The kid in Karl

Karl first heard about us online and then from riders he met out on the trails. Today was his session and we began with my skills check where I could see a tidy rider underneath some skills errors. He showed me a video of a crash that prompted his visit to me and I knew exactly why he had a drop in confidence. I set up his bike and then corrected his body positioning, followed by footwork and looking. Karl felt different on his bike as soon as I made the changes and it came down to applying the physical and mental skills to techniques that I teach in each section.
 Drops were first and soon he was landing the 3ft drop easier than ever before and the smile on his face said it all. I moved across to the one thing Karl wanted to work on, jumping. We moved to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump and worked on effort and speed and Karl was confidently riding both the tabletop and the gap with ease.
 Next, we worked on cornering and linking corners together and developing speed through them. The change in Karl was huge as he was soon pumping and jumping along the trail, through three berms and styling the jump at the end. I demonstrated everything as always and next was a 7ft foot gap jump and later added a 9ft gap jump sandwiched between two corners. 
Time and again Karl rode them all smoothly and with style . I could see he was tiring but another couple of complete runs of the trail and linking all fifteen sections on the trail together saw Karl call an end to a cracking session. What an end to another brilliant week of coaching.

Chris from Hebden Bridge

 Chris came to us after recommendation online and today was the day. We chatted over a coffee of his experience and wants for the session. We began with the skills check and I found footwork and body positioning were in need of work and also looking was something we worked on after that too.
I made a set up change that gave him more control and began to install the skills sets that we teach here at ukbikeskills . 
 We began with the drop technique and I demonstrated why the mental and physical skills sets made the technique simpler and easier. It took a few goes but it soon began to click and Chris began landing perfectly from the smallest drop and quickly progressed to the largest of 3ft.
We moved on to cornering and I worked hard on his footwork and body positioning and that made a massive difference to his grip levels and his control in turns. We worked on pumping and linking berms together before having a coffee break. 
 We resumed with linking drops into corners and the required techniques. Chris was amazed at how comfortable he was and was soon riding the largest drop and landing controlled and linking the corner in too.
We moved to jumping and used both a 6ft tabletop and also a fly out jump to get Chris used to getting both wheels into the air on a upward takeoff and finally applied it on multiple sections on the trail with the three berms we began with earlier in the session.
 Brilliant session and I look forward to the continued updates from Chris

Kas and Matt re-return

 I have coached Kas and Matt twice before and today was the third installment. It turned out that Matt had crashed three weeks ago and had a massive drop in confidence so the session was based on body position and the all important mental skills. I could see that Matt’s skills set was dramatically effected by the crash so i built the session gradually. Beginning  style in the air was first up and we used the 3ft drop for this and soon they were both moving the bike in the air. We moved across to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump and it was there that I had to piece Matt back together and also move Kas’s riding along too of course. By the time we moved to another part of the skills area, both Kas and Matt were riding the gap jump and even styling it at times too.
 Three berms were next on the menu and Kas was weaker on his right sided turns so I worked on that and we rode the steep take off jump that came afterwards and it was there that Matt woke up and began to pop again.
 Last session Matt but not Kas rode a 7ft ladder gap and was disappointed in himself but happy to use his mental skills set to choose not to but this time it was Kas who was first over it  quickly followed by Matt. We wasn’t done there. I demonstrated a 9ft gap jump to them and they both eagerly rode that too, eventually linking it in a line including the previous ladder gap too. Now they were riding for fun and loving it. They called an end to the session wanting a beer so we retired to the pub to celebrate an awesome session.

Developing Jon’s riding some more

Today was Jon’s third session and he wanted to develop his jumping more and maybe begin to ride some woodwork. We warmed up on the drops and i was able to show why the skills sets allow style to be added easily. We then moved to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump to work on clearing them with different speeds and efforts, which develops judgement. This blew Jon away as he was now judging for himself gaps. 
 We moved to a trail and worked on linking three berms and riding the following fade away jump and adding style and distance too. It’s awesome to coach people who have obviously worked on their skills set since their first session as Jon had gotten to be a tidy rider now. Jon looked a a 7ft gap jump that comes after the first two berms and after demonstrating it, Jon sailed over it. A few runs from the top of the trail followed before we moved to something Jon would never had thought he could possibly ride a couple of hours ago, a 9ft step down gap that is sandwiched between two berms. A couple of small but correctable errors occurred before Jon was sailing it over and over again and also linked it to the trail above . 
 Lastly before the rains came , we moved to the woodwork to work on controlling that environment and riding a 50 meter section that contained the techniques I teach.
Amazing progression dude, High5! 

Ben discovers the kid inside

 Ben has wanted a skills session with myself for a couple of years and when the time was right, he booked in and today was the day. I could see the missing skills in the techniques I check for during my skills check and began installing my skills set. We began with cornering and the change was immediate in his riding as he could feel more grip and therefore control in each turn. We moved onto a trail to use it in the more real world and worked on pumping to gain speed and carrying that speed through one, then two and finally three berms. The grin on Ben’s face never left.
I was buzzing too as we moved to applying the physical skills to the technique required for riding drops. Ben had never been comfortable with airtime and in no time at all he found himself using his new mental skills to great effect by riding all three drops with consummate ease, Time after time the same result of perfect landing occurred.
 Ben saw the tabletop alongside the drops and I could feel the trepidation in him as he asked if it was possible to show him why the skills sets make jumping easier too.
It blew him away at how simple and undramatic jumping the 6ft tabletop and landing on the down slope felt and he rode it over thirty times at least to cement it. Ben could see the 6ft gap jump and wanted to ride it but fear held him back so he continued riding the tabletop until he could answer his mental skills positively and then he sailed over it . Woop woop! We were both grinning and laughing as he really opened a door in his riding as that was the first ever gap he’d ridden. Loads more goes proved it no fluke. We had a break and resumed on the trail we started on but this time we worked on choosing when and why to pump or jump multiple sections of a trail and added the final jump after the three berms. This jump has a 5/6ft face and looms like a brick wall in front of riders as they approach. This is the same that happens at Ben’s fave trail center, bike park Wales but now he was sailing into the air from that too. We took another break but Tiredness and adrenaline had got the better of Ben and he ended the session with a man hug and a high5!

Another Tunnel hill trolls session

 Andy, Paul, Alex and Jaime turned up as arranged and on arrival they said they are part of the tunnel hill trolls (hiya smiler and co!) , a group of riders whom I have coached members of before. The skills check showed me the areas that needed work on we then applied the body position, looking and footwork skills to the techniques we at ukbikeskills teach.
We began with the drop technique and used three different height drops to apply both physical and mental skills sets to. From there we moved to cornering and at first I demonstrated and they practiced on the hillside before we moved to part of a trail to work on basic pumping and carrying speed through one berm, soon another two were added.
 A welcome break followed for coffee and tea and we restarted by moving to the singletrack trail to work on applying the skills to multiple sections on a trail. Pumping, jumping, rock gardens, steps, and drops were linked to berms, off camber, switchback and flat corners. Any errors were now being self diagnosed and with line choice and braking adjustments they all became faster. A broken linkage bolt on Andy’s santa cruz tallboy didn’t deter us as he started using my own bike instead.
We moved on to a 6ft tabletop to work on clearing tabletops and landing on the down slope. One by one they all cleared the tabletop, much to their amazement and both Paul and Andy rode the gap jump a good few times too. I knew they were tiring but we were all buzzing to we moved to the original trail with the triple berms on it but this time they were choosing to jump or pump sections of the trail and everything all clicked for them. Nearly six hours since we began our session ended and a cracking session came to an end . Let me know how the riding goes and remember, today is day one.

Jumps for Jem, Adam and Rory

 Jem, Adam and Rory came to finish their coaching after extreme weather stopped us covering jumping last time so they returned as arranged and we got straight to work as they were ready and waiting and had already been riding to warm up. We first began on the 6ft tabletop, then moved to a 9ft tabletop and worked on pumping to gain speed to jump it before working on choosing when and why to jump a section on a trail. They ended their session riding a whole trail and linking in some berms for good measure.
Great to see you again lads.