Laurens de Jong

 

I am the President and the Juniors’ Coach for the Ann Arbor Velo Club. I have two children who ride with the AAVC: Ansel and Amalia. When Ansel’s then-coach and President moved out of the Ann Arbor area, I decided to take over those duties. I had not had any prior coaching experience, but I love the sport of cycling and I wanted my children to have the opportunity to develop a lifelong passion for cycling as well. I grew up and lived in the Netherlands, where cycling is very much engrained in everyday life. A lot of what I teach and coach has been part of my upbringing. That said, I had very little racing experience and there were a few decades where I only rode recreationally. Let’s say I know how to win races, but I’ve never won anything myself.

During my tenure as the Juniors coach, it has been my goal to expose children and their parents to the sport of cycling in the most fun, safe, and responsible manner possible. I believe that the most important thing I do for the little racers on our team is to give each and every one of them a reason to come back the following week. I prefer that parents are involved and, when able, ride with us. I emphasize that cycling is a team sport, that being on a team is fun, and I immerse the team in the sport, lore, and history of cycling.

I am a USA Cycling licensed coach. That includes being current on SafeSport training. I supplement the formal training I have received with my own lifelong experience with the sport of cycling; books and other materials I read about cycling training for juniors; and I talk with other coaches whenever I can. In my daily life, I am a manager and the skill and experience in that job translates well to the instruction and motivational techniques I use as a coach.