Inside Track 2014: World number three Niels-Kristian Iversen’s weekly look inside the Norfolk Arena
16:34 30 May 2014
Being a speedway rider does mean that I have to go looking for other ways to get my adrenaline flowing during the winter.
I like to chill out for a bit but I soon need something going on. I do a bit of motocross during the close season and I always enjoy it. I feel it doesn’t take me too long to get a bit restless. I always seem to ride a bit more aggressively when I haven’t been racing either.
I don’t really do it when I’m competing during the season though. It’s not so much to do with worrying about injuries it’s more about how much time I’ve got. I wrote about my schedule recently so when it’s really busy I haven’t got time to do much other than relax – or even play what’s one of my favourite sports.
I really love playing golf these days. It helps me chill out. It’s a bit different now we’ve got our little one so I do like to spend more time at home. Plus during the speedway season I haven’t got the same hunger for adrenaline so I really like to put my feet up and spend time with the girls in my life.
When I get chance I do like a round of golf though, even though it drives me mad sometimes if I don’t play to my ability. When I play well I really enjoy it but when it goes wrong it can be crushing. I feel like I just want to swing my clubs around my neck and throw them into the lake.
It’s just really nice to get out there on the course, get some air, and play – even in the winter. I do play a lot of golf but I didn’t get much chance during the last close season as we had Nicole (first daughter). But when I do get more time I like to play as much as I can.
I wouldn’t say I watch much golf if I can’t get out on the course. I find it quite a boring sport to watch on the TV. I just like to play golf. I like to do football and motocross but I enjoy watching those two sports. I like quite a few sports really.
I’ve played a lot of indoor football. I’ve not played a lot on the grass, it’s usually just five v five stuff. I did quite a bit of that in the winter when we were back in Denmark. I guess I’ve just always enjoyed different sports, it’s just I’m limited to what I really have the time to do for a lot of the year. When you grow up you have more responsibilities and less time. I don’t play half as much stuff as I did as a kid.
I wouldn’t say I’m good at golf – I don’t play enough either to get better. I started playing quite late in my life and I don’t think I’ll end up being that good at it. I have some good days, and some good holes, but then I have some bad ones too. I’m just not consistent enough to be called a good player.
When I haven’t played for a long time I can tell I haven’t. I start making a lot of mistakes and that is frustrating. But when I get chance to play a few times a week I do start to take a couple of shots off my score. I’m not a natural though. I’d say I’m more natural at ‘mini-sports’ that we used to play when I was growing up. I always used to be in what you’d call the good group when we did indoor hockey, football and badminton. I liked all three but, other than football, I don’t really play them much these days.
I used to enjoy playing the PlayStation but I haven’t done that for a long time now. So I suppose these days my major kicks away from the track come when I can get on the course and swing a few clubs – or go to the gym. I just have to pick and choose what I have the time to do.
I play golf with quite a few other riders, and a few of the guys down at Lynn which I really enjoy when I get the opportunity. I’ve played with Kenneth Bjerre, Olly Allen (ex-Lynn) and Marc Gent (Lynn Stars press officer). I tend to play locally at clubs around where I live (Peterborough) but sometimes when I play with these guys I do have to drive a little bit. But there are loads of courses you can play at which I always find quite cool.
Olly is a good player. Kenneth can play on his day. Marc’s not bad either – although I’d say we’re quite even. I think I’ve beaten him once and the last time we played he beat me by four shots. It’s all down to what happens on the day I guess. But Olly’s good, and so is Danny King (Birmingham).
It doesn’t take long for our rounds to get competitive. We’re not fighting or anything like that but we all want to win of course. I’ve played with Nicki Pedersen a few times during World Cup week when we’ve had a chilling day.
As for who out of everyone is really bad? I won’t mention any names! Ha. I’ll just say it’s a nice sport to do while spending time with others.
‘I am in it to win it is really my motto’
You can see when I’m racing that I love to win – and it’s pretty much the same no matter what I’m doing.
I’m competitive at absolutely everything. It really doesn’t matter what it is. I just hate losing. I can end up being so angry.
I’ve been known to scream and shout even at board games. Even if it’s just for a bit of fun I still want to win. It’s just the way I am. I’d say I’ve always been the same.
I might not be as bad as I used to be, but even when I’m playing board games against friends and family I’m still really determined to win. I play to win, it’s that simple.
I used to get so angry at my PlayStation and I wanted to chuck it if I lost. But I never threw it. I feel the same if I lose at golf, or play a bad shot, or lose a race.
Every time the tapes come up when it comes to speedway I want to win. It doesn’t matter who it is against or what the fixture is.
When we had Mads Korneliussen’s testimonial I wanted to win every race. I especially wanted to beat him because he’s a friend. I suppose that’s part of being a racer.
I’ve always been competitive ever since I used to do sport at school. I suppose it’s just something that’s in you. But I certainly take losing better now I’m older.
Niels-Kristian Iversen was talking to Gavin Caney.
* To read Niels’ exclusive weekly column first, and in print – plus an update on Rory Schlein’s ‘Shave the Roo’ charity challenge, buy Wednesday’s paper. Visit www.edp24.co.uk/sport/kings-lynn-stars for an archive of Iversen’s articles.