Four go mad in Hertfordshire

 Philip, Hennie, Mark and Paul came to me for their skills session to get faster riding singletrack as they loose time during races on the downs. On meeting, I ran them through my skills check and found that collectively I had to work on their body positioning, looking and footwork. I made some set up changes to their bikes and then we went to apply both mental and physical skills to the drop technique. It took no time at all for them to land perfectly and to know why ! From there we moved to the skills trail and began linking up the 14 sections on the trail via identified control areas. Pumping. absorbing, rock gardens, drops and steps were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We had a midway break and before long they were riding the whole trail faster and smoother than ever before. Any errors were now self recognised too as they knew why it was right or wrong in any section.

I could see they were tiring due to the mental aspect of the learning process but I knew we had some more time so I moved onto riding steep stuff and their new body positioning and set ups really hit home as they found it all very simple and controlled.
 We ended the session by working on linking 2 berms together. Great session guys.

Rob’s one to one

 Rob made the journey across London and wanted to work on Bunny hops among other things. The skills check showed me the areas in Rob’s riding that needed work and a simple set up changed assisted the changes. I saw I needed to work on his looking and body positioning and also that he had a protection when turning right!
 The first technique that we worked on was the drop technique and here I worked on both mental and physical skill sets and immediately, Rob was landing perfectly and easier than ever before.
From there we moved to the skills trail and began working on fluidity and linking sections on the trail together. Pre jumps, rock gardens, steps, drops, fly out jumps and absorbing were linked to flat , bermed, off camber and switchback turns. His new skills sets were really showing through as he quickly became conscious of any error and why. A small break midway through allowed me to work on both phases of the bunny hop and soon Rob was hopping over a 1ft log.
 Moving back to the trail, and soon he was riding the entire trail end to end and faster and smoother than previously. A few more runs and it was time to move onto the next technique, jumping tabletops. Rob’s new body position made it way less effort than any of his attempts at jumping before today and soon he was sailing over the 6ft tabletop. Even a wash out on the jump was self diagnosed and he knew why it went wrong. A few more clears and we moved onto our final application of the skills sets. Riding steeps stuff,
 Rob’s new set up and body positioning made it simpler and drama free on a 40ft drop off and and even a near vert roll in proved no obstacle.
Our session ended soon after as mentally I could see he was shot. Great riding Rob

The 1st skills session since the snow

Gary and Simon made the trip down from their usual haunt of the forest of Dean. On meeting, they said they’d like to work on cornering and jumping as they certainly had never jumped a tabletop before and I knew I could change that. The skills check revealed that I needed to work on feet, looking and body position and A couple of set changes assisted me in this.

  Drops were the first technique we applied both mental and physical skills sets to and the effect was immediate as they both began landing easier and more controlled than ever. WE quickly moved onto the skills trail and began working on the top half of the trail first . We linked in pumping , four corners and a rock garden and their new body positioning really paid off for them as they had new levels of grip.
 We took a break for coffee and resumed with adding a fly out jump, stepped corner and drop into the mix. It wasn’t long before they were riding the whole trail end to end , faster and  smoother than ever before.
I knew they were tiring so I moved onto the 6ft tabletop, something neither had ever jumped before and soon they were sailing over it with big grins as they did so. Then Simon, followed by Gary rode the gap jump side too using their mental skills to decide and they rode it over and over again.
 We moved from there to our final trail, the pump and jump trail where they pumped and jumped sections of the trail and linked to chicane berms together too.
 A good few runs were had before they were too drained physically and mentally to continue and our session ended right there and then. Awesome session guys.

bringing Paddy’s riding on

 Paddy came to me wanting to know what to do to get into the air and also to be more fluid on the trails. The skills check showed me that I needed to develop paddy’s looking and body position and also his mental skills too. We began with drops and his new set up straight away piad dividends as he began lading perfectly off all 3 drops.
 It wasn’t long before we moved to the skills trail  and began working on linking the 14 sections contained within it together. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to pumping, steps, rock gardens, fly out jumps and drops. We worked down the trail gradually, always adding the previous sections to the next until Paddy was riding the whole trail fast and smooth and with loads more confidence than ever.
 We moved to jumping tabletops and I used a 6ft and 16ft tabletop for this to get Paddy used to getting into the air and then land.

 We moved to the pump and jump trail to link pumping, jumping and cornering through linked berms together and he really got to grips with those techniques there also.
Onto riding steeps and drop offs and the same result as before with Paddy’s new body position and set up making everything so much easier than before.
 I could see that Paddy was tiring so a final run of the skills trail confirmed that he was tiried mentally and physically and our session ended.
Great end to another awesome week of coaching.

Racing to a new skill set

 Tom, Ashley, Jack and Gordon love their racing and came to me to sharpen up their flow and cornering. The skills check showed they had great footwork and needed work on looking and body positioning. I made the necessary set up changes but not before I had showed them why and the effect was immediate.

 We moved to the drop sections and the lads new riding positioning really made stuff easier than previously and they soon began landing perfectly and controlled.

 We moved to the skills trail and began working on linking the 14 sections contained on the trail together by their identified control areas. Pumping, rock gardens, steps, absorbing and jumping upslopes and drops were all linked to off camber, switchback, bermed and flat corners.

 We worked our way down the trail always linking the previous to the next sections until they were riding the whole trail end to end. Each run was faster and more controlled than before and any errors were self identified too as they moved into conscious action.

 For our final application of the skills sets, both mental and physical, we moved to riding steeps and drop offs.

 Body position was worked on hard here and they all rode the steepest drop off with no problem at all and I demonstrated turning in and  dropping in too. Tom took a tumble trying the technique but he immediately knew what his mistake was but that didn’t stop Ash and Jack from riding it using the technique too. Our session came to a close over 5 hours from when we began.
Awesome riding guys!

Dave, 63yrs and still a kid

Dave is 63yrs old and wanted to visit myself as he felt his riding had plateaued and that he’d love to get his wheels off the ground but also ride smoother.
The skills check revealed that I had to work on his looking and body positioning as well as his mental skills. I made a necessary set up change and showed him why I had done so before moving onto the drops straight away. The look on Dave’s face when he landed perfectly was a picture and he used his mental skills to decide to ride all 3 drops.
I moved on to cornering and I worked on the skills trails first half for this and Dave soon was linking pumping and a rock garden to Bermed, flat and switchback corners. I then worked on absorbing techniques and Dave rode them and the previous sections smoother and way faster than ever.
 We moved to the end of the trail and I worked on linking drops into corners, first by rolling down the drop offs and later by getting airtime from them.
Now it was time for Dave to ride the whole trail end to end. Any errors were now self recognised and he was riding faster out of each section as he corrected them. We rode the trail together and it was awesome to see such confidence in his riding now and it was a massive change from the rider I met at the start of the day.
The session came to an end as mentally he was tiring quickly but not before he rode the biggest drop that had worried him earlier, with absolute confidence and commitment.
Great riding Dave and see you soon.

Dan’s 1 to 1 session

 Dan arrived for his session as arranged and on arrival we chatted over a coffee and I knew the session would be working on both the physical and mental skill sets. The skills check showed that I needed to work on body position and looking with him and I made some set up changes to assist this.
1st up were the drop sections and it took no time at all for Dan to ride the first 2 drops and I could see he was protected when faced with the 3rd but that worry would disappear later.
We moved onto the skills trail and i broke the trail into bite sized chunks and we worked on each chunk and the sections contained before riding the whole trail end to end. Rock gardens, pumping, steps, fly out jumps and drops were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We worked on braking areas and line choice and before long we were riding the trail end to end and any errors were being self diagnosed now and Dan knew why. Linking drops into corners was something we worked hard on and Dan rode both the drops and linked them into the last corner easily.
Now we moved onto jumping tabletops and here I worked hard on his mental skills as Dan had crashed hard the previous year on holiday in Morzine and that bugged him ever since. We worked on body positioning heavily here and gradually added speed until finally Dan cleared the 6ft tabletop . We moved to a much larger jump to remove the fear of the downslope and Dan really blossomed and began popping into the air comfortably. The mental aspect of the session really drained Dan but the session didn’t end until he went back to the drop that bugged him early in the day and rode it with ease.
Awesome session