14th May public singletrack session round up

Graham, Simon, Dave, Bill, Gavin and Adam arrived on time and myself and Nathan began with running them through the skills check and set up changes. I wanted to embed the mental skills so we moved to the drop technique and all applied their physical and mental skills to ride all 3 drops!

We moved onto the skills trail to work on absorbing techniques among others and control areas that allow speed management to be applied. Pumping, rock gardens, drops, up slopes, steps and drop offs were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. A midway break was called for so we had lunch and on continuing, we began riding the whole trail end to end. Every run was getting faster and smoother than the previous and they knew when it was right or wrong and more importantly, why.
4 hours in and I knew they were tiring but they enough left to move onto riding steeps.
 Myself and Nath worked hard on their mental skills to demonstrate why body positioning is critical in riding steeps and how their set ups allowed full control.
 Our session ended with us all celebrating the session over a cold beer in the local pub.
Great session guys!

A session for two brothers

 Dom and Steve came to me from Cheltenham and on meeting we chatted over a coffee of the aspirations. The skills check showed me what was missing in their riding and I began correcting these. I changed their set ups and showed them why before moving to the drop technique to apply both mental and physical skill sets. It took them no time at all to begin landing perfectly. They rode all 3 drops and we moved to the skills trail and over the next couple of hours, we worked on the 14 sections individually before linking it all together via control areas and line choice. Their new footwork, looking and body positioning really paid off in linking pumping, rock gardens  steps, jumps and drops to flat bermed, off camber and switchback turns.

I knew they were tiring but we were not finished yet. We rode steep drop offs and used different techniques for them and their control amazed them.
Next up was the 6ft tabletop and gap and not only did they ride the tabletop and gap but Steve even began styling it up too! Dom was stunned at how easy it all felt now and knew he was too tired to continue so he stopped but Steve had some more time left in him so we ramped it up a little to link a corner and 9ft gap jump and Steve was riding it smoothly and easily! After a few goes, he called an end to the session as he too was tired to continue.
Amazing session.

MTB skills session with Will and Tom

We started the session with the skills checks where I discovered that collectively I needed to work on footwork, body positioning and looking, so I set to work. They quickly understood what was needed and began to fill in their missing skills. They also showed me that they unweighted the bike naturally, and I just needed to show them where to look. After a few set up changes, we moved onto the drop technique where they were soon landing perfectly off the larger drop. I then gave them a quick cornering exercise where they could feel how having correct footwork and body positioning in a corner can give you grip. I then moved them onto the trail, and before long they were linking bermed and flat corners, rock gardens, fly outs, steps and drops. We stopped for lunch, and let a rain shower pass, then continued onto the tabletop. Here, I managed their speed so they had one less thing to think about, and where soon landing the other side of a 6ft tabletop. I then showed them some steeper roll ins, both with and without apexes, which they enjoyed and rode well with their new set up. I also showed them dropping in sideways, where they used their mental skill set in order to say yes. I then took them onto another trail; where we linked steeper roll ins, corners, jumps and bus stops. I then showed them some wooden ladders, and I taught them how to get off if it goes wrong, without having to jump off. Once they could do this, I showed them a section of northshore with a drop at the end, which they were riding comfortably, and quickly moved them on to another ladder with wooden corners, which also finished in a drop. Our session ended due to tiredness and we done a demonstration to show them the skills I’d been teaching them all day in a different context.
Great session guys!

A father and son session

Peter and Daniel are father and son and came to me from their regular riding area of swinley forest on recommendation. The skills check revealed looking, body positioning and a partial footwork error collectively and the set up changes were made to assist their correction.

 We began with the drop technique and I worked on their mental skills as well as the application of the physical skills for the technique and soon they were airborne and easily rode all 3 drops. 
 We moved on, and a cornering excersise followed before moving to the skills trail and we began working on linking the 14 sections on the trail together via control areas and line choice. Rock gardens, pumping, steps, jumps and drops were linked to off camber, switchback, bermed and flat corners. By the time they were riding the whole trail they were already conscious as to when it was right or wrong in any section and why!
 We moved to another trail and worked on it . Steep drop offs were linked to absorbing, jumps and corners and their new body position and set ups really enhanced their control on the trail regardless of gradient.
For our final application of the skills sets, we moved onto jumping tabletops and in a few small steps they both sailed over the 6ft tabletop easily and in total control. A few more goes each and our session ended to smiles all round and I can’t wait to hear of their riding exploits.

A skills session with Decland


We started the session with the skills check where I discovered that in corners, I needed to work on looking, body positioning and a bit of foot work, as well as how to manage his speed through sections. I explained what was necessary and he quickly understood what was needed. He then showed me he had a natural push, and that I just needed to correct his looking. After making and explaining some set up changes, we moved onto drops, where he was quickly riding of the largest drop comfortably, and even began styling it up in the air. I then showed him a quick cornering exercise where he could really feel how having a correct body position can give you grip in a corner. We then moved onto the trail, and explained pumping, and showed him through the trail step by step, and ended up riding the whole trail top to bottom, linking both flat and bermed corners, rock gardens, fly outs, steps and drops. After a quick lunch break, we moved onto the table top where he was quickly jumping both the table top and the 6ft gap jump. I then showed him some steeper roll ins where he could feel how his new set up allowed him to maintain an upright body position when rolling down them. I moved him on to steeper stuff with an apex which I demonstrated, and he then rode down, and back up. He also dropped in sideways. I then showed him a larger drop, where he had to use his mental skill set in order to ride off it, and land both wheels together. I then moved him onto a larger gap jump which he happily sailed over, multiple times, before I moved him onto some wooden ladders. I started by showing him to get off, so he could control it if he wobbled, and he was soon linking ladders, basic ladder drops, seesaws, advanced ladder drops and wooden berms. Our session came to an end due to mental tiredness, and we enjoyed a good chat in the sunshine.
Great session Dec!

Frederic and Chris return

Frederic and Chris returned for another session and this time I wanted to work on their speed management and their mental skills sets too. We began with the drop technique and I could see they had absorbed the physical skills I taught them and they were landing perfectly from the off and were even able to start to move the bike in the air. Next up, we worked on linking drops into corners and line choice and correct braking is critical here and when it was right they knew why!
We moved to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump and worked on matching speed and effort required, once again they were sailing them both easily.
Last session they both couldn’t say yes to their mental skills questions and didn’t ride the near vertical drop off but this time it was different and they did both techniques I teach for this and their body positioning really paid dividends in helping this.
 Next up was a larger natural drop in that Fred rode but Chris couldn’t answer his mental skills and correctly declined to ride it and then we followed that up with riding alpine style switchbacks and their footwork and speed management was bang on to ride them.
A short break followed and we resumed with judging speed to larger tabletops and they both travelled further and easier as they used their speed management and body positioning and that enhanced their mental skills.
We moved onto linking berms and I demonstrated as always and they followed and by suing their skills sets they even linked the following 7ft gap jump after the berms . I next worked on peripheral fear and control on ladder drops and they both chose what they could and couldn’t ride using their mental skills questions. Frederic was tired and decided to end his session and Chris ended the session by riding the whole pump and jump trail top to bottom a few times.
 What a session guys and chilling out with a beer on the grass was an awesome end to the session.

Uncovering the rider in Chris

  Chris turned up after the 2 hr drive down from Notts and on arrival we chatted over a coffee and talked of his aspirations for the session. I began with the skills check and set up changes and found looking and body positioning needed work as did his footwork as it wasn’t an unconscious action.
 The drop technique was first and it was here that I worked on the mental skills also. it wasn’t long before Chris was landing perfectly off all 3 drops with a big smile on his face.
 Onto the skills trail to work on his fluidity and control of singletrack . Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to pumping, steps, rock gardens, jumps and drop offs. Before long he was riding the whole trail end to end and every run got faster and smoother than before.
 We moved onto another trail to work on riding steeper terrain and to link sections on a trail that is faster and harder to control. Steep roll in to a corner that lead to a fade away jump was first up and Chris was now flying along, he linked in more corners, pumped sections and dropped off a near vertical drop at the end of the trail. I could see he was tiring mentally so After a couple more runs we moved back to the original skills trail and he was even smoother there now too!
 Finally, I was able to work on jumping larger tabletops and for this I used a 15ft tabletop so that Chris could develop his confidence under his own control and the surprise at how easy it felt for him now to get airtime shocked him.
Over 4 hrs after we began, I ended the session as I knew he was tired and we retired to the local Bull pub to have a pint to celebrate.