Matt and the guys came to me with an eye on getting comfortable to be able to get air off drops and jumps and maybe even a singletrack skills tweak too.
During the skills check I discovered their missing skills and corrected their set ups too.
First up to their surprise was the drop technique and using a very simple technique they were flying off into the air and landing perfectly on all 3 drops.
We then moved onto the trail were we worked on flat,bermed , switchback and off camber turns and linked them to other sections on the trail. I covered trail energy management and pumping.
The guys used their new looking and footwork skills to awesome effect as they began shifting at speed along the trail using the correct braking zones, each run becoming faster.
We worked on rock gardens, steps and fly outs and linking drops into berms too.
lastly, We worked on jumping tabletops and none of them were sure they would be able to but in a few well managed runs they were all air bourne and landing on the transition 6ft away and the smiles beamed. They even used their mental skill set to ride the gap jump side too.
Peta has lots of experience in many other sports but mountain biking is pretty new to her. I set about seeing what was missing in her skill set but also what was already present as memory from other sports too.
I found footwork and looking faults but uncovered a good body position habit too and planned to bring this out too.
The 1st technique I covered was the drop technique and after dispelling the rear wheel landing myth Peta began landing perfectly. using her physical and mental skill set, Peta moved up and rode the next drop too and landed confidently and controlled a few times.
We moved onto the skills trail next and worked on the 14 sections within it and linking them together using the correct braking areas.
Flat, bermed, switchback and off camber corners were linked to pump bumps, rock gardens, jumps, steps and drops.
We worked our way down the trail methodically and gradually Peta began to use her footwork and looking unconsciously and After 6-7 complete runs we called an end to the session.
Great foundations were laid and I’m looking forward to Peta’s ongoing connection.
Nick turned up as arranged and I lost no time in putting him through my skills check where I discovered looking and body position faults and I set about correcting these before moving on to the drop technique.
Nick has a habit of staring down when pushing off of drops and I began removing this.
Soon he was landing perfectly.
We then moved onto the trail where I worked section by section and added it to the previous as we worked our way methodically along the trail.
Flat, bermed, switchback and off camber corners were linked to steps, pump bumps, rock gardens and fly outs.
I worked on Nicks peripheral fear to that we uncovered and worked on the mental aspect of the skills set.
We linked drops into berms too before we rode the entire trail end to end quite a few times and with each run Nick was getting more fluid and smooth as his new body position became more of a natural action.
We then worked on getting air under his wheels using a fly out and table top. This uncovered a protective mechanism but I worked hard on this and also his peripheral fear too and soon he was airbourne.
The session ended as mental fatigue crept in and I look forward to Nick’s riding updates!
Dave, Martin, Fred, Nim and Steve came over for an all round tune up session and during the skills check I found footwork, body position and looking faults and on another check I found that one of them pulled the bike towards themselves and the other 4 had looking faults that made their push harder work.
After a few set up changes I began correcting the faults that I discovered.
The first technique we applied the physical and mental skills to was drops.
After clearing up any mis advice commonly given else where, the guys all began flying off the drops and landing perfectly. Time to move onto the trail itself.
I began working on pumping the trail and linking the 14 sections of the trail together, braking and pedaling in the correct places.
Rock gardens, steps, fly outs. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchbacks corners were stitched together and the guys were looking and feeling smoother as we worked our way down the trail. The end of the trail requires riders to link drops into a berm and we worked hard on this before going up and riding the whole trail end to end a few times.
All the guys were riding faster and more controlled and the trails energy was controlled and used.
Lastly we moved onto the tabletop and gap jump to work on jumping.
In a few small steps all the riders were in the air and flying over the tabletop and landing on the transition perfectly, some even used their mental skills to sail over the gap a few times too.
Gary is a very accomplished road cyclist and races mtb. He wanted to develop his off road skills to gain time in races so I set about it with this in mind.
During the skills check I discovered footwork, looking and body position faults and also that he pulled the bike too. I set about correcting his set up and also the missing skills before we moved onto drops.
Gary was worried about the suitability of his carbon hardtail but this soon ended as he was sailing off the drops and landing perfectly and commenting on how it feels so smooth.
We then moved onto the trail and Gary commented on the tight looking corners but soon he was flying round them.
As his looking and footwork became easier i then worked on his body positioning too.
We worked on bermed, switchback, off camber and flat corners. Rock gardens, drops, steps and pumping.
We worked methodically down the trail, linking each section to the last. I worked hard with him on linking drops into corners and removing his braking in corners.
We then rode the trail end to end and with each run Gary got faster and smoother too.
The final run was a peach so we stopped riding the trail and moved onto jumping. To Gary’s surprise the technique was actually a lot easier than he thought and soon he was up in the air and landing on the transition. The smile on his face was a picture.
Gary then used his mental skill set and applied it to ride the gap jump side too!
Awesome session Gary and I look forward to our on going connection.
Chris came to me in a group session 18months ago and wanted to bring his riding on further. The skills I installed back there were still present but he had developed a body position fault that I set about correcting in corners and I needed to work on the peripheral fears I had uncovered from the last session as he had a fear he recognised now but couldn’t overcome.
I worked on his body position in the drop technique as he has a tendency to sit right back and also on his mental skills too as he rode the drops landing perfectly.
We then moved onto the trail and worked heavily on cornering and linking all the sections present on the trail together and flowing.
I worked heavily on his peripheral fear as we worked on drops into a berm. In time, Chris was really beginning to fly along the trail.
We stitched each section to the next using the identified braking zones and then rode the trail a few times end to end. each run got better and better as it became a more unconscious action.
We left the trail after a while and I began on working on jumping tabletops with him. In 6 runs Chris sailed over the jump easily and then rode it time and time again.
As tiredness began to show it’s head I called an end to the session and i can’t wait for Chris’ riding updates.
Andy wanted to develop his riding and as he has only been riding 14 months, wanted to iron out any bad habits.
The skills check revealed body position and looking faults but found a solid push with no faults so I knew the session would really take off.
We began small on the 3 skills drops and then onto the end of the coaching trail to work on drops and carrying speed into corners.
We then moved to the tabletop and gap jump side of it and it was clear Andy had a solid foundation on which I could build.
We worked on a 12ft log booter gap jump and used cornering and pumping to gain speed and pop for the jump. Andy used his mental skills to great effect here and for the rest of the session.
Then we moved onto a learner dirt jump with a steeper take off than the table top and worked on that before adding in a hip jump too where I worked on style in the air. After a few runs we then moved onto an advanced drop and linking it into a 9ft gap step down and into a berm.
We worked on braking areas and carrying speed through sections. I then ramped it up a bit to a larger advanced drop into the same berm and here Andy needed to manage his own speed more effectively into the berm as more speed was gained from the height of the drop.
Lastly Andy then rode everything we had covered again to deeper embed the learning from the session.
I look forward to seeing you again Andy.