Giving Megan control and confidence

 Megan was bought this session as a gift from Adrian as she had a lack of confidence after a crash whilst riding the peak district. On meeting, I could tell I would have to work very gradually and the skills check identified both looking and footwork were missing in Megan’s riding. I changed the set up of her bike we  moved onto work on the mental skills as well as the physical. I began with rolling down the hill over a small drop and using both mental and physical skills , Megan got air under her wheels for the 1st time. This surprised her and she repeated it a good few times and even moved onto a higher one and the result was the same. Later, we moved onto the skills trail and worked on braking areas and linking sections on the trail together. We worked on footwork and looking in two corners to begin with and Megan commented how controlled it felt. I knew that the rock garden would be a mental block and we worked hard on that before linking it to 2 more corners. Megan was now linking 6 sections on the trail together. We had a well needed break and then continued with dealing with upslopes and steps on a trail and then we added that to the previous sections so Megan was linking 9 sections together fluidly and in control. I could tell that she was tiring mentally as errors were creeping in but Megan knew when it was right and why now and that made her way more confident. by the end of the session Megan was riding the whole skills trail and linking all the sections contained on it together with a renewed commitment and confidence and she ended the session herself, wanting to end on a high .
Great session Megan and keep me informed on your future riding.

Control builds back Barry’s confidence

 Barry came to me after finding he lacked confidence in riding off road over the past 2 years and said he just wanted to feel in control when cornering. I began as always with the skills check and found he needed work on looking and body positioning in all areas. I made a set up change and showed Barry why I had did so.
 The look on his face when I said we’d begin with the drop technique was a picture as he thought he’d never get his wheels into the air and at best it would be at the end, not the beginning! I went through the application of both mental and physical skills and demonstrated, then it was Barry s turn. The look on his face as he landed perfectly was a sight to see and then he repeated it over and over and even moved onto a higher drop too! After a while we moved on and before going to the skills trail we worked on his body position when turning before finally moving onto the trail.
 Pumping was used to gain free speed and then it was linked to a berm and flat corner. A rock garden was focused on next as I knew it was an issue with him but once Barry had rode it in his new riding position he felt at ease and in control so we linked 6 sections together easily. We had a break for coffee and then resumed with the fly out jump and another turn with a step on the exit. Soon, Barry was linking 9 sections of the trail together and smiling as he did so. We worked on riding drop offs and linking them into corners by braking technique and line choice. Any errors were being self diagnosed now too but mental fatigue was really getting hold of him and soon after, elated and smiling ear to ear our session ended.
 Awesome riding dude.

Sarah and John come down from Ambleside

John and Sarah came down from the lake district for their session that they wanted to share together. The skills check showed me that they collectively needed work on foot, body and looking skills and i made some critical set up changes and showed them why I had did so.  I moved onto to the 1st application of both mental and physical skills sets , drops. It took no time at all for them to ride off a drop and land perfectly and they moved up only when  their mental skills dictated. From there we moved onto the skills trail and I worked on pumping, absorbing up slopes, steps, drop off and rock gardens and we linked them to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We had a mid way break to allow learning to settle and we resumed by working on linking drops into corners and the required braking and line choice.

 they both began riding the whole trail together and it was obvious they were riding the trail smoother and in more control than ever before and also, they knew why.Each run got faster and more confident as they rode the trail end to end together. The extreme wind of the day ended any hopes of jumping which is unusual but I wanted to work on stuff that applied  to their riding more than just trail center stuff so we worked on riding steeps using their new body positioning. Our session ended after nearly 5 hours as mental faigue appeared and we warmed up with a coffee around the fire.
Awesome riding , High5!

Dennis gets some bmx coaching from Atkins

 Dennis turned up to the skatepark as arranged and Mark began with a simple line in the street area and soon it evolved into jumping and manualing the driveway and riding in and out of a small quarter and riding a step up.

 They moved on to the bowl to further develop the pumping technique and riding in and out of the bowl smoothly and after a set up correction everything began to come together. carving the vert ramp was next and that soon turned into learning to air below the coping of course and then they applied that to the midi ramp also. Mark wanted to get Dennis used to handling the bmx in the air so they used the foam pit and then the resi ramp to learn how to land into a transition.

In a 4 hour session they covered a lot of ground and when the lights turned off to signal the sessions end Dennis was so happy with his progress.
Nice one !

Rhys and Neil’s session

 Rhys and Neil have been riding for 5yrs in the Surrey hills and came to me after attending coaching elsewhere. We shared a coffee and chatted of their past experiences and aspirations for the session and I began as ever with my skills check.
 Footwork, looking and body positioning were identified as areas for work and I made some critical set up changes and showed them both why. Immediately, the lads were more comfortable riding and we moved onto applying their new mental and physical skills to the drop technique. Both of them commented on how it felt so easy and they both rode all drops with ease.
 We moved onto the skills trail and began working on linking the 14 sections on it together. Pre jumping, steps, fly out jumps, drops and rock gardens were linked to off camber, switchback, flat and bermed corners. in  couple of hours they were linking the trail together faster and smoother than ever before and in total control.

 After a good few runs of the trail it was time to move on to the next technique, jumping tabletops.
Using a 6ft tabletop I worked on applying both skill sets and in a few small steps they both sailed over it over and again with ease. They then used their mental skills to decide to ride the 6ft gap jump too a few times!

At the start, Rhys and Neil asked to learn to manual and I said we’d do that at the end of the session if mental fatigue permits and now it was time for them to apply their skills to this technique. It surprised them that they could do a simple manual over a tabletop in such a small time frame and Neil really got it.
Mental fatigue hit home soon after and our session ended with smiles all round.
Awesome riding guys.

Alastair and Liam’s 2 to 1 session

 Alastair and Liam are father and son and first found about my coaching at a talk I did at Allenburys sports club about mtbing. A session was booked and today was the day. On arrival we chatted over a coffee and Alastair said they were novice and was surprised at my “no such thing” retort.
 The skills check showed me that they needed working on footwork, looking at body positioning and so I made a simple set up change to enhance things further. The look on their faces at how easy unwieghting the front wheel was now was hillarious and soon we moved on.
 When I said we begin with the drop technique they thought I was mad but after a demonstration they both began landing perfectly and with less effort than ever before.
 Next, I worked on their body positions when turning before moving onto the skills trail. A hump in the trail was used to gain speed by pumping and then linked to a berm and flat turn. Their new skills sets were already paying dividends and  I added a rock garden followed by two more corners. I showed why and how to absorb features on the trail and worked on braking technique and line choice. The end of the trail was added and they rode steeper drop offs and linked them into a final corner.
 After a break for food and to allow the learning to settle, they began riding the whole trail end to end. Every run was faster and more controlled as they used their physical and mental skills to control the speed of the trail.

 I wanted to develop their pumping of trail features further so moved to another trail that has 10 sections that can be pumped without pedaling if it is all timed correctly and soon they were riding end to end again.
 Our final technique was riding steep and higher drop offs and using the mental skills to decide to ride sections rather than guts or balls!
 Our session ended as mental fatigue was growing and we ended as we began, chatting over a coffee.

Father and son return

Henry and his dad Colin had a session with me back in June 2011 and returned for a follow up session. I could see that they had worked on the skills since our session and I needed to work on looking and body position now as well as their mental skills. We moved onto the 3 drops that I use to isolate the technique and they rode all 3 of them with relative ease.

From there, we moved across to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump and once again worked on the application of the skills set in that context. I worked hard on their mental skills and after a while they were both sailing over it and Colin even rode the gap jump too!

 Onto cornering and I worked hard on their body positioning and they were soon linking four corners, pump bumps and rock gardens together and loving it. I knew from our previous session that they tire quickly when learning so I kept distance to a minimum and isolated segments of trails to work on them . I worked on rolling steeps into corners and also on riding long steeps with their new riding positions and they remarked on how controlled it felt. To end our session we worked on linking drops into corners and the braking areas and line choice before mental tiredness hit home and our session came to a close.
See you in April!