John journeys from the Ireland

 I picked up John as arranged from the airport and on arrival to the skills area we chatted of his aspirations and his past coaching experiences. The skills check revealed that he needed work on body positioning and looking and so I set to work. I moved to the drop technique to apply the physical skills and to also work on applying the mental skills questions too. John’s first try resulted in a perfect landing and he immediately remarked how simple and easy it felt. John’s new body position and knowing where to look had changed his riding and he knew it.
 A body positioning excersise was next and then we moved onto the skills trail itself. Pumping, rock gardens, fly out jumps, steps and drop offs were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback corners. We worked down the singletrack trail working on braking areas and line choice. A midway break enabled John to process the learning and on resuming, he was riding more fluidly than ever and loving it. In a couple of hours he was riding the whole trail end to end and every run was faster and more controlled than the previous. I moved us off that trail after a good few runs to allow it to settle and moved on. I showed why the skills set enabled him to ride over logs and John was so amazed at the ease of that technique now too.
 I had uncovered a peripheral fear in riding steep stuff so I began the process of breaking that down by lots of body positioning demonstrations on various steep drop offs. I then moved onto the pump and jump trail to further develop his pumping technique and also to work on linking 2 berms together. John  got his timing right and could feel every acceleration as he gained speed from the trail. We both rode the skills trail and John was now self diagnosing any error and also riding with such confidence and control and never feeling out of his depth. Nearly 5 hours after we began, John declared himself tired and our session ended.
Keep working on your left turns John and practice getting the front wheel higher as I said.
Awesome session, High5!

March public jumps and drops session.

 The session started with 3 no shows so the session continued with Tony, Andy, Dan, Jamie and Ian.
Myself and my fellow coach, Nathan began with the skills check and set up changes and soon we were onto applying the physical and mental skills to the drop technique.

  It didn’t take them long to land smooth and controlled.

 I then worked on some basic cornering and linking drops into corners and they were loving it.

  Jumping was next up after we had a coffee break and soon we were on a 6ft tabletop and gap jump

 They individually used their mental skills to decide whether to ride the gap jump side.

  I was even able to show how and why the skills applied to styling in the air too.

 We moved onto the end of another  trail to work on a 15ft tabletop and speed judgement.
Soon they were riding down the trail and getting air in a confident and comfortable manner.
The session ended with high5’s all round as mental fatigue hit home.
 Awesome session!

Sam, Neil, James and Nathan’s path leads to here

 Sam and his mates wanted a session with me after I coached Sam’s girlfriend last year. The rain that greeted us didn’t dampen the day and we began with my simple skills check. We moved on to the drop technique so I could work on the physical and also the mental skills needed in riding anything and the lads just went BOOM! All 3 drops sailed past in quick succession and we then moved onto the skills trail.
 I worked on body positioning, footwork and looking and we began working on isolated sections then later on linking them together via line choice and control areas. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to fly out jumps, rock gardens, pumping, steps and drops. We had a needed break for some coffee and then resumed with riding the entire trail end to end. Every run of the trail was faster and smoother than ever and their smiles beamed across their faces as they knew when it was right or why it felt wrong.
I could see a couple of them were tiring but I wanted to further their riding more so we moved onto the 6ft tabletop.
 In a few moves, Sam, followed by Neil, then James and finally Nathan sailed over the tabletop and landed perfectly on the transition 6ft away and it blew them away at how simple it all felt. Not done there Sam, James and Neil used their mental skills to ride the gap jump too! our session ended as I could see they were mentally done as mistakes were creeping in and our session, and my final one of the week ended.
Great riding and an awesome week.

Turning a corner in Martin’s riding

Martin came down the night before and stayed in the recommended b+b and was nice and  early for the start of the session. We had a coffee and chatted of his expectations and aspirations and I set to work. Footwork, looking and body position were the areas I worked on and I made a set up change that really changed his position on the bike.

We began with the drop technique and I worked on both physical and mental skills sets and it wasn’t long before he was landing easier and with more control than ever. In a change from the usual, we moved onto the tabletop to work on the application of the skills there too and soon the same result occurred.

We moved onto the skills trail and began working on pumping, absorbing, steps, drops and rock gardens and linking them to berms, off camber, switchback and flat corners. Now Martin was really shifting and was faster and  more controlled than ever before. Line choice and braking control all made him more confident and soon he was railing down the trail and linking all 14 sections together.
 Next , we worked on riding steeps and here his new position really struck home as he was more controlled than ever. I next worked on pumping and linking 2 berms together without braking and boy could he feel when it was right. Riding steeps and linking them to a corner and drifting didn’t faze him and linking it to the following jump just seemed the thing for him to do as his skills really began to emmbed.

I could see unforced errors creeping in and I knew mental fatigue was here and Martin confirmed it. Our session ended and I cant wait for Martin’s riding updates and I left him with homework on body positioning.

Richard and Claire’s session

Richard and Claire came to me wanting to get better at riding singletrack but said they were at different levels in their ability. No problem! We began with my skills check and I found Richard needed his looking developed in unweighting the front wheel and I needed to get Claire to feel the motion required and soon she was unweighting the front too. I worked on their footwork , looking and also body positioning at different levels but on the same trail for every application of the skills.
 We started with  the drop technique and Richard really got to grips with this and soon moved through all 3 drops while I worked with Claire on her mental skills and then she popped into the air too.
Onto a cornering excersise and then to the skills trail itself to work on each section individually before linking the trail together. Pumping, steps, absorbing, rock gardens, drops and drop offs were linked to berms, off camber, switchback and flat corners. I work hard on the mental skills and also the physical and we moved down the trail always adding the previous sections to the next. Soon they were riding the trail end to end and linking all 14 sections contained in it together via the control zones and by line choice too.
 I could see they were tiring but Richard wanted to learn to jump tabletops so I developed Claire’s skills whilst working on Richards desire of jumping and soon he sailed into the air and over it and didn’t even blink an eye. A few more clears and our session came to a close and I cannot wait to hear of their riding exploits in the future.

Four seasons in a day

 Tony had attended a session with me last year and wanted to share a session with his friends, Simon and Darren.  The session had every weather condition you can get. It was sunny, cloudy then hail and snow and the weather couldn’t make it’s mind up. The session began as I always do, with my skills check and it was so cool to see that Tony had worked hard on his physical skill set and that I needed to work on Darren and Simon’s looking and body positions as well as collectively, their mental skills.
 A few set up adjustments and off we went to apply both mental and physical skills to our first technique, drops.

  It didn’t take them long to land perfectly and their previous preconceptions of the technique were blown out of the water by their new found skills. We moved onto the skills trail after a body position exercise for cornering and we began on working on the trail segment by segment to focus on the sections in more detail and then we linked the whole trail together. Pumping, rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. It didn’t take the lads long to self diagnose any errors as they quickly moved into conscious action and they began linking the whole trail by control zones and line choice.

  We had a midway break for some @hasbean coffee and then resumed and their new skills sets really began to shine through as they were riding faster and flowing down the trail with control.

For our final application of the skills, I moved them onto the 6ft tabletop. At the start of the day neither Darren or Simon thought they’d be jumping let alone clearing it and Tony had the gap jump on his mind. Sure enough they all cleared the tabletop and the Tony, followed by Simon and Darren sailed over it again and again. The session was 5.5hrs in and they began to tire so the session ended, but not before Tony had linked to berms together smoothly and without speed checking in them.
 Great session guys and thanks for the pint.

Mike returns for a mental skills boost

 It’s been a while since I coached Mike and during that time he’d experienced a drop in confidence which sat in his questioning of his skill sets. The start could have been better as we discovered that his ibeam seat post had broken and helped out by providing a replacement. I could see during the skills check that Mike needed work on his right side turns but also that today would be all about the head game.
 We went to the drops first to work on his body positioning and develop his take off technique as he’d taken a step back by instead, absorbing drops which at lower speeds was making him land front heavy and out of control. We then moved on to linking drops into a right hand turn to work on linking both techniques and I showed him why.
 The cold of the day eased as we moved onto applying Mike’s skill sets to pre jumping and also to riding over fallen trees and logs. I surprised Mike how easy it was as he applied the same skills to both techniques.
 Throughout the session as Mike’s physical skills developed, so did his mental skills and commitment grew in particular. Riding a drop off into a tight corner didn’t phase him and it soon came time to work on what would prove to be our final technique of the session.
I worked on Mike’s body positioning once more to stand him up on take off and soon he was sailing into the air. I could see he was tiring and a welcome coffee break was needed. Mike himself then ended the session as he’d progressed loads and didn’t want to regress again. We ended the session with a welcome pint in the local pub.
 Great to see you again Mike