Brad Didier is a coach who’s actively involved in the Texas League. He also coached at the NorCal 2012 Invitational Camp, taught at Leaders’ Summits, and touched many of us in the NICA community through a video his team put together about their first year with the League. I have bet many people to watch the video tear-free, and to date, have never lost this bet (watch video here). Brad’s enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring.
Q: How would you summarize your first season?
Brad: I would summarize our first season as a huge success. None of us really knew what we were doing or what to expect. We were able to reach a group of students that otherwise would have never been involved with any extracurricular activities at school. This proved to be very important, as the team provided an opportunity for kids to thrive. We got together a group of coaches that love to cycle and love working with kids.
Q: What was the highlight of your first season?
Brad: The biggest highlight of the season for me was to watch the kids and to see some of the turnaround in their life. I personally had one of our student athletes in my class in school. At first she was an angry, disrespectful girl. She joined our team and by the end of the season was a respectful, coachable young lady. She is on the team again this year and one of our team stars. She is GREAT to work with!
Q: Last June you joined 15 coaches and 30 + student athletes for the week-long NorCal Invitational Camp held at the University of California at Santa Cruz. There were six groups of five to seven riders. Your group name was the “Brobots.” How did your group come up with the name?
Brad: I’m not exactly sure on how they came up with that one. I was pretty much cracking up the entire time!
Q: What was your favorite part of camp?
Brad: My favorite part of camp was getting to know everyone there and working with the kids. It was just awesome to see the passion and excitement that everyone had for the League and cycling. The California kids and coaches sure showed me a lot as far as commitment to and knowledge of racing. I was able to share a lot of what I learned at camp with our Texas coaches and kids.
Q: What was it like living and riding with the Brobots for a week?
Brad: Well, first of all, it was a huge honor to be there and I truly enjoyed the experience. As far as living with and riding with Team Brobots, it was super cool. We did a lot of coaching and skills clinics and the kids always showed me respect and tried their best. What more could you ask for?
Q: You also worked with now NICA Director Austin McInerny on the Texas Leaders summit. What are the best discussions you’ve had with coaches in their first year?
Brad: The best discussions I’ve had with some of the first year coaches ALWAYS come from my experience, strength, and hope. I always want to share what it was like for me and the coaching staff during the first year. We had some great experiences with the team during the first year that included kids ending up on the podium, fundraising, and kids’ grades getting better. I want to make sure that the new coaches get the big picture of the League and why we are here. This is the experience that they must pursue, more than what place you finish in a race.
Q: How is the Texas High School Cycling League program affecting the riders?
Brad: The riders and their families have been positively affected by the League in so many ways. We have truly built a family and we are here for each other. During the season one of our riders and his family were involved in a car accident on the way home from a race. Our kids and their families rallied around this family and made sure that they never faced anything alone. It was incredible to see our team gel and leaders emerge.