Life in the fast lane: Motorsport Performance Enhancement Specialist and Elite Mentality owner Jen Duffee is destined for the very top after considerable success so far for the Suffolk star
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk girl Jen Duffee is on track for success in the traditionally male-dominated world of motorcycling. She set up her own business – ‘Elite Mentality’ – last year and now helps some of the sport’s best riders reach their goals. WILL RIDGARD spoke to her.
Ever since she can remember, Jen Duffee has had a burning desire to achieve success in the gruelling motorsport industry.
Now, after setting up her own business, the 23-year-old from Wetheringsett is well on her way to realising those dreams.
Her title – ‘Motorsport Performance Enhancement Specialist’ – sounds complicated.
And it has certainly been a long and complex road for the former Debenham High School head girl.
Duffee’s job is to “create winners by enhancing riders’ mental, physical and nutritional approach to racing” in motorsports such as British Superbikes, the World Motocross Grand Prix and speedway to name just three.
“My main aim is to mentally prepare riders throughout the season but also during the off-season (February to October), ensuring they are 100% fit in their body and in their mind,” the University of Brighton sports science graduate explained.
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“Essentially, I help riders better their race results by developing all areas of their performance that need improving, such as helping them stick to weekly gym plans, weekly diet plans, motivational help and mental strength training.
“Riding is extremely physically and emotionally tiring – you travel for hours and hours on end and when you’re competing you have no second chances. If you mess up, there’s no going back.
“All the riders I help have external influences, as well as internal emotions, that will affect their race performance, like part-time jobs and family commitments – life in the sport is at 100mph all the time.
“My job is therefore to simply help create winners by enhancing elements connected to mental strength.”
She continued: “Riders may come to me feeling down and unmotivated. We’ll go through their targets for the year, what they want to achieve and how they’re going to achieve that, before implementing those plans.
“Having a professional relationship with the rider is the key, just speaking and being with them builds up the network of trust. It’s a lonely place is riding, but with sufficient rapport and support, results can improve very quickly.
“A lot depends on how much effort the rider is prepared to put in. The people who keep motivated throughout the year, dedicating themselves to the provided mental strength training programmes and who strive for constant improvement in all areas of their racing, reap the rewards the most.”
Duffee’s motorhome takes her to tracks all over the world for eight months of the year. In the 2014 race season she helped her riders achieve an incredible 50 British podium finishes.
All this success came on the back of a business she set up less than 18 months ago. It’s certainly been a rapid rise for someone whose initial interest in the sport stemmed from watching the Ipswich Witches speedway team as youngster.
“When I finished university, I wanted to create a way of making my dream happen,” she said.
“I was always different. To me, motorsport was my football.
“It’s an idea I’d researched in detail and knew I could do, especially as no women within the motorsport industry had set-up anything like it before.
“I remember a rider who would win race after race at club level, but then repeatedly collapse on the big-stage, and I’d think ‘why has he done that? Surely something can be done to change that?’
“I’d already built up a host of experience and connections, so after a few e-mails, I got more people on board with it – and the success has simply spread from there.
“Setting up and running your own business is scary – some people may look at what I’m doing and think ‘why?
“She’s young, she’s female, the predominant age and gender of people in the sport is males, aged mid-to-late 30s, but it just goes to show that if you want to 100% make something work, you can.”
Now with plenty of successful British, American, South African, Polish, and Australian clients, Duffee is loving her non-stop lifestyle, with the sky very much the limit for her and her business.
What’s next then? Busy preparing up to 35 clients’ programmes for next season, Duffee’s 2015 diary is bulging at the seams, with 95 race days already pencilled in for next year – that’s not even including the normal speedway meetings she will attend.
She will also be involved with the USA national speedway team next year during the Speedway World Cup, as she did this year travelling to King’s Lynn and Poland with them in July.
Duffee plans to build on the foundations she has built for now, but she does have two dream jobs – to work in the MotoGP World Championships and within the Speedway Grand Prix series.
You wouldn’t bet against it!
Anyone interested in receiving performance enhancement support from Duffee, should contact her on email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EliteMentality.