31st March Public Jumps and Drops

Everyone arrived by 10 oclock, so we started our session with the skills check, filling in the missing skills within each riders skill set, and also made some set up changes to their bikes. We moved onto the drops, where we explained the importance of having a complete mental skills set to accompany their physical one. Soon everyone was riding off the largest drop, some feeling air beneath their wheels for the first time. We then worked on a bit of cornering with an exercise using a grassy slope, and then started to link their new techniques together, linking drops into corners. We next worked on jumping, we began on a fly out at first, and quickly moved onto the table top once everyone had the technique. Here we managed their speed individually to start working them across the jump. Some even rode the gap jump too. Our session ended on the pump and jump, where we worked on pumping in order to jump certain sections, and how to carry speed through the whole trail.

Nice one guys!

Tony (@ukbikeskills)

Nath (@ukbike_nath)

Building Shane’s confidence in Jumping

We began our session as always with the skills check, where i discovered i needed to work mainly on looking, as well as body position in order to complete his set of riding skills. I also made the set up changes he needed to add that extra bit of control to his riding. We shortly moved onto drops, where he used his mental skills set in order to soon be landing off the largest drop perfectly. I then worked with him on linking drops into corners, where he used his new cornering technique to carry his speed through a corner. I moved him further up the trail, to link in a fly out and a step into his previously ridden section, and finally showed him top sections, involving a rock garden, and bermed, flat and switchbacked turns. I showed him dropping in steeper stuff, and the truth in the correct body position. We next moved over the the table top and gap jump, where i managed his speed, and soon was landing comfortably for the first time over both a 6ft table top and gap jump. We moved onto the pump and jump trail, where we worked on pumping through and jumping other sections to have flow through the whole trail, and we linked this with the two corners at the end. Our session finished on the ladders where i taught him control whilst being off the ground on his bike.
We celebrated a great session by enjoying a pint in a sunny pub garden. 
Nath (@ukbike_nath)
Tony (@ukbikeskills)

building nick’s skills sets

Nick was bought this session as a present for his 40th birthday and today was the day we arranged to meet and awesome weather greeted us. The skills check showed me what was missing in his riding and I made a set up change to help correct his body position and looking skills. Once corrected all that was needed to work on were his mental skills and applying both skills sets to different techniques out on the trails.

We began with drops and Nick’s confidence grew as he began landing perfectly, he rode the first two drops but his mental skills didn’t respond positively to the 3rd larger drop at this time. However as the session progressed we returned to the drop where he rode it with ease and a big “yahoo!” as he landed.

On to the singletrack and we worked on cornering heavily and linking all the sections within the trail using line choice and braking areas. We worked on pumping, absorbing, jumping and drops. And while linking the 14 sections together Nick found himself naturally becoming fast rather than trying to be fast. We moved to jumping tabletops and used the 6ft tabletop for this and within a few short adjustments he was clearing the tabletop perfectly with a massive smile on his face. I knew he was tiring but we still had some time together so we moved on to the pump and jump trail. He was now choosing sections on the trail to either pump or jump and knowing why he made these choices, as well as carrying speed through the final berms on the trail. Even clearing a 9ft tabletop halfway down the trail comfortably. And after a few more runs, mental tiredness hit home and we brought the session to a close with me giving a demonstration of the same skillset on the high woodwork at Herts.

Cheltenham mtbers session

 Barnaby, Ben, Matt, Cal and Ben arrived from Cheltenham as arranged and we began with the skills check.
They wanted to push their boundaries of their riding and although each was different in their riding experience I was able to work on them collectively and easily.
Body position and looking were the physical skills i worked on and i knew the mental skills would be needed too.
 Drops were first and they were all riding the 3ft drop in a short space of time and some even began to style it too. I used 2 different trails for the majority of the session so I could work on applying the skills sets to as many different scenarios as possible. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns, drops, jumps, rocks, drop offs, steps and we came across these sections on both trails. Near vertcial drop offs were no issue and they all rode down it using both ways I demoed.
I taught them to style and move the bike in the air from hip jumps and straight drops and jumps too.
Tabletops proved no issue, nor did the 6ft gap jump either.
Now the session was coming to a close but not before we worked on more advanced pumping and choosing when to jump on linked sections and they cornered through 2 berms and choose to jump the 7ft ladder gap jump or not  by applying their mental skills, not by applying balls!
Ben k also rode the 9ft ladder gap with ease a good few times. Over 5 and a half hours since we began and our session ended as mentally they were shot. Great riding guys and enjoy the curry tonight.

Bill and Ben’s skills session

 Ben and Bill arrived and the skills check showed me some good habits that had been covered up by years of trial and error. I needed to work on looking, body positioning and footwork and then we worked on the mental game too.
 A move to the drops allowed myself to coach the mental skills here and why the skills sets allow style to become easy too. Then we moved to the skills trail to work on linking the 14 sections contained within the trail together via line choice and braking/pedal areas. Flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns were linked to pumping, jumps, drops, steps , rock gardens and drop offs. Soon they were really flowing along the trail with control and confidence.
 Next we moved to riding near vertical drop offs and this blew them away at how simple and easy it all felt.
We then moved to the one thing they wanted to do, jump tabletops and land perfectly. Using a 6ft tabletop I broke the technique down and then in a few short moves they both sailed over the  jump and after a few goes they used their mental skills to decide to ride the 6ft gap jump too with the same smooth results. The smiles beamed across their faces as it was their 1st ever gap jump and it felt so easy.
We then moved to another trail to work on why to jump or absorb and pump sections of a trail and carry speed through a berm at the end. They were jumping a 9ft tabletop midway through the trail with no worries at all and I decided to move us on to see another section. A 9ft gap jump. This time they used their mental skills to decline to ride it as they both felt cold and tired from the session and the sleet that had appeared so our session closed there.
Amazing progression guys.

The return of the sketchy mtbers

 Rachel, Mark, Adrian and Ben ride together and are from the sketchy mtb forum. I have coached them before except Ben, who wanted to join this session with them.
I could see that the skills sets had been worked on and a couple of errors had crept in by I soon sorted that out and It was predominantly as mental skills session.
We began with body positioning in cornering and linked to berms together and that got them warmed up. Next, we worked on the drop technique and also style in the air which was easy when applying the skills sets. Later we linked drops into corners and worked hard on braking control and line choice too.
We then moved to steeper terrain and worked on steep drop offs and different ways of riding down them, this blew them away as it felt so simple. We then worked on linking all the sections of the trail that ended in the near vertical drop off together and worked on moving the bike in the air and turning in the air too. They got faster and smoother and knew why too!
 Alpine style switchbacks were next and using their footwork, body positioning and looking they easily rode those too and they are something that most riders baulk at when seeing them.
We then moved to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump and work on distance and effort at different speeds and how and why to judge it. They all rode the tabletop and gap jump side with grins on their faces, especially Rachel who now found the elusive pop she wanted.
Now I ramped it up again and this time a 9ft gap jump sandwiched between two berms was on the menu and after a couple of demos from myself, they one by one used their mental skills to decide to ride it and it was cool to see it! One by one they rode it and after several runs it was time to move on to a 12ft ladder gap jump. Rachel and Adrian decided they could answer their mental skills questions positively so declined to ride it but Ben and Mark flew it a good few times whilst Rachel picked off a 7ft ladder gap she’d seen Mark ride earlier. 5 hrs since our session started I could see tiredness creep in so our session ended with high5’s all round.
Amazing session to end a great week of coaching for myself and Nathan.