From Qatar for a session

 Chris works in Qatar and wanted to come to the UK for a skills session with myself to predominantly learn to get air but as he later found out in the session , cornering is awesome too!
 The skills check showed Chris had good footwork but had missing looking and body positioning skills so  I made some set up changes, showed him why and then we moved on.

To Chris’s surprise the drop technique, once the skills set is used is a very easy technique and I worked on his mental skills there too. It didn’t take him long to ride all three drops easily.
We moved onto the skills trail and I worked on the top half to begin with . Pumping was used to gain speed and we linked that to berms, switchback and flat corners and also the rock garden.

It wasn’t long before we added in the fly out jump, drops, steps and more corners so that After a short coffee break he was riding the whole trail end to end and loving his new cornering technique as he was railing the trail.
Now, jumping tabletops was something Chris had said he wanted to get from the session and we moved onto this technique using the 6ft tabletop. In a few short steps he was sailing over it with a big grin on his face and totally taken back as to how easy it was.

Chris then used his mental skills to decide to ride the 6ft gap jump too and after a couple of imperfect clears he then sailed over it with total control and ease. I could see he was tiring mentally but I wanted to carry on of course but after a break Chris decided he was too tired to continue so we celebrated a cool session with a cold beer each!
 Great riding dude and see you again soon.

All the way from Cornwall

 Paul made the long journey from Cornwall upon recommendation on the bikeradar forums. On meeting we chatted about his expectations for the session over a coffee and began with the skills check.
 I found partial footwork faults and also looking and body positioning errors and I made some set up changes accordingly.

 We began with the drop technique where I 1st went through the mental skills questions followed by the physical and a demonstration. Paul didn’t take long to get to grips with it and rode all 3 drops easily.
I put Paul through a body position correction exercise before we headed onto the skills trail itself where we worked on linking the 14 sections contained within by the correct braking areas. Pumping, flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to rock gardens, drops, jumps and steps. Methodically we worked down the trail adding the next section to the previous ones and before long we were riding the whole trail. Each run, although maybe had errors was faster and smoother than ever as  he knitted the sections together and self diagnosed any errors.

 We moved off the trail and onto the 6ft tabletop and after a while, Paul sailed over the tabletop and grinned from ear to ear. The jump has a gap one side but we wasn’t ready for that so I moved onto the pump and jump trail to develop his pumping of sections so he could generate enough speed to clear a 9ft tabletop without pedaling!

Paul never knew how or why to pump before our session but it came very easily to him as the video of his first go shows and it got better! After a few sessions I could see him tiring mentally but he wanted to look at the 6ft gap jump and once again used his mental skills  to decide to ride it and sailed over it with ease!
 Our session ended there and I gave Paul a demonstration of the same skills i teach in use in my own riding to reaffirm them with him and we celebrated the session with a cold beer each.
 amazing session Paul!

From the Lake district to Hertfordshire

 Austin made the trip down from Kendal and met me the night before for a curry and beer and he camped overnight before his session. The morning was bright when we began and the sun shone down on us all session. The skills check revealed missing looking and body positioning skills and I changed his set up. The effect was immediate as everything instantly became less of a chore for Austin. Off we went to the drop sections to work on his mental approach also. It wasn’t long before he was riding all 3 drops and the smile never left his face at all afterwards.

  We moved onto the skills trail and i worked hard on body position in his cornering technique. Pumping to gain speed was a simple and effective technique that Austin didn’t know before his session and we used that speed to connect to the trail rather than fight it. Rock gardens, steps, jumps and drops were all linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns and before long we were riding the whole trail end to end far smoother and faster than he’d ever been able to previous to his session.

 I moved us onto jumping tabletops and gaps, something Austin had never done before and in a few short steps he was sailing over the 6ft tabletop with ease. He then used his mental skills questions to decide to ride the 6ft gap jump side also and the same smooth landing was the result. A few goes were had over the next half hour and I could see mental tiredness had crept in so our session ended right there. Austin wanted to see me ride on the woodwork so I did a riding demonstration followed by a cold beer to celebrate an awesome session.

The magnificent seven!

 Vic, Mark, Lyndon, Matteaus, Keith, Andy and Jim made their way to me on a windy Saturday and Although I had coached 3 of them before I could see it would be a progressive session and  challenge on a few levels mentally too. The skills check told me what was missing physically and mentally in their skills sets and I set to work. I made set up changes and showed them “why”.
 We began with the drop technique and soon the lads were riding them and using their body position and looking to land perfectly.

After a while i moved us onto the skills trail were we began linking the 14 sections on the trail together. Pre jumping, rock gardens, steps, jump and drops were linked to flat, off camber, switchback and bermed corners.

We began on half of the trail and methodically linked those sections together by their correct braking areas before adding the next sections on the trail too. It wasn’t long before they were riding the entire trail end to end and faster and more controlled than before. Errors were now being self diagnosed as they moved from conscious reaction into unconscious action and the flow was there for all to see.

 It wasn’t long before it was time to move off the skills trail and on to a massively psychological technique, jumping tabletops.
 Vic wasn’t feeling it and couldn’t answer his mental skills positively so sat this one out and the rest gradually got to grips with the physical side of things and sailed over not only the 6ft tabletop but also the gap side too!!

 The smiles on their faces after sailing over it makes me burst with pride and buzzing, we made our way onto our final technique, steep drop offs. I demonstrated different ways of rolling into these and the body positioning required and Nathan demonstrated dropping it by the drop technique. All of them now chose to rode the steeps using their mental skills and the simplicity of it was something they found astounding. Our session ended soon after as mentally they were done so we retired to the local pub for a celebratory pint.

Ian’s follow on session

 Ian had a session with me back in March and the session was cut short, today he returned and I could see the session from before had paid dividends in his riding when I ran him through the skills check. I found I had to work on his mental skills and looking now so I set to work.
I began as ever with the drop technique and worked on Ian’s looking skill here predominantly but also worked on the mental skills too as I found a protection mechanism.
 I reinforced the previous session but didn’t dwell on the skills trail for long and soon Ian was riding the entire trail end to end and errors were being self diagnosed too.
 Ian wanted to learn to jump on his first session but now was the time and It took some time to work through the mental barriers but also to break it down to a level that Ian could learn so we pieced it together bit by bit until it all came together and over it he flew.

The early torrential rain didn’t dampen the session so we moved onto pumping the trail but the mental process of learning the jump technique had started to take it’s toll and I could see we had not a lot of time left so I decided to move to a less physical technique and to work on the skills application in riding steep drop offs. I worked on the body position and mental aspect of riding them and Ian rode them well indeed.
 Our session ended shortly afterwards in bright sunshine, totally different to the conditions we started in.
 Great session Ian.

Making Ade more fluid

 Ade rides the Surrey hills and came to me via recommendation from Nirvana cycles. On meeting i put the coffee on and we chatted about the possibilities of the session. As ever, the skills check showed me the riders missing skills and I could see that I had to work on body positioning and looking in all areas.
 We began with the drop technique and Ade rode all 3 drops using his mental skills questions that i teach and the effort in it all was minimal now that I had removed the pull from his riding.

 We moved onto the skills trail and began working on pumping technique and using the gained speed to link the rest of the sections on the trail together. berms, switchback, off camber and flat turns were linked to steps, jumps, drops and rock gardens as we methodically worked our way down the trail. I worked hard on braking technique and line choice when linking drops into corners and before long, Ade was riding the entire trail end to end. Each run, although there were still subtle errors, was faster and more fluid than before as each section zipped past.

  We moved onto the technique of jumping tabletops and gaps and after the usual demonstrations, it was Ade’s go. In a few short runs he was sailing over the 6ft tabletop and soon moved over to the gap side and used his mental skills questions again to decide whether to ride it or not and sailed over it again.
 We looked at steeps and linking them to corners and I could see Ade was tiring quickly so we moved to the pump and jump trail to work on pumping sections to gain speed without pedaling to gain enough speed to jump a 9ft tabletop. A few runs and Ade was mentally done so the session closed with a riding demonstration of pumping, jumping and manualing on the trail end to end.
 Great session Ade.

Martin travels from Ireland for 2 days of skills

 Martin made his was over from county Cork, Ireland and originally wanted a week of coaching but I managed to talk him out of that and we settled on 2 days (something I have never offered before). He’d had coaching from various companies previously and turned up confused as to what he needed to do when riding off road.
 The skills check revealed that I needed to work on footwork and looking to begin with and that allowed me to get him cornering better than ever and on day 2 I focused on body positioning.
 The drop technique scared him so I went through the physical and mental skill set with him and demonstrated its application. Martin began landing perfectly and loving it every time!
  We worked on linking the 14 sections on the skills trail together and Martin never thought he’d manage it in 2 days let alone the 1st day as he did. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked with pumping, steps, rock gardens, jumps and drop offs. I worked on rolling down steeps and the braking and body positioning involved.
 On day 2, I ran through everything again to check for unconscious action before working on jumping, pumping and linking sections on a trail by pumping. On the 6ft tabletop, Martin surprised him self by jumping it as he’d never thought he’d ever do that. Martin now understood why I said he’d never manage a week as he was tiring mentally but we worked on linking the pump and jump trail all the way down to the 180 berm at the end before tiredness got the better of him and our session ended with me demonstrating pumping,jumping and manualling sections on the trail.
 Great 2 days Martin and work on the skills exercises I gave you!