This week I chat with Belinda Riseley of MotiV8 Training about athlete performance, the setting of SMART goals, social media presence, PR and the importance of working off the track as well as on.
Motorsport Prospects: How did you get involved in motorsport and how did MotiV8 Training start?
Belinda Riseley: I have been fortunate enough to be born and breed into motorsport. I am a middle child of 2 brothers so my childhood was spent around the tracks. My father and uncles raced all their lives from speedway, sidecars, rally, motorbikes & Karts.
When I was 16yrs I played football semi-serious and was always around coaches. Apparently I asked a lot of ‘why’ questions so a coach recommended me to go do my personal training course. Back then it was only a 6 weeks course. I remember during the business section that they said ‘find a niche’ as fitness can be so general so in order to build authority its best to focus on one thing. It was a no-brainer for me.
MotiV8 Training was established in 1996. The business has looked very different throughout the past 23 years. Whilst having my children I knew I wanted to go back to my love and passion. Online was the place to be, it allows me the flexibility to be a mum and small business owner.
MP: MotiV8 offers a number of services. Can you briefly describe what they are and how they fit together?
BR: MotiV8 is always adding new services. We offer online programs/courses to help motorsport athletes maximise their performances on and off the track.
I have split the business into 2 sections- MotiV8 Training & MotiV8 Management. MotiV8 Training focuses on Athlete Performance where we focus on sport specific fitness training, mindset & nutrition.
MotiV8 Management focuses on the ‘off-track’ development of an athlete with topics such as Sponsorship, Social Media, Branding, Public Relations and media training. Services include sponsorship proposals audits, templates, designs. Social media content packages, strategies, audits. We have workshops on how to develop you brand, DIY PR & media training.
MP: Starting with Athlete Performance you offer programs in exercise, nutrition and psychology. Do you consider these to be integrated and important as a whole or can they be considered separate disciplines where for example you may have an optimized body through exercise and nutrition, but the psychological aspects are less important?
BR: Mindset is key to all success, whether its sports, business or even relationships unless your mindset is correct then nothing else will connect. MotiV8 is very big on promoting a full holistic approach to training for sports performance. This includes looking at sleep, habits, lifestyle, interests, hobbies, relationships, strengths and passions.
Every motorsport athlete is on their own journey with their wants. We offer bespoke programs based on their needs when working with us. Some already work with a personal trainer so they may ask for assistance with their nutrition and mindset. Some don’t care about nutrition and just focus on exercise and mindset. All our programs are personalized and structured to the athlete.
MP: What are SMART goals?
BR: Specific Measurable Achieve R T
MP: You also deal with career management focusing on sponsorship, social media, PR and media training. For sponsorship, what do you consider to be important when a driver is looking for sponsorship? Is there an approach that one needs to have mentally to be successful or is it just a matter of contacting as many sponsors as possible in the hope that a percentage will agree to sponsor you?
BR: It is important that you sell YOU! People buy/invest in people not race results or future goals. You need to build a brand. We don’t recommend cold calling sponsors as for the reasons above. To be successful with sponsorship you need to be continually networking, connect and nurturing relationships.
MP: Is a social media presence necessary for a driver? Can they outsource this? Should they?
BR: Yes – a website is very important as that is an asset that you own and have full control over. If you do wish to do social media, chose one platform and build on that. Yes you can outsource social media content but you need to have a close working relationship with the provider as it is YOUR story to be told.
MP: PR and Media Training, are they necessary and why?
BR: Depending on what category you race and your bigger goal but with most categories being televised, it is important that you can talk in front of a camera. This is important for developing your brand (your name). Race teams aren’t just looking for the driver who wins the most races anymore, yes that does help but they are looking at the entire package of a driver now for attributes like personality types, how they present themselves on and off camera, communication in the garage, how well they gain exposure and sponsorship.
PR is essential part of growing your brand. The bigger your brand the more fans you have which is what sponsors are looking for! You can do your own PR very easily or hire a professional.
MP: Driving is as much about what happens on the track as what happens off as the business of driving takes up a lot of a driver’s time. How can a driver stay focused on racing when there seem to be so many tasks need to get done off the track?
BR: Most high profiled drivers will tell you that the off track work accounts for about 90% of their career. The driver needs to have a great team around them whether that are their parents, family or friends to the driver coach, exercise physiologist, sports psychologist to help them achieve their desired results. When it comes to race day, as a driver that should be their sole role.
MP: You are based in Australia. Are your programs only available to people in Australia?
BR: No our programs / courses are 100% online so anyone can access them. They are self paced learning. We have the Athlete Performance program which includes fitness, mindset and nutrition and the Career Development Program which is Sponsorship, Social Media & Public Relations.
Starting 2020, we are launching a new course – ‘Motorsport is a Business’ this is going to start right from the start from how to set up your racing as a business, from budgets, legal requirements, merchandise, more details around sponsorships (working with charities / tax deductions), media with a few bonus modules!
MP: Tell us a bit about your podcast.
BR: Motorsport Coaching Podcast is where we interview Industry Professionals and drivers about their experiences within the motorsport industry. Every episode is full of great tips or tools to help you with your racing career. Hear how other drivers train, work on their mindset, deal with sponsors and lots more!
MP: Among athletes, what makes a driver unique?
BR: YOU! Every athlete is unique. Every athlete has a story to tell and share.
MP: Is there anything else you would like to add that we have not covered?
BR: Check out our website – lots of free resources available – blogs / podcasts
Subscribe to our podcast – Motorsport Coaching
Special offer to your followers – PROSPECTS 50% off courses until January 2020 if brought before
If you would like to be interviewed about your motorsport service, racing team or racing series please contact me at mark(at)motorsportprospects(dot)com.