Taking the Sketchy out of their mtbing!

Simon, James and Nigel came to me to get more comfortable jumping and also to develop their cornering. The skills check is where i made the set up changes that were necessary and where I found the areas in their skill sets that required work.
I began with the drop technique and used the largest drop to develop their looking and body positioning in flight and that enabled me to show them how to style it in the air.

I then moved to working on their cornering and linking sections together. we worked on pumping techniques and used the speed to link the 14 sections on the trail together. Flat , bermed, off camber and switchback turns, drops , steps and rock gardens were all linked using their skill set and they really began to shift down the trail.
I then moved to the tabletop and 6ft gap jump side to work on their physical and mental skill sets before turning it up a notch.
We moved onto a 9ft gap jump and once I had demonstrated it, they all rode it with confidence.

Simon began tweaking it in the air too.

They then started riding it together to replicate just riding a trail and their new body positioning in both jumping and cornering was really paying off.

Nigel was really railing the berm that came after the 9ft gap jump with commitment and confidence.

As did James, who was motoring all day and as his looking developed he began feeling slow as the vanishing point moved away from him.

Lastly we moved onto a dirt jump with a steeper lip as all three had said they have issues with those kind of take offs and I worked on that before linking it into a 12ft gap into a berm.
Simon was first to link the two together but Nigel and James soon followed.
The session ended with myself giving a riding demonstration of the skills in use in my own riding being applied to the same techniques we’d covered.
Great session guys!

Getting Tom, Phil and Chris airbourn

Tom, Phil and Chris came to me wishing to learn to be comfortable in the air on jumps and drops. The skills check showed me what was missing in their skill set and also what was present but bogged down by bad habits. I made some set up changes and the change was dramatic.
The first technique I covered was the drop technique and using 3 graduated drops I demonstrated why the skills applied and the lads followed suit. I worked on their body positioning and looking skills, this enabled me later on to begin to teach them to make it look stylish in the air too!
I didn’t want to use the whole skills trail for this session so I used the top 3 sections consisting of pump bumps, a berm and a flat corner. I showed them the basic pumping technique and they used the free speed gained to rail the 2 corners using their enhanced body position and looking skills.
I then Taught them the application of the dis connected bunny hop and also the bunny hop to ride over logs and they got to grips with that straight away with Tom bunny hopping cleanly and effortlessly over 2 ft. I then showed why the same techniques can be applied in pumping too.

Next up it was the basics of jumping using a fly out jump and soon they were linking this with more corners and even a drop.

I worked hard on line choice and the application of their 4 psychological questions I give riders when linking drops into corners and they could feel the speed come naturally and it felt un hurried.

Finally, it was time to move to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump. None of them had jumped gaps before and none had been able to jump tabletops with any regularity, but in a very short time they were all sailing over the tabletop easily.

Tom and Phil then applied their mental skills to ride their 1st ever gap jump and did it so easily.

Chris was at a corporate coaching day the day before and I could see he and others were beginning to tire mentally so I ended the session with a riding demonstration by myself and they could see the exact same skills in use in my own riding on the woodwork and dirt of Herts.
Amazing day of progression guys!

dave and Richard’s 2 to 1 mtb skills session


Richard and Dave came to the Herts skills area as arranged and I gave them an outline for the session and found out their aspirations. The skills check revealed some great habits that were bogged down by missing skills and once they had been corrected and along with some set up changes, their riding really took off.

We began on the drops and i worked hard on their looking and body position in this technique and immediately the difference could be felt by them.
After a while we moved onto the skills trail and i worked on the top half consisting of pumping, flat, bermed and switchback turns and a rock garden. The guys improved massively over such a short piece of singletrack and posted 3-4 second improvements.
I then took a break from the trail and showed why the skill set applies to both the disconnected bunny hop and advanced pumping.

We moved back to the trail and added a fly out jump, flat corner and a step on the trail to the mix and they just ate it up as they used their footwork, body position and looking almost unconsciously. Finally I worked on linking drops into corners at the end of the trail and with the addition of line choice too they really flew.
It was time to ride the whole trail and each run was so much faster and controlled than the previous one.
I could see the guys were beginning to tire, so I moved them onto the 6ft tabletop and gap jump.
Both had never jumped one before and looked pensive at the thought but any fears were put to rest as they both sailed over both the tabletop and gap jump too!

Mental fatigue really began to take its toll so I called an end to the session. I then did a riding demonstration of the same skill set in use in my own riding on the high woodwork at Herts.
Great session and I can’t wait to hear of your riding exploits in the future.

Nick’s 1 to 1 mtb skills session

Nick came back for more coaching after attending a group session back in May. I ran him through the skills check and found the footwork and looking we worked on before had stuck and now I was able to work on his body position in all areas.
We worked on drops and I worked on his body positioning there and Nick could feel the difference straight away. I moved us onto the skills trail and worked on the top half first before adding the lower half later on. I really worked hard on nicks body position in corners and it made such a difference to his confidence and control. I worked on linking drops into corners and when Nick began riding the trail end to end he linked all 14 sections together even better than before.

I then moved onto the pump trail and worked on developing his pump technique further so he could generate enough speed to jump a tabletop on the trail.
I moved us to the isolated 6ft tabletop and gap jump and began working on his body position in 3 phases of jumping and he said he felt so controlled doing it.

The gap jump proved no problem either as he applied his mental skill set to it.

lastly, I began working on his mental skills by riding a 2ft high ladder drop and this he rode a few times before mental tiredness appeared and Nick called an end to the session.
Massive improvements again Nick!

5 go mad in Hertfordshire


I coached Phinn and Jamie last year and they came back with their friends Barry, Ned and Dom for a private group session.
I started as ever with the skills check where I identify the present and also the missing skills. changed their set ups and began working on their missing skills.
As always I began with applying the skills, both mental and physical to the drop technique and the guys really got to grips with this fast with all of them riding all 3 drops.

From there, we moved onto the skills trail and I began with basic pumping and later on advanced pumping techniques. We then used the energy gained from it to link the following two corners together. I moved them down to the rock garden and following berm and switchback and soon the guys were linking all 6 sections together.
We took a break for food and I then demonstrated how to apply the skills to ride over a log on the trail and soon they were bunny hopping too.
We moved down the trail and worked on the fly out jump and corner with a step in the exit before once again. linking it to the previous sections. Lastly, we worked hard on linking drops into corners and the effect of line choice

Now it was time to link all 14 sections on the trail together. Pumping, rock gardens, steps, jumps and drops were linked to berms, flat, switchback and off camber corners. Each run was fluid and smooth and the guys were really flying using their enhanced footwork, looking and body positioning but also their new mental skills were were going to be needed later once again as it was time to move to our final task, tabletop jumps.

I had taught them why their skills applied to jumps on the fly out but now they had a transition to land on and that proves mentally challenging for many people.
In no time at all they were all clearing it and landing perfectly and Barry, Phinn and Jamie even rode the 6ft gap jump side too.
The guys were visibly tiring by now and it was time to call and end to the session.
Amazing session all round and I know I’ll see them again for a ride.

A session with susie, Simon and Neil

Susie and Neil had a session with me back in July and this time Susie’s husband Simon joined them. I began as ever with the skills check so I could see what was retained from the 1st session and also to see what areas needed work. All 3 had natural footwork so I was able to work more on their looking but also heavily on body positioning too.
We began on the drops and soon they were all airborne and landing perfectly. I worked on their mental skill set too and the good work from the previous session shone through.
We moved onto the skills trail and I worked hard on body position in corners and using a cone of movement. All three of them could feel the difference in control straight away and confidence and commitment blossomed.
We worked on linking the 14 sections on the trail together, beginning with pumping and using the energy from that to gain speed for the following bermed and then flat corner. I then worked on the rock garden and using line choice we linked it into another berm and a switchback before linking all six sections together a few times and they really began to flow. the hesitancy in Neil and Susie’s riding from before was gone and Simon was loving his new skill set.
We had a break for grub before moving to the next sections on the trail, a fly out jump and corner with a step on the exit. Using their skill set they were all able to get both wheels into the air despite at first feeling hesitant. They then linked all the sections previously covered to it and even though they were beginning to tire, they were smiling.

We moved to the last segment of the trail. and worked hard on linking corners into drops and back into corners. footwork and body positioning linked with line choice really worked for them and soon they were riding the entire trail end to end confidently and faster and smoother than they previously could have.
I really wanted to get them to the tabletop jump to finish the session but the concentration needed during the session really took it’s toll on all three of them and we ended the session to a riding demonstration of the skill set I teach in full use on the Herts woodwork.
Great progress today guys and keep in contact with your riding updates as always.

Paul finally arrives

Paul was delayed for 10 months with work from attending a session with myself but we finally got underway today.
The skills check revealed some real good habits, only bogged down by a couple of missing skills that once corrected made all the difference.
We began with braking technique before moving onto the drop technique where i worked on body position and looking as well as the 4 mental questions I give each rider to ask themselves.
The change made all the difference and Paul began landing perfectly. After a while it was time to move onto the skills trail to work on linking the 14 sections together.
I began with pumping and Paul grasped that quickly but found the speed hard to manage into the next section so he began graduating his effort and linking it into the next section and so on.
Flat, bermed, switchback and off camber turns were linked with steps, drops, rock gardens, fly out jumps and pump bumps. As we moved along the trail, Paul’s confidence and commitment grew and when we got to linking drops into corners, the change in his riding was already there for all to see. Paul then began riding the entire trail end to end and he was way more fluid than ever before. Each run had small errors but overall, so much more controlled and faster.

The final technique I covered was jumping tabletops. Paul wasn’t very confident and protected himself by backing away as he rolled in but after a few tweaks both physically and mentally, he sailed over it. The smile on his face said it all and we high 5’d as he walked back up. A few more clears and our session came to an end.
To cap the session, I showed the same skills in use in my own riding on a high fast line on the woodwork at herts and Paul could see it.
Great session!