We recently sat down with Bryan Haas, who will be coaching the Croissant Crushers MTB team this Spring for the first time.
CCAP – Take us through your CCAP adventures so date.
BH - The first program we did was the CTCX Camp in Glastonbury last August.. Myles was only 9, and he really had no idea what he was getting into. I was the typical concerned dad, wondering if my 9 year old could handle a full weekend of cycle cross. The coaches were fantastic. Myles finished the weekend excited for the next set of adventures in the cycling world. We then joined the Croissant Crossers (coached by Katrina and Denis Niez) and the entire fall cross season was a great experience for Myles. The coaches, again, were fantastic and having a league environment for these kids to race in is so important. The different regional teams, seeing the same kids each weekend, really creates a sense of community.
CCAP – If you chose a highlight to remember, what would it be?
BH - There were so many highlights! But yes, it was seeing Myles make new friends on the team and thrive in a team environment. I knew we had a great situation when the kids started getting together on non-practice days to do rides. The bonding is really special and I think these kids are going to look back fondly on it as they get older.
CCAP – What makes you excited about the 2017 season?
BH - If its not obvious based upon my first two answers, I think highly of the program.... I will confess, I am a naturally skeptical person. When I started out in the sport I was young too. I think 13. My dad and I piled a bike in a car drove to races without any clue as to what we were doing. This was back in the 1980s. There was just no infrastructure like CCAP available to point us in the right direction. The program really opens the door to parents who do not know the sport. We had a few kids last year and one or two new ones this year whose parents are not cyclists. I think this is wonderful and these are the people I want to bring into the fold. I am constantly pitching this at cub scout events etc. It’s a hard sale... but one athlete at a time.
CCAP - Why have you decided to step up your involvement and become a regional team coach?
BH - I believe in the CCAP. I also know that youth sports in general cannot survive without volunteers. Katrina and Denis do great with the cross team, but its important that other parents step up to the plate when they can. I don’t have a mountain bike racing background, but I do have the CCAP folks and some other parents of athletes who do. So even if you are not a racer or ex-racer it is something that has to be done. I do have a PhD in fun. Hopefully that will do the trick.