Giving Scott some skills

Scott is new to mtbing and wanted to have some skills coaching to make sure he handles his trail center holiday with his friends.
Once I had identified his missing and present skills and had uncovered a natural push and also body position habit, we moved onto the drop technique.
Here I worked on the psychological side of doing drops and I showed why the skills applied here.
We then moved onto the skills trail and we worked on pumping, flat,off camber, switchback and bermed corners. We linked them to rock gardens, steep up slopes, steps and steep roll downs.
Each was linked to the next section using the correct braking areas.
We worked on braking techniques and Scott began riding more and more confidently and smoothly.
We moved onto an isolated berm to get him used to carrying speed through berms before moving back to the trail and riding it end to end. The difference in Scott’s riding was there for all to see and his smile was beaming across his face.

Ade, Dave and Damian’s private skills session

I have coached Ade before and he wanted to return with 2 friends. On meeting them I ran them through my checks to see what was present and missing in their skills and found that they really needed work on cornering and that they possessed an great push technique bogged down with one missing skill.
Once corrected, we moved onto the drops as always and to their surprise they were landing perfectly straight away. I worked on their looking and body position and it all came together. Dave was using flats for the 1st time and he soon learned to love them, oh and my bike too as he preferred it to his own!
We then moved onto the skills trail where we began with pumping bumps on the trail and then began working on flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We linked them using the correct braking areas into steps, rock gardens, jumps and drops.
We worked our way down the trail linking the new sections to the previous and soon the guys were riding really fast and smooth.
They rode the trail end to end faster and faster.
We moved onto the tabletop to further develop their new found jumping and they flew over both the tabletop and the 6ft gap side too. Dave was so surprised at the ease of it all and Damian was back to his childhood mongoose jumping days.
Ade had more in mind as to end the session he rode the 9ft gap jump 3 times with whoops of joy as he did!

Fantastic session guys!

myles’s session



Myles has a back ground in wind surfing and I could see the cross over in his skill set during my skills check.
I found footwork, looking and body position faults but also uncovered a push that was bogged down and needed un blocking.
Once corrected, the 1st technique I covered was the drop technique. here I showed why his push applied and how and in no time at all Myles was landing perfectly on all 3 drops.
I moved us onto the trail and set about working on linking the sections on the trail one by one using the correct braking areas and also using the trails energy rather than the riders.
We worked on all kinds of corners and linked them into steps, rocks, jumps and drops.
I worked hard on linking Myles’ new found drop technique into corners and worked hard on braking and line choice before finally riding the trail end to end.
Myles rode the trail end to end a few times and with each run he became more fluid as he began to surf the trail metaphorically.
Our session ended to a cold beer and a demonstration of the skill set in use by myself on the woodwork of herts.

Colin’s one to one

Colin made his way up from Deal in Kent. Once I had ran him through the skills check I had a clear picture of what was missing in his skill set but also what is present. The first technique we covered was the technique that Colin had most trepidation about, drops.
Colin’s natural push was applied with the new looking skill and he was landing perfectly.
He rode all 3 drops with commitment and confidence over and over until it was time to move onto the skills trail.
On the trail the first technique we came across was the pumping technique which set up the whole trail and enabled Colin to harness the trails energy.
We then linked it into off camber, switchback, bermed and flat corners. We linked them into steps, rock gardens, jumps and drops too.
We worked our way methodically along the trail , linking the next to the previous section using the correct braking areas.
We rode the entire trail end to end a few times and with each run the flow and fluidity of Colin’s riding developed further.
The final technique I covered was jumping the tabletop. Colin never thought in his wildest dreams, well maybe not that wild, that he could jump a 6ft table top but in A few controlled steps he flew over and landed on the downslope perfectly, over and over again.
To cap the session off, he also rode the gap jump too with a massive smile on his face as he did!
Fantastic session!

Claude and Rudi’s session


Claude and Rudi came to me wanting a skills session before they return to the alps. They wanted to actually get comfortable on small drops and jumps. During the skills check I found what was missing in their skill sets and also that we needed to work on corners too!
We began on the 3 drops and I worked on looking and footwork first and soon they were becoming more and more confident on drops. I also worked on their body position in flight too. They rode all 3 comfortably and I then got them to follow each other over the drops to get used to having a rider in front obscuring their looking.
I then moved onto berms and linking drops into berms.

I worked on looking and body position in berms and with each run they went faster and faster.
We then moved onto the jump technique on a 6ft tabletop and I removed any trepidation by demonstrating in 3 easy steps. In no time at all they sailed over the 6ft tabletop and Rudi in particular really got to grips with the technique and rode the gap jump side loads too!
I then moved us onto a wooden berm to get them comfortable on riding into what looks like a wall closing in and once again they got to grips with it and Claude really overcame a protective mechanism here which made him switch feet, so great work Claude!
Lastly, we moved onto a larger gap jump and applying their mental skill set Claude declined and Rudi said he was good to go, so flew over it first time.
Great session lads!

Consolidating Dans skills

Dan came back to me for a one to one session after previously attending public sessions. This enabled me to focus on his learning style and work on his body position and also his mental skills in corners, jumps and drops.
We began on the drops and Dan began riding far more confidently and landing smoothly.
I worked on linking drops into corners but found he needed work on berms so that’s exactly what we did.
On an isolated berm, I worked on carrying speed into and out of corners and body positioning. By gradually adding speed Dan became more and more confident and began really flowing through it fast!
I moved us back to the drop into the berm and he linked it perfectly, time and again.
We then moved onto the tabletop where Dan was quite protected in his riding on a previous session and after a demonstration by myself, he was flying over with renewed confidence and commitment.

Dan rode the gap side smoothly and easily too over and over again.
I then brought Dan to a large wooden berm to work on the claustrophobic feel of them and to show that they are treated the same as any other berm. After some trepidation, Dan began riding it fast and smooth and carrying enough speed to ride the entire length of it too.
Lastly we moved to the 9ft gap jump but Dan was too mentally tired to ride it as he added up his mental skill set to make that decision.
Fantastic session!

Ben, Cam and Mike’s skills session

The lads made the trip down from the Malverns to me for an overall skills polish.
Once I had discovered the present and also the missing skills We then began to apply them to techniques.
During the skills check I found that all 3 had an awesome push that was natural but bogged down. Once I had corrected it things really began to take off, quite literally.
We began with drops and I worked heavily with Mike here as he had crashed 18months ago and badly injured himself so I worked on his psychological skills set . In no time at all they were ALL riding the 3 drops and landing correctly.
We next moved onto the skills trail itself and worked on linking the 14 sections that it contains together using the exits and entries as braking areas.
Pumping, flat,bermed,off camber and switchback corners were linked with rock gardens, steps, drops and fly outs on the trail. The end of the trail requires the drop technique and the corner technique to be linked and I worked hard on braking techniques and line choice here.
To end our session I moved them onto the tabletop and the lads all looked sheepishly at it and I could feel the lack in confidence in their ability for jumps.
I demonstrated as always and the simplicity of it struck a chord with them and they all agreed to go through with the technique as they applied the skills to it.
To their surprise they were sailing across the jump and landing on the down slope perfectly, time and time again!
The smiles were beaming across their faces each time they walked back for another run. I ended the session there as mental tiredness began to show.
Great session!