Uncovering the rider in Liz

I began the session with Liz as i always do, with the skills check. I could see that inside Liz was a rider dying to get out but lacked mental skills to enable this.
We began with un weighting and pumping and very soon Liz was able to do what she had been trying to do for ages, raise the front wheel off the ground effortlessly. During the pumping technique Liz really connected with the trail as she smoothly flowed through the trail. We then worked on the drop technique and it was here that Liz really began to feel her mental skills began to blossom as she began flying through the air and landing both wheels together. Liz showed great commitment during the drop technique as we worked at riding it at different speeds.
Now it became time to move to a trail and work on the sections contained within it. I broke the trail into 3 segments and worked on each segment one at a time beginning with corners.
Here we worked on body positioning, footwork and looking. We worked on braking in the correct zones and not in the sections. I then added the next segment and we worked on linking all the section contained and now Liz was really riding confidently.
Liz had told me previously of her fears for steep roll downs of any length and one of the sections contained that fear so we isolated it and worked on her 4 physical skills so that she could commit and feel confident rolling down into the corner. Once Liz had rode it her confidence went sky high . I added the end segment and its larger drop section but this proved no problem to the new Liz as each section was ridden confidently. Finally we rode the whole trail and from top to bottom Liz rode smoothly down the trail and all braking was done in the correct places and her skills were shining through.
As the final technique of the day I demonstrated a long, steep roll down. This was previously a big fear for Liz but now after a run up to check her line she sailed down. Here we ended our session and made our way back to the car park. A great session to end a great day.

Richard, Dave and Mark’s private group session

Richard contacted me looking for a private group session and to expand on their skills both physically and mentally.
As always, i began with the skills check and armed with the information I gathered I set to work.
We worked on un weighting the front end of the bike and I identified and removed any pulling on the bars. We then moved onto the pumping technique and the guys really got to grips with this rhythmic technique and soon were flowing fast along the single track pumping instead of pedalling. I then demonstrated the dis connected bunny hop over a fallen tree and we worked on this and the weight shifts and pushes involved.
Next we moved onto a small drop and table top to work on the drop and jump techniques and soon the guys were flying through the air and landing perfectly!
from there i moved us to a trail with six sections on it and broke it down. Here we worked on cornering and linking sections together, identifying braking zones and line choice. the guys really began to shift through the trail and confidence was booming.
Now it came time to raise the game on their mental skills. I moved us to a trail that has tighter, looser corners and larger drop and jump sections and here I isolated the mental skills and really began working on them.
I split this trail into two halves. The top half contained corners and ended with a black grade drop section. I worked on their trail energy management here some more as we built speed enough to pump parts of the trail and the drop sailed by for all three of them. Confidence and commitment were really blossoming now and they could concentrate as the trail was quite with no other riders about.
I then demonstrated the last half of the trail and all sections including the 7ft gap jump section using the trails energy instead of pedalling and Richard, Dave and Mark followed suit.
After a few runs of the complete trail we ended our session as tiredness began to show and we left with smiles all round.
Awesome day!

Opening James eyes to what’s possible

On meeting James and putting him through my skills check I discovered he had skills errors in cornering and straight on sections which I set about changing straight away.
We began with pushing the bike away and then applied it to pumping and the dis connected bunny hop. For a rider to neither push correctly or wrong pull the bike it was astonishing how quickly James picked this technique up and for a rider who couldn’t raise his front wheel at all he was confidently un weighting over a fallen tree!
From there we moved onto the drop technique and applied his new skill set there and once again in a short space of time James was landing smoothly and riding away strong. We worked also on climbing technique and James found the skill set application made it all easier.
It came time to move onto a trail and work on cornering and linking sections on a trail together using the correct braking zones. I cut the trail into Three segments and we focused on the sections contained within them. To begin with we worked on cornering and here we focused on looking and body positioning and gradually James began to really fly down the trail. I added in the next segment and the sections contained within and we identified braking areas and by timing the runs James could see the benefit of the skills as he gained time.
Finally, we linked all of the nine sections contained in the trail together, including the one meter drop at the end in a smooth, confident manner.
Great session James!

Building Tim’s mental skills

After the skills health check it became clear that Tim had some very good physical skills, some needed development but things were looking good. We began with pumping and in a short space of time Tim was rhythmically flowing through the undulations on the trail. I then taught him how to bi laterally pump which really clicked with him and he was really shifting effortlessly. We also worked on the bunny hop too over a fallen tree and Tim was getting to grips with this too.
From there I moved us to the drop and jump techniques and using Tim’s natural push, I got Tim landing perfectly with both of these techniques. Things were really looking good, so I moved us to a trail and began working on cornering.
I discovered early on that Tim had footwork and looking skills to develop and his uptake of the corrective methods I use was really fast which enabled me to work on his body position too.
I broke the 1st trail into 3 segments and worked on each segment and the sections contained within each before slowly linking them together. Section after section was dealt with smoothly and quickly and all braking was done in the correct places. This was evdient when we rode the entire trail and Tim really flew smoothly down.
Finally, I moved onto another trail with looser, tighter corners and a larger drop section. It was here that I really worked on Tim’s mental approach and we soon got him linking each corner together and riding the drop section all in a flow and each section became just that, another section regardless of what it actually was.
Awesome riding Tim and I look forward to your updates.

A beginners progress

Nicky contacted me wanting help with her all round riding as she has fears she wishes to over come. I put the through my skills check where I could see for myself the areas needing work. Now, confidence was a big issue but first I had to work on her physical skills and install the skills required that form techniques before we can do anything about her mental skill set.
We went through controlled braking and basic balance checks. It was here that I made some changes to her set up too.
So, onto techniques beginning with pumping. Nicky really got to grips with the rhythm of this technique. from there I moved us onto a corner with a roll down switched back exit which was something that is very commonly a fear factor in many riders and in a short time Nicky rode it and now her mental skills began to develop.
we then worked on steeper descents and we worked very hard on this as Nicky typically became protective in her riding language. After a short break for drink/chat I then showed Nicky how to unweight the front wheel and use her pump to begin the drop and jump techniques. and in 3 tries she had it sorted. We finally began working on her cornering and really working on her footwork and looking skills and things really began to take shape as mental tiredness showed and we called an end to a very enjoyable session!
Nicky, remember your homework and keep me informed of your progress.

Ian rolls on a 29er

Ian contacted me wanting to work on his overall speed and his cornering mostly. After the skills check I could see that he had a natural push technique to un weight the front of the bike but that he lacked his looking skill. The same thing was missing primarily from his cornering, so I set to work.
I began working with him on the pump technique and in a very short time we moved onto bi lateral pumping and Ian was really beginning to show a connection with the trail. We then moved onto the dis connected bunny hop, I could see after my demonstration that Ian was not convinced he could perform the technique but with in 4 goes he had it nailed. Things were looking good!
From there, we moved onto the drop technique and soon Ian was airborne and landing sweetly at various speeds.
It came time to work on Ian’s cornering and also his trail energy management, so we moved onto a trail. Ian lacked footwork and looking but in a short amount of time we had corrected this and was able to work on body positioning too. Soon, Ian was flying down through the first 2 corners of the trail so We then worked on the next segment of the trail, isolating the sections within and linking them via their entry’s and exits. Before riding the whole trail we worked on linking the drop sections at the end of the trail together and it was here that I worked on Ian’s mental skill set as i needed to develop his confidence and concentration and soon those sections swept by beneath his wheels.
Finally, we rode the trail end to end and it became clear that Ian was riding smoother and faster than before but with more time as he was looking so far ahead down the trail.
Our session ended as mental tiredness began to show so we made our way back to the car park.
Great session Ian!

Moving Mike’s riding on.

Mike contacted me saying that after many years of riding he has plateaued in his riding. We began as always with the skills check where I see what skills are missing but as importantly which are already present and maybe un noticed.
our first technique we worked on using the new skills set was bi lateral pumping and then the dis connected bunny hop. It became clear very quickly that Mike could ride a bike but lacked only a few answers to complete his riding. From there we moved onto the drop and jump techniques and working on a small drop I could isolate any physical skill that was lacking in a safe environment. Soon Mike was flying and landing perfectly. I then moved us onto a small table top and we worked on 3 skills whilst I controlled the approach speed and soon mike was airborne again.
We then moved onto a trail with 9 sections on it and began working on cornering 1st. Mike’s footwork was great which enabled us to work on looking into the next and body positioning.
We worked our way down the trail stitching each section together methodically using the identified braking zones. Section after section flew past and Mike was really flowing down the trail fast and controlled.
Amazing session and a great end to a great days coaching.