Well, what an end to the weeks coaching today turned out to be. Phil, Paul, Luke and Steve made the journey up from Surrey for a skills session. They wanted to learn to jump and if possible get over the mental hurdle of gap jumps. I explained the outline for why we teach a certain skill set at ukbikeskills and they thought it sounded too simple. The skills check revealed some good habits in their riding but looking and body positioning needed development before I could work on the mental skills. I adjusted their sets to suit their own body and off we went to apply the skills sets to various sections and trails.
Drops were the first sections we worked on and then jumping a 6ft tabletop. The lads started on a 1ft drop and in no time at all had progressed to 3ft and it all felt easy they said. Far from how it used to be. Onto the tabletop and in a few short moments they were all sailing over it and landing perfectly on the downslope. The looks on their faces, beaming with smiles was awesome and they then used their own mental skills questions to decide to ride their first 6ft gap jump. Now they were buzzing and after a good few clears of the jump to cement the techniques we took a break. Awesome cake supplied by Steve kept the energy levels topped up and we continued with cornering. This blew them away as they’d never felt grip like it before and their speed through three linked berms stunned them and they were jumping the fade away jump that followed with ease. I worked on steep terrain and riding near vertical drop offs in a variety of ways as well as linking drops into corners. Things were now booming in their riding. A 7ft gap jump followed and a 9ft gap jump too. We applied the skills sets to pumping and gaining speed through a trail and choosing when and why to either pump or jump. We moved to another new trail with ladder gap jumps and worked on that too, Luke sailing the first two confidently and others riding the first. We ended the session on the woodwork and beginning to overcome the peripheral fear of being on woodwork.
Cracking session guys. High5!