One of the frustrating aspects of preparing BMX riders in Australia for performance is the lack consideration put into the national calendar for the rider's development.
As the 2019 calendar is already released I am not expecting anyone to change it, however here are some thoughts that might influence the 2020 calendar and beyond.
As with most planning it is important to start with the end in mind: World Champs (e.g. July 23rd, 2019) and work backwards from there.
READ MORE: 7 Reasons National & State Sports Organisations Shouldn't be Involved in Athlete Development
Plan the calendar so the athletes can 1) earn the right to compete at Worlds; 2) are peaking at the right time.
This means that National Champs should be about 4-6 weeks pre-Worlds. Think early to mid-June for 2019.
This will give the athletes enough momentum heading to the worlds feeling like they're prepared and also enough time to recover from some injuries sustained at Nationals.
To re-gain some prestige, the National Series should 1) attract our best riders and 2) help our riders prepare for the National Champs.
It should also help build momentum leading to Nationals. (e.g. every 2-4 weeks for 7 rounds). I'd suggest starting the series around late February to early March.
State Champs should be re-framed, and viewed as, preparing each State's riders for the NS.
This implies State Champs should be in the lead up to the NS, think: mid- to late January.
What about Regionals? Good question. Regionals should be at the same time Worlds are scheduled.
Why? If you're competing for a Regional plate you shouldn't be thinking about attending Worlds. If you're competing for a World plate you're beyond thinking about a Regional plate.
For the more visual readers, here is what it could look like:
Late January - State Champs
Late February - NS1
Mid March - NS2
Early April - NS3
Late April - NS4
Early May - NS5
Late May - NS6
Early June - NS7 & National Champs
Late July - World Champs & Regionals
What would happen after the Worlds/Regionals?
Another good question!
The riders would probably have 4-8 weeks off and then Open Days, State Series and other events would start to pick up.