Coach: Susan Clementson
Team: Lake Washington Composite
Why did you start coaching?
As I transitioned from organizing women’s teams, clinics and racing, I knew I wanted to continue to contribute to the bike community. Passing on the fun of biking to kids seemed like a good next step!
How long have you been involved?
2016-2017 will be my 3rd season, though prior to that my women’s teams did some volunteer work for the League.
What do you like best about it?
The kids make me laugh and also make me proud with their effort, enthusiasm and pride at their own progress.
What’s the hardest or most challenging part about it?
Keeping up with the kids!
Describe inspiring moment for you:
When I work with kids at the beginning of the year that don’t like to climb, when I watch them at the end of the year I get to see how much they have progressed. Even better is when they recognize their own improvement and mention how much easier it is.
How have you seen the League’s mission fulfilled through your work?
Every time a rider finishes the race pushing themselves to the limit or finishing with a smile at their own pace. They’re out there, they’re working on some level, they are finishing what they start and they’re having fun. Mission accomplished.
Why do you think this program is important for students?
Athletics teaches the value of hard work, pride in effort and strength. Strong kids that appreciate the value of their fitness have a better chance of making good life choices in the short and long term.
What advice would you give to someone considering coaching?
Make the time, see it as an opportunity to share your experience, but gain some too–this isn’t about coaches imparting their own awesome and amazing wisdom and skills to others. As a coach (or a human being), we can all learn to communicate better, appreciate individuals’ strengths, identify and support all types of growth (not just speed or competition) and enjoy the journey, not just the podium spots. Coaches’ egos have no place in the experience – focus on your riders’ growth and fun and the experience is guaranteed to be a good one.
Give one word that describes your experience with the League: