Birds of a feather

 

Michael, Dudley and Justin have been friends for years and wanted to have a private mountain bike coaching session with myself. I could tell when we met that we’d get on just fine as they explained the areas they wanted to work on in their riding. The skills check showed me they had footwork, looking and body positioning faults and once corrected, I just needed to work on their mental skills. During the session we worked on steeps as well as four ways of riding annear vert drop off, we worked on drops, one of the wants of Justin before working on their jumping and pumping, oh and did I mention cornering as well? We worked hard on their cornering and they were blown away at the grip and control they felt. Dudley and Michael wanted to ride gap jumps too so we worked on that also. The session seemed to fly by as gaps of 5ft, 6ft and 9ft were all ridden easily. Tiredness meant the session was coming to an end but they all felt it and were happy to end the session with a pint in the local.

Fantastic end to a brilliant week of mountain bike coaching

High5!

 

 

 

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Mother and Daughter share a session

I have coached Ellen before and this time Her mum Sue joined the session as she lacked confidence when riding and a recent trip to Spain really knocked her confidence as she found herself walking down most things. The session would involve installing Sue’s skills set and developing Ellen’s skills too. I was able to work on style in the air with Ellen whilst getting Mum comfortable in the air on drops. I worked on Ellen’s weaker right turns whilst working on mums footwork and looking in her cornering. We worked on linking drops and drop offs and also drops into turns too. The rain didn’t deter us as we moved smoothly and unhurried through applying the mental and physical skills to many sections found on trails.

Mum said that she had only rolled over jumps and had no idea how to jump but befoe the end of the session herself along with Ellen were sailing a 6ft table top with Ellen moving onto the 6ft gap jump and then the 9ft gap jump. What a session!!!!! I’ll be buzzing all night now.

High5!

 

 

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Restarting Kim’s mtb skills

Kim was bought a session voucher as a xmas gift from her husband and today was the day we’d arranged. Kim explained that she was worried about the session but her fears were soon laid to rest. Kim told me of her fears on her bike and how she gets off and walks loads on singletrack trails. The skills check showed missing footwork and looking areas but had a pretty much perfect body position.

We began with cornering on the grass and began correcting the missing skills before working on Kim’s mental skills when riding down singletrack. We worked on carrying speed through corners and linking sections of trail by control areas. pumping and absorbing sections of the trail were high on the list but before the end of the session, Kim was riding two trails and linking the sections contained within. The surprise for her was how much faster she knew she was but never feeling out of control. Any errors were self diagnosed too as she knew why it was right or wrong. The highlight was riding the whole singletrack trail end to end many times and linking all 14 sections of the trail including drop offs, steps, rocks and a variety of corners.

Brilliant session and huge improvements.

High5!

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Fran, Amanda and Chris’s skills session

Fran, Amanda and her husband Chris arrived as  arranged for their session. They explained what they were hoping to gain from the session and with that information I built their session. I began with the skills check and found that collectively they needed work on footwork, looking and body positioning and that would then only leave the application of their mental skills.

I demonstrated various techniques in a variety of different sections and context on the trails. The drop technique was first and that really surprised them as it now felt simple. Onto cornering and pumping, something the girls really wanted to improve on and they were all soon flowing nicely through three linked berms using the correct control areas.

After a break we worked on steeper terrain and the mental aspect of such features including a near vertical drop off before moving on to linking drops into corners too. The session was moving along nicely as the heat of the sun beat down upon us, something that was to prove a session stopper later.

Onto jumping tabletops and for Chris, his fear and want of gap jumps. Soon they were all getting airtime on the tabletop and only heat exhaustion stooped Fran from clearing it but Amanda and Chris sailed it. Chris moved to the 6ft tabletop to ride his first ever gap jump but I wasn’t stopping there as he still had a bit more left in him so we ended with him riding the 9ft gap jump a good few times.

Brilliant session of perceived mixed abilities .

High5!

 

 

 

 

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Moving Andy’s riding on some more

 

I had previous coached Andy twice before, the last time in 2011 and he wanted to return to get over in particular his fear of drops like the start to vicious valley at bike park wales. When ever I begin my mountain bike coaching sessions I always begin with my skills check and that showed me that Andy had developed into a different rider than when we last met and our session would cover some stuff he’d previously said no too and that we’d end up on the woodwork too.

Drops were first and that was quickly followed by the 6ft tabletop and  I worked on applying effort or speed to judge distance of flight and he was popping into the air quite nicely.  Then Andy used his mental skills to decide to ride the gap jump side and landed sweetly 6ft over the gap. Amazing. Next we worked on linking pumping, cornering and choosing when to jump or pump sections of trail. During the session It was clear that bigger gap jumps were not something for today but we worked on four different ways of riding a near vertical drop off and hipping into it finally was amazing to watch especially the size of the grin that was plastered all over his face.

I then demonstrated riding then alpine switchbacks and again Andy followed suit. We ended our session with Andy riding a long line of woodwork that involved a drop, pumping and cornering as well as the whole different level of mental skills.

Cracking session. High5!

 

 

 

 

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Father and Son Session

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Nick had been to us before for some mountain bike coaching, and he returned with his son to enjoy a skills session together. I quickly ran them through the skills checks, to see what skills were in place. I moved straight over to drops. I could see connor was very comfortable with what I had previously shown him In the skills check. This was also a good opportunity for Nick to warm up, and bring him back to where we left off. We moved straight over to the tabletop, and I gradually added speed individually for them, until we found a point where they were both clearing it. They quickly answered yes to their mental questions and rode the gap jump as well, landing perfectly on the downslope.

We done a bit of work on correcting both of their cornering techniques, and then we moved straight on and linked drops into corners. Now they had to link two sections together, managing their speed in between. Next I showed them the three linked berms, and the larger tabletop which followed. I didn’t spend too long here, as there main aim was to ride more jumps, so I showed them the wooden ladder gap which followed the second corner. Nick rode this last time, and sailed over it. Connor quickly followed, also landing perfectly.

After lunch, I showed them the larger 9ft gap jump. I explained and demonstrated the line, and gave them an idea of the speed needed. We had quite a few goes at this, working on line choice and being able to ride it at different speeds, and adjusting their effort to match. They were both beginning to tire, but I wanted to show them the new ladder gap line. I demonstrated each one on its own as needed, and they again used their mental skills to decide how far they wanted to go.

Nice one guys. Work on them knees Nick, and stay forward Connor.

Nath (@ukbikenath)