A team manager has to be a coach, mentor, psychiatrist, talent scout, and more. And for the SE Racing team, that's Jimmy Phillips!
How old are you?
62 years old.
Where do you live?
I live in California in the foothills of the Sierras in a very small town called Groveland. I chose to live here because it is 20 miles from the entrance of Yosemite National Park.
How many SE bikes do you own?
Currently, I think I own eleven SE Bikes, including a Floval Flyer, Blocks Flyer, and a Big Ripper. Because of my role as coach/team manager, I own a stable of race bikes that some of the athletes I coach are using, and these consist of a Floval Flyer, PK Ripper, Ripper X, Ripper Jr., Mini Ripper, and three Micro Rippers
What’s your favorite SE bike?
My favorite SE bike is one I don't currently own. It's the 26" OM Flyer. The reason this is my favorite is that when it was introduced, it was the first cruiser class bike and I raced it with great success in the early '80s. I loved that bike then and I love that bike now. Of the bikes that I own, the Floval Flyer is by far my favorite bike because it is a thoroughbred 24" race bike.
What’s your favorite place to ride or race?
As a 62-year-old team manager, I have more than had my successes in competitions and I'm focusing on the development of the athletes on our team. Consequently, I don't race myself, but I sneak out onto the tracks and ride when I'm alone. I am also an avid mountain biker and my favorite place to ride is a series of secret mountain biking trails in my community.
What is your favorite thing about BMX racing?
My favorite thing is that it is primarily a family-oriented, youth-based sport. I love that it's accessible to all and doesn't require a large investment to get involved. Today's modern equipment holds up well and families are not constantly pouring money into the sport. I love that mothers, and fathers, sons, and daughters are out racing together. An example of this can be seen on our own Factory Squad; Jason Morris, Courtney Tomei, their son Camden Morris—and Hendrix who will race balance bikes soon. For me, I have experienced a tremendous amount of support for the young riders on our team from the past generations of BMX racers who love to see the sport staying alive and going places. And the race team has received amazing support from the big wheel community. All of this is very encouraging and a great outlet for young people.
What’s your secret to improving your riding skills?
For me, this is not a simple question to answer. In all of the years that I have been involved in athletics and coaching for multiple sports, there are common denominators: define age appropriate skills and focus on those fundamentals, build a strong, skill based foundation, determine what you need to improve upon and what you are doing well, set goals, and develop action plans to achieve those goals. When racing, don't focus on results. Focus on your skills and performing those skills to the best of your ability. Let the results follow. So get out there and do the work to develop a strong skill base and always look to improve upon that.
What’s something that people may not know about you?
My involvement in the sport of BMX is looking 10-15 years down the road at a very young group of athletes that I am currently working with. I am refining the role of coaching by leveraging my experience in other sports to take a deep-dive into athlete development in the sport of BMX with the hopes of SE and myself putting an athlete into the Olympics or onto the podium at Worlds.