Jude & Mark Morris – The dream team legacy…

Jude & Mark Morris… my absolute dream team. Working with you was always a pleasure and a privilege. Together you will continue to inspire my work as role models for other young athlete-parent teams.

In 2016 I met Jude, a shy, quiet 12 year old at the time, who had a dream – He wanted to make it to the top as a pro mx rider. He wanted it so bad he was prepared to do whatever it took to get there, but there was a mountain for him to climb!

As a mental performance coach I work with athletes to develop their mental skills in order to perform at their best and achieve their dreams. Only when they are so young it’s important for me to work with their parents too, it’s a team effort after all.

Mental performance is often an area left to chance, but not for Jude and Mark. Determined to support his son in every way possible Mark took ownership of his role as Jude’s number 1 supporter and attended every session. I’m pleased he did as Jude was a boy of few words (in the beginning). The two of them were like sponges; they listened, answered a lot of questions, took notes, fully engaged in the process and went away and worked on it creating the ultimate father-son team… my dream team!

In 2021 the duo returned with a clear goal… to win the British this season. Though to Jude it felt out of reach, with a series of injuries and outstanding contenders in his group (especially Alfie Jones whom Jude often mentioned and had utmost respect for on and off the track). But he knew it would be possible if he worked smart, so he set out to fine tune his mental skills again. Only this time it was Jude on his own, as a young man, chatting openly and honestly about his thoughts, feelings, experiences and the way forward. He said his dad had nailed his role and that he wanted to work more on his own mindset for racing and gain the competitive edge, especially given the margins were getting smaller, only one point in it the last time we spoke. Though his number 1 goal was always to make his parents proud. Jude’s face would light up when he said those words aloud, and when he said mum, Lucy, wasn’t best pleased about all the red sand in his race kit one time! There is so much love, pride, passion and support in this family and it shows.

As Jude had already mastered several elements of our work we began by discussing how best to gain an immediate advantage – starts. Mark was present for this session and as we talked it was clear Jude’s cogs were turning. And naturally in true Jude style what did he do?… went away with Mark, made a plan and worked on his starts, getting immediate results; several hole-shots and always near the front of the pack. He applied himself in every way and took to the mental aspect of his performance very seriously.

His racing this season was on point, riding out of his skin and loving every minute. Pleased with his progress and performance he realised his dream was within reach, yet he maintained his focus and composure like a pro.

I was so proud of Jude (he’d come a long way since we first worked together all those years ago) and told him so, which always resulted in a wry smile from him (he was always humble). To receive the call from Mark this week with the tragic news of Jude’s passing while doing what he loved most was truly heartbreaking. I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jude on his journey. Never have I had the privilege of working with such an inspirational father-son partnership. Jude was, is and always will be my number one01 inspiration when working with young athletes. A stoic, modest, humble, hard working, kind, caring, thoughtful, polite and considerate young man with a solid work ethic and a wicked, dry sense of humour. He was a shining example to all. Like so many, I will miss seeing that face and the post-race texts.

Jude, I’m sure, would say to all the young riders out there with a dream… Go for it, you’re capable of more than you know. And to the mx parents he would say… Sort your shit out. My dad did it, so can you!

Mark, Lucy and all the family my thoughts are with you all.

#RIPJude

Ride high x

Jude & Mark Morris – My Dream Team!

Karen

Read Mark’s touching story here… http://www.motoheadmag.com/my-son-jude-by-mark-morris/

A page has been created to raise funds for The Air Ambulance, a charity who provide a much needed service to the mx community. To support this charity and as a tribute to Jude please visit judemorrisracing.muchloved.com

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