kid 20 years old. I mean, he definitely seems to have a bright future ahead of him, but he just seemed to play his cards just perfectly. He never seemed to drop out of the top five throughout the entire race. And just coming into the last three laps, he was in fourth place, was able to make the double draft pass, as you mentioned, Dave. And what a veteran move to just sit back there patiently waiting and take the win for a second time. Pretty impressive.

[00:02:59.230] - Dave Sulecki

We think back to last year. Brandon pulled the same move to win the race. So he's Mr. Clutch and he's got the two Rolexes to show it so good on him for pulling off the wind this weekend.

[00:03:11.070] - Dale Spangler

Yeah, I noticed that. It seemed like the riders of reading some of the rider interviews after the race. It just seemed like there was a lot of these riders were just having so much fun with this race. The Daytona 200, a lot of them described it as lots of back and forth passing. More like a sprint race than an endurance race. But a 57 lap sprint race. Wow. Unreal.

[00:03:31.290] - Dave Sulecki

And to come down to that narrow of a margin, it really came down to pit stops because Brandon pitted near the end of the race near the last lap, and they chose to just take on fuel and not tires. And I sound like I'm talking about NASCAR, but I'm not. It paid off for him because he's only in the pits for about half the time he normally would be and got into the mix and pulled it off, man. It was great.

[00:03:52.240] - Dale Spangler

When how about the King of the baggers, though? Two races, two different winners. Tyler O'Hara, who was one of our recent guests, was able to pull off race one with another draft move. And then in race two, unbelievably. Jeremy McWilliams, veteran racer, pretty much has raised about any type of road racing you can think of. Pulls a draft move on Tyler O'Hara to take the win. And race two. Unbelievable racing action.

[00:04:19.650] - Dave Sulecki

How about that strong showing for Indian? They sweep the podium in race two, which was pretty amazing. They were just on the gas. And Tyler, I think he wishes he could do last season over again. And he showed it out there on the race track. He went out and won the King of the baggers challenge, which was a three lap dash for cash at $5,000 prize. He went out and just dominated and beat the Weiman brothers in that event.

[00:04:43.280] - Dale Spangler

It seemed like the HD guy struggled a little bit, though. Over the week, the two races, Kyle Wyman ended up going, falling down the results page, having a rough race two, his brother Travis finishing fifth. And I think even, like James Rispoli, had some issues in race one with some breaks. And so Harley had a little bit of a struggle there. But like you said, the Indian was on top of it. They seem to have that top speed for sure. This week's industry spotlight focuses on the recent announcement that Honda Power Sports has released the first officially licensed CRS E Two youth focused electric dirt bike in a new model collaboration between American Honda and Greenger Power Sports. Representing a practical but exciting doorway to the world of power sports, the CRFE Two brings the motorcycling experience to a new pool of customers whose lives are already increasingly powered by electricity. As a fun training tool for young new riders, the CRSD Two eliminates the need to use a clutch or gear shift lever and is reasonably priced step up to real dirt bikes. It's a quiet, environmentally responsible form of powered recreation that can be ridden in more places than traditional mini dirt bikes.

[00:06:05.190] - Dale Spangler

The CRFE, manufactured by Greendriver Power Sports, will be available exclusively through American Hana's nationwide network of participating Power Sports dealerships.

[00:06:34.610] - Dave Sulecki

We'd like to welcome back to Pit Pas Moto, Dr. Tim Laskas, PhD, owner of the Coach Wherever program and really excited to talk to you, Tim, for sure. And welcome back to the show, man.

[00:06:46.260] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Thank you. It's a pleasure. And yeah, I'm excited to talk with you today.

[00:06:49.200] - Dave Sulecki

We want to learn about your program and the things that you've done with Club MX to kind of refresh our audience so they understand kind of what you're doing for those guys down there.

[00:06:59.800] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Okay. I've been with Club MX since about 2014, and that's when I started as the mental performance coach there, working with the amateurs as well as some of the top pro guys that they have that are training and getting ready either for outdoors or Supercross or wherever they're at, people training there year round. So whether it's the summer and the heat here in the south, 90 or 100% humidity or whether it's in the middle of winter, but yet we're not like Minnesota, where we get a lot of extreme cold air and snow. So just might be a little bit chilly out. But that's what I've been doing with Club since 2014. And then I also train coaches on the side just because I found that there's not enough me to go around. And so when I have people who are wanting to work with me, I may have to turn them away just because of time. And so I thought, wow, there has to be a solution to this. So I started coaching Wherever where I teach people how to become a mental performance coach and they can take those skills and go out and work with amateurs or pros in their area.

[00:08:08.720] - Dave Sulecki

Interesting. And I'm kind of curious, how does somebody get into that and what's the selection processor, I guess. How do you determine if somebody is able to be qualified and go down that path?

[00:08:20.580] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Yeah, that's a great question. And basically they have to have a love for the sport. They have to be motivated to be able to learn it's just like someone who is going through maybe a master's program in psychology or maybe they're going to get a doctorate to become a psychologist. They have to have that passion and that interest in wanting to learn the skills to be able to help other people. Now there is no requirement that you have to have been a pro rider or that you've done certain things within the amateur world of racing or whatnot. I teach them all the skills they need to know in order to help riders wherever they're at. It's just like maybe your heart surgeon, he or she doesn't have to have a heart attack to be able to do surgery on people who have heart conditions or a physician that may work with people with diabetes. They don't have to have diabetes. So many of our coaches do not. They have a limited racing background. Most of them, I would say the majority of them have done some type of racing or maybe even currently racing. Some of them are riding coaches and they want this extra skill set to be able to help them stand out and work with riders because what they see is that they're teaching them some of the techniques and skills on the bike and then they just may not know how to reach that rider for whatever reason.

[00:09:39.440] - Dr. Tim Laskis

They're not getting it. So be able to understand the human element and every writer is different and everyone communicates differently. They like to be communicated with in a different way. And so I give them that background to be able to understand riders on the mental level and to be able to help them with a variety of things, whether it's working with riders while they're training and developing good habits or race situation strategies that they're really struggling with.

[00:10:06.260] - Dale Spangler

So on that subject as a whole, the mental aspect of racing, I'm curious to know why do you think this is such a recent development for racers to focus on? Kind of like I grew up racing in the late 80s and 90s. I'm dating myself, but we didn't really have that. We didn't think about that. We focused on the physical side, but we didn't really think about the mental aspect of racing. Why do you think that it's taken so long and tell us a little bit more about that?

[00:10:32.240] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Yeah, I agree. I also grew up racing amateur motocross in the Eighties here in the Southeast, and it was all about just toughness. You tough it out and you didn't complain and you didn't win and you just went out and did it and you just try to figure it out kind of that old school mentality. And I think things really started to change because of more research. There's been more societal acceptance of psychology and mental health within, I would say around the world. Even within the military, there is more acceptance to getting mental health treatment post going off to combat. They understand that PTSD and depression and a variety of other mental health issues needs treatment by a professional. The military has done a really good job of putting the education out there and say it's not just about being strong but being strong. It means that you also ask for help. So I think a combination of research that's out there, society has been more accepting to it and it's trickled down into motocross. Now, motocross is probably one of the later stage sports. I wouldn't say last sport, but one of the later stage sports to really accept mental performance training.

[00:11:52.510] - Dr. Tim Laskis

But it's been in, say the Olympics, professional baseball, football, basketball. It's been in a lot of other professional sports for many years. So it's relatively new. And I think what's also kind of helped increase the popularity is that you've heard some of the top pro riders talk about having their mental performance coach assist them. And I love listening to podcasts and I've heard it, and they've even seen it in print where some of the top guys are talking about getting this help to help them get either fix of something that's happening or get a little bit of an advantage on the rest of the pack. And what I've seen is once you get to that top level, a lot of guys have the great equipment. A lot of them are in great shape. A lot of them have the skills to be able to do what they need to be at the top, but they're missing something. And what really separates the Tomax and Anderson and some of the other top writers from the guys in the back is that mental edge. And they're able to concentrate. They're able to keep that focus and not get intimidated and just be razorsharp on their mental ability and being able to go out week in and week out and deal with not only the physical side of racing, but that mental side that's also important.

[00:13:23.320] - Dr. Tim Laskis

And a lot of guys have just been kind of left to themselves to figure it out. But now they're seeing that, hey, there's something to this. And once they do jump in and they experience what it's like to work with a mental performance coach, they've picked up some new tools, then they really become firm believers and they just take off.

[00:13:41.980] - Dale Spangler

I really like what you said there about strong equals asking for help. I really think that's just such a great statement because it's kind of flipping the script in a way, because like you said, I kind of grew up where you just had to be tough, just be tough. In this case, being strong is asking for help. I think that's a really cool statement.

[00:14:01.590] - Dr. Tim Laskis

You think about the army slogan, your army strong. And a lot of people many years ago thought about, well, that's physical strength. And I need to be able to endure and deal with pain and suffer and just get through it. And if I don't make it, then I'm weak. Or if I ask for help, I'm weak. And so that they really had to change that mindset and say, no, being strong means you ask for help. So it really has turned a corner redefining what it means to be strong.

[00:14:30.720] - Dave Sulecki

And as we kind of Peel this away, it really opens up a lot of questions in my mind. And probably I have a kind of a two part question for you, which is what's the ideal age or maturity level that's best to begin with working with a rider, and then how do you separate that from managing the distractions of a racer's life? Whether it's their family or school or personal lives, how does that bleed into what you're trying to do is coach them and teach them how to focus on the racing aspect and manage that. So how do you keep those separate?

[00:15:04.020] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Those are two great questions, and I'll tackle first with what is the ideal age? I've worked with riders who are early teens well, actually younger than that, not even teenagers yet, all the way up to riders who are ready to retire in their 30s. And I would say there's not a specific ideal age, but there definitely is an ideal rider who accepts the mental health coach and being able to utilize some of those skills. If a writer comes to mental health coach because they're being pushed by family or maybe a team or something and they don't really believe in the process, then it really is not going to be effective. So regardless of what age, if they're 14 or 40, if other people are really pushing them to get that mental performance coaching for whatever reason and they're just not accepting of it, then it doesn't really matter how much you work with them. They're always going to just do their own thing. Kind of, yes, OK, I'll do this. I'll do that. And then they never really follow up. So I would say that's more important than age. I've had some young writers who have been very successful, and I think it gives them a huge advantage over other riders, especially maybe in that really competitive 85 CC class where doing well means, hey, that could lead you to the next level and being recognized by teams who are looking younger and younger.

[00:16:30.130] - Dr. Tim Laskis

And I see it with club riders as well. They trade for such a long time, and then they go to big events, whether it's Minos or Loretta, they understand it's a big event and they maybe get really intimidated. They're super great at practicing. And you've even heard maybe some of the top pro guys who aren't doing as well as people expected them to do. They're not performing at that level, but they seem at the practice track, they're like, oh, my goodness, they're super fast, and I know they're going to win this year. They're going to be on the podium and they don't same thing with some of these really good amateur riders who are great at the training facility. They're kind of the top of the group that they train with, and then they get to a big event. And there's a variety of reasons that come into play, but they just don't end up doing what they're capable of doing. They're not taking practice to the race. Some of these guys who are really into it have been able to turn that around. And where they struggled at big events, they were great at local races, great and fast when they were practicing, but they couldn't make that transition and pull it into a big event and then work it with me to give them some of these skills that can help them calm down, increase their focus, and just help them be able to work that big event to their advantage and not let their mind, our minds are either going to work for us or they're going to work against us.

[00:17:49.640] - Dr. Tim Laskis

And we've probably all been in situations where we've been nervous or anxious, and we have that little voice inside of her head that says, what are you doing? You can't do this. What if you crash? What if you don't do well? Just kind of that negativity that runs in situations that maybe we're just feeling not as good about ourselves and we're not as confident, and then that just pulls us down. So before we even line up, we've already defeated ourselves for the day.

[00:18:16.240] - Dale Spangler

Well, it sure seems like you have one of these jobs, Doctor Tim. That's extremely difficult, but extremely rewarding. But what I'm curious about, though, is do you have some clients that come to mind that you've worked with that you've seen kind of grow up and work their way into the pro ranks or even a racer that you've seen, like a huge transformation in their racing as a result of you working with them?

[00:18:38.480] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Yeah. There's a couple of guys now that are in the 250 and 450 class that are doing very well, that are in the top, that all of you would know. One thing that I do when I work with writers is I bring my training from the clinical psychology field, and as it relates to confidentiality. And I think this is a step that's important that a lot of people miss is that when I work with writers, I let them know that everything that they say to me is just between us. It's almost like an attorney and a client privilege, so to speak. And I don't reveal their names, and I don't reveal anything about what we talk about because especially working with the top guys, the amateur guys, they don't care so much, but somebody who's maybe already a top pro rider, they have a really small pool of people that they really trust with a lot of information just because of the media and the way that everything works in the world today. But, yeah, there are people that I've been able to watch that were amateurs who've grown and reached their goals. And it's super exciting and rewarding to be able to see them watch it on TV as they're racing either the Supercross or the outdoors and see them doing well.

[00:19:54.940] - Dr. Tim Laskis

And it really is very rewarding for sure.

[00:19:58.600] - Dave Sulecki

Kind of curious about yourself, Doctor Tim. I know when we talk to you last, you had kind of stepped away from riding yourself, but your young son Landon was picking up a dirt bike and getting into the sport, and I know you've got another son. Is that in your future, is it to get back on the dirt bike and do some riding.

[00:20:16.930] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Well, that's funny. You said well, yeah. Landon is my eight year old and Carson is two and a half. Landon is still riding 50s and Carson has a stasic. We have just under seven acres where we live here in South Carolina. So I built kind of a little turn track and I'm out there with them almost every day. They just want to ride. They love ride. Landon hasn't raced yet. He still just enjoys riding. Me being out there and just kind of coaching him along. I felt like wasn't enough, so I went and bought a Honda 110. That was the funniest thing. I think this is probably my step to getting back into a bigger bike and maybe getting a 450. That little pit bike is the funnest thing that I bought in a long time. And it's amazing how it's really helped their riding, where I'll get behind them and I'll push them and I'll go inside and outside, and I think it's really helped make them faster and really understand what I've been telling them and trying to train them. And it's super fun for me. So if there are any dads out there that are thinking about getting a pit bike in a onetime, go for it.

[00:21:20.320] - Dr. Tim Laskis

It is great. It's brought a lot of fun to not only me, but the kids are always saying, dad, get your bike out. Get your bike out. It's great. So that's my step getting back into a big bike.

[00:21:31.770] - Dave Sulecki

That's awesome. As long as you're riding, that's the important thing. And I'm 100% with you. I've got a white tent in the garage, too. And my kids grew up riding mini bikes and did the same thing. And those are great memories. I'm glad you're building those same memories, too. Just as we wrap up here, Doctor Tim, I just wanted to ask you Where's the best place to look for you and find you on the web or social media so that our listeners can find you?

[00:21:54.660] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Yeah, absolutely, or they can send an email at [email protected] is probably the best. That one I check the most. Those are the two places I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook or other social media. I just don't have the time. I probably should increase my presence on social media, but basically those are the two places that they can find.

[00:22:16.780] - Dave Sulecki

We really appreciate you taking time to spend with us and explain your program, and we look forward to talking to you and you in the future, man.

[00:22:23.320] - Dr. Tim Laskis

Absolutely. It's been fun. Thank you.

[00:22:39.270] - Dave Sulecki

Thanks again to our guests for being with us today, and thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. If you have a moment, please write and review us. We really appreciate it. Make sure you're also following us on Twitter.

[00:22:54.090] - Dale Spangler

Facebook and Instagram and visit or you can check out our blog and our brand new store where you can get your pit pass swag this has been a production of evergreen podcast a special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson producer Leah Longbrake and audio engineers Sean Rule Hoffman and Eric Koltnow. Now I'm Dale Spangler and I'm Dave Sulecki.

[00:23:17.070] - Dave Sulecki

See you next week on Pit Pass Moto.

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The Team

Dave Sulecki

Dave Sulecki is a 37 year industry veteran, and a lifetime motorcycle rider, racer, builder, restorer, and enthusiast.

Dale Spangler

Dale Spangler is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, former racer, and powersports industry marketing specialist, writer, and content creator.

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