From Manchester for skills

Will has had coaching by someone else some time ago and made the journey from up north down to me and stayed in a local b+b. On arrival, we chatted over coffee about his expectations for the session and I set to work. The skills check Tells me the areas needing work and it’s also where I make the necessary set up changes.
I began with braking technique and then onto the application of the skill set to the drop technique. Body position and looking were worked on as well as his mental skill set too. Immediately, will could feel the difference and ease of the technique, I even showed why the same things can be applied to begin to style it too.
We moved onto the skills trail and its fourteen sections. We began with pumping and using this energy rather than needing to pedal and linked it to a berm and flat corner.

Footwork, looking and body position were really starting to pay dividends and soon I added a rock garden, berm and switchback corner into the mix. This proved easy for Will now as he linked them all with ease in a controlled and confident manner. We moved down the trail and added in a fly out jump and a corner with a step on the exit. Getting air was now simple for Will and easy for him to control. I worked hard on line choice when linking the final segment of the trail together and then we began riding the entire trail end to end. Now will was riding fast and smoother than ever before and the smile never left his face. Will made a couple of small errors every so often but now he recognised what he was doing wrong and corrected it.
We moved onto the tabletop as Will rides trail centers and these are becoming common place so I demonstrated and when it was Wills turn he sailed over and even rode the 6ft gap jump too a few times.
For our final session we moved onto the pump and jump trail and worked on pumping two sections to gain speed to jump a 9ft tabletop and I also showed why the skill set applies to manualing across jumps. Mental fatigue began creeping in and we agreed the session should end after over 5 hours.
Great session and I look forward to our on going coaching connection.

Downhill skills for Iain

Iain came to me from Bristol and wanted to develop his skills as he races downhill in the 661 series at the forest of dean. I began with my skills check and I found body positioning and looking faults. I changed his set up also and I set to work.
The drop technique came first and I showed why his new skill set applies both physically and mentally. I was able to teach Iain how to begin to style it in the air too.

I then moved us onto the skills trail and worked on pumping and using the acquired energy to link in the following berm and flat corner. Soon I added a rock garden and switchback and bermed corner too. As we moved down the trail I used a fly out to show why the skill set can be used to either jump or absorb sections to maintain speed.

All the time as we moved down the trail we added the previous sections to it. Next up I worked on linking the drop technique and cornering together by line choice and braking technique.

Iain was now riding the trails 14 sections end to end and was so much faster and controlled. Each run was smoother and any errors were identified and corrected by himself as he moved through conscious reaction to unconscious action.
Next up I worked on manualing tabletops and doubles and this took a little while but then it began to click.
We rode the alpine switchbacks and used his mental skills questions to overcome a peripheral fear to do so.
We moved onto another singletrack to work on his fluidity and linking sections together and he was really beginning to fly.

This trail ended in a drop and I showed why it could be done 3 different ways too!

Lastly, I developed his jumping skills to a level where Iain could comfortably ride a 9ft gap jump and link it with the following berm with consummate ease.

Our session ended after Iain had ridden the gap section a few times and the adrenalin of the session took its toll and tiredness began to show.
An amazing session Iain and I look forward to your riding updates.
High 5!

The gift of a mtb skills session

Colin gave Ian and Paul their part in the private group session for the three of them as a gift. On meeting them I gave them my commitment to their coaching and an outline for the session before we began. I started with the skills check and Between them they had footwork, looking and body position faults which enabled me to use their visuality between them to get more from them. I adjusted their set ups to enhance their control and we moved on.
I always start with the application of the mental and physical skill sets to the drop technique.
The guys were landing perfectly from pretty much the word go as their new skills simplified everything.

I moved onto the skills trail and I began coaching them on the 14 sections that it contains. I began with the pumping technique and we linked that to a berm and a flat corner. Their new skills were already shining through as they could all feel enhanced grip and control. I added a rock garden, berm and switchback corner into the mix followed by a fly out jump and corner with a stepped exit. Now the lads were really enjoying their new skills and their riding was getting faster and way more confident. Lastly We linked their drop and cornering techniques together by line choice and braking areas and they began riding the trail end to end. Each complete run was faster than the previous one even if they thought that wasn’t possible. I could see they were tiring mentally so after a few runs I called and end to the session after 5 hours and I gave them a riding demonstration of the same skill sets in use in my own riding on the woodwork of Herts. A great session to end an awesome week of coaching.

Riding back to your childhood

John came to me after his wife bought him the session as a gift. He brought along 2 bikes asking which he should ride and after I said “just ride your favorite one” he settled on the full suspension and I set to work. I always begin with my skills check and today was no different. I made set up changes and identified his present and also his missing skills.

We moved onto the drops to apply both his new physical and also his mental skill sets. immediately he could feel the difference his new body position made as he began landing perfectly and was at ease with it all.
After a while we moved on to the skills trail where we began with the base technique of pumping and using the energy gained.

We used the gained energy to ride the following berm and flat corner. John used his feet, body and looking skills to comfortable ride faster than before. I added in a rock garden, switchback and another berm to the line and John really began to ride fluidly.
Next up I added a fly out jump and showed why his skill set makes jumping simple and the following corner with stepped exit, which proved no problem for him at all. Finally, I showed him how to link the drop technique to his cornering technique by line choice and braking areas before it was time to ride the whole trail end to end. The difference is his riding was amazing and the smile never left his face as he chuckled out loud at the end of each run.
Finally, I moved us onto our final technique of the session, jumping tabletops. These feature more and more at trail centers and I wanted to show john why they can be dangerous but also why they are easy using his new skill set.

John hadn’t been in the air on a bike since he was a kid but that was about to change as in a few small steps he was sailing over the 6ft tabletop and laughing as he did so!
A few more jumps and our session came to a close, ending an awesome session.
Great start to the new riding year John!

A session with warhead!

Geoff does a lot of cycling photography and a lot of riding but his riding has been effected recently by a lack in confidence in riding.
On arrival we had a coffee and chatted about the outline for the session and as always we began with the skills check. This revealed a great natural habit that was bogged down by missing skills and also in cornering I needed to work on body position and looking.

We moved onto the drop sections to apply the skill set, both mental and physical to this technique and Geoff began landing perfectly. It was time to move to the skills trail and I began by breaking the whole trail down and working on it in bite size chunks.

I began with pumping and harnessing the energy available in the trail and used the gained speed to ride the following berm and flat corner. I added in a rock garden and two further corners, a berm and switchback. Geoff’s new body position really was telling as his summer tyres gripped easily in the slippy conditions of the day. I added in pumping up steep slopes and riding corners with a stepped exit. Geoff was really flowing along the trail now and I then worked on riding drops into corners and the associated line choice effect before it was time for us to ride the entire trail end to end. Each run was faster and more fluid than the last and Geoff was smiling like a Cheshire cat.
I then showed why the skill set applies to riding over fallen trees.

Geoff was surprised how easy it was and we moved on and applied the same thing in a different context in advanced pumping.
To end our session we rode my new singletrack and worked on riding steep roll downs and the mental skills application in those. This brought our session to a close and i can’t wait for Geoff’s riding updates.

Out of Africa!

Chris and Antony came over from Nigeria where they work for a skills session before they do the cape epic. On meeting, we chatted over a coffee and I gave them an outline for the session and my commitment to them.
I began with the skills check and found that I could work on their feet, body and looking skills that were missing between the two of them. I also gave them the mental skills questions that I teach before applying the skill set to our first technique, drops.
It took them no time at all to match their skill set to speed and they began landing perfectly from the word go. Antony was using a demo bike from transition called a bandit that I had got for him to use and I set up for him, Chris was loving his lappiere now as I set it up properly too.
After a while of riding all 3 drops, we moved onto the skills trail and the 14 sections contained within it. I worked hard on cornering but also on pumping the trail and braking areas.
We began with gaining energy from the trail using pumping and controlled this speed and linked in a berm and a flat corner. Before long, I added a rock garden and a berm and switchback corner too. As we moved down the trail I added a fly out jump and a corner with a step on the exit. Now the lads were riding 9 sections and really beginning to flow and enjoy their new speed.
I moved onto the end of the trail and linked the drops into corners using line choice and correct braking. It soon came time to ride the trail end to end and they really began to ride smoothly and confidently. A few runs in and they began to show signs of mental tiredness so our session came to an end after four and half hours. I gave a demonstration of the same skill set in use on the woodwork of herts in my own riding, ending an awesome session!
I look forward to your ride updates guys.

A session for a son part 1

Having Coached Nick twice before he wanted his son Jake to have a session. I began with set up and my simple skills check and Jake really took on board everything very quickly indeed.
once I had installed the correct skills we began as always with the drop technique and Jake applied his new skill set to confidently ride off the drops. The weather really began to turn for the worse so I moved us onto the skills trail to keep Jake interested and warm while his dad tried out the new singletrack. I worked on pumping and cornering with Jake and he used his footwork and looking as he could feel the massive difference it made when he did it. I added a rock garden and 2 more corners and Jake and Nick began riding together. The rain turned biblical and we stopped for a break and to warm up with a hot drink and we decided to do the session in 2 halves so Jake could have time to digest the session easier and also enjoy it in more pleasant weather.
Great start Jake and I’ll see you soon.