Two friends come for a skills session

 

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Glenn and Joe arrived early for their mtb skills session, and having been coached before, they came to me because they felt that something was still missing. After running them through both of our skills checks, I realised it was body position mainly, as well as a bit of looking. I moved them on and quickly showed them correct cornering technique using just the grassy slope, to feel for themselves how correct body position was a factor in having speed and control in their riding. I moved them onto drops, where I introduced a mental skills set and they were both riding off the largest drop and landing perfectly, I worked next on cornering on a trail, using first three linked berms, and then I took them to the skills trail. We spent the next hour or so, stopping for lunch half way through, working our way down this trail, showing it to them section by section, and the. Getting them to link it with what they had previously ridden. Soon enough go they were both flowing down it with speed and control that they had never felt before. The tabletop came next, and it was a big mental block for both of them, but after explaining and demonstrating, I controlled their speed individually and they were soon riding both the table and the gap. I showed them steeper stuff and how having the correct body position can play a big role in riding this type of terrain easily. They both dropped in straight and sideways with ease. I could see they were tiring so I let them have a few goes on things we had previously covered, to wind our session down nicely and we came to an end about five hours after we started. Nice one guys, Glenn, get off that seat and press the hand, joe, just think about that right hand in your turns.
nath (@ukbikenath)

Two friends come for a tune up

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Glenn and Joe arrived early for their mtb skills session, and having been coached before, they came to me because they felt that something was still missing. After running them through both of our skills checks, I realised it was body position mainly, as well as a bit of looking. I moved them on and quickly showed them correct cornering technique using just the grassy slope, to feel for themselves how correct body position was a factor in having speed and control in their riding. I moved them onto drops, where I introduced a mental skills set and they were both riding off the largest drop and landing perfectly, I worked next on cornering on a trail, using first three linked berms, and then I took them to the skills trail. We spent the next hour or so, stopping for lunch half way through, working our way down this trail, showing it to them section by section, and the. Getting them to link it with what they had previously ridden. Soon enough go they were both flowing down it with speed and control that they had never felt before. The tabletop came next, and it was a big mental block for both of them, but after explaining and demonstrating, I controlled their speed individually and they were soon riding both the table and the gap. I showed them steeper stuff and how having the correct body position can play a big role in riding this type of terrain easily. They both dropped in straight and sideways with ease. I could see they were tiring so I let them have a few goes on things we had previously covered, to wind our session down nicely and we came to an end about five hours after we started. Nice one guys, Glenn, get off that seat and press the hand, joe, just think about that right hand in your turns.

Nath (@ukbikenath)

Ian and Paul join the air corps

 

What a way to end an amazing week of coaching. I have coached Ian before a few years ago and he wanted to return to brush up and see if he’d fallen back a bit and Paul joined him, coming all the way from New York. Ok it wasn’t just for some mountain bike coaching but sounds good 😉

the skills check showed me the areas they needed work in their physical skill sets and once corrected, tat left the mental skills. We began with the drop technique and while Paul was loving the new technique I was able to teach Ian to move the bike in the air.

Jumping tabletops was next and I used  6ft tabletop for this. In a few short moves Ian followed by Paul were sailing over it and adjusting effort for speed too, developing judgement.

The 6ft gap proved no issue either and the whoops of joys rang out across the hillside.

We had a break for coffee and resumed with cornering. I worked hard on paul’s right turns as they were weaker and further developed Ian’s body positioning to turn sharper. Pumping and carrying speed through three berms was now not a problem. I demonstrated a 7ft gap jump and  9ft gap jump that saw the boys ride the two berms that preceded them and linked both jumps in too!

Onto another gap jump trail and I used three linked gap jumps of 8ft. I demonstrated, then it was their turn to decide whether to ride or not using their mental skills. Yep, they sailed all three and the adrenaline really began to make them shake. Our session together still had enough time in it for them to both ride the first jump of air supply of 9ft.

What a session and I cannot wait to see their future riding exploits.

High5!

 

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Klara and Roland’s session

 

Klara and Roland returned for another mountain bike skills coaching session to build on their last one. I began by working on their trail flow and used the singletrack trail for this. Klara needed work on her footwork wen turning right and Roland needed more body positioning in turns too. We worked on linking the fourteen sections of the trail using the techniques we at ukbikeskills teach and soon they were linking pumping, jumps, rock garden, steps and drops with flat, bermed, switchback and off camber turns. Line choice was worked on as were control areas and cornering techniques.

After a welcome coffee break we resumed with riding steeper terrain and riding a very steep drop off in different ways. This really took them by surprise as it felt easier than ever and simple too. I worked on their bunnyhop techniques as they had been trying too lift both wheels together but soon that was changed ..

Our final technique was jumping tabletops. I worked on both their mental skills here and was even able to get Roland to begin to style in the air too. By the end of the session they were both clearing the 6ft jump with ease and big smiles. A great session with an awesome couple.

High5!

 

 

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Unlocking the rider within Rob

 

Rob came to for mountain bike coaching via recommendation from his mate Guy Powell whom I coached a while ago. I began with the skills check and I could see a tidy rider buried beneath some bad habits that needed removing so the rider inside could rise.

I knew once I had corrected the physical skills, it would be a case of working on the mental skills so I set to work.

We began with drops and soon his old habits were a ting of the past and the old bmx kid returned. We moved to the 6ft tabletop and gap which he sailed over with a massive grin on his face. after a couple of runs over the gap we moved on again. Rob was concerned that unless he had repeated goes he wouldn’t retain it , I said wait and see later 🙂

Before lunch break, I worked on cornering and when it clicked he was flying but feeling slower as the skills embedded deeper. . We used some singletrack turns before moving to linking three berms together. Soon he was riding the whole pump/jump trail and choosing wen to jump or stick to the ground and ten I demonstrated the 7ft and 9ft gap jumps that can be ridden from that line. Boom! Rob was now judging effort and speed beautifully and loving is riding. I told him that he didn’t need repeat goes earlier and now he understood.

Onto another trail to work on linking 5 gap jumps in a rhythmic line and judging effort. One by one they sailed beneath him as the pics show, Rob was blown away.

Lastly, we worked on carrying speed through the whole singletrack trail and linking the 14 sections on it including 4ft drop into the final corner by line choice and control areas. Amazing session and I loved every minute

High5 Rob!

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Dhana’s return

I coached Dhana over two years ago with his wife laura and he returned alone this time as they are both expecting a child so Laura is too far to ride for now. The session wasn’t the regular session at all as Dhana wanted to work on steep terrain and alpine style switchbacks too.

The skills check showed that he was weak on his left turns and that He needed work on the drop technique as he was making the front wheel drop unconsciously and too early to boot.

We began wit the drop technique and it took a while to separate what Dhana thought he was doing with what he actually was and ten it became easier and far more controlled. We then moved to riding steeper terrain and i worked on his body positioning and footwork and of course the all important metal skills too. I demonstrated two very different ways of riding a near vertical drop off and Dhana followed suit. This was all good as it laid a foundation to the steeper alpine stuff to follow. We moved to a steep roll into a corner followed by a jump and here we spent lots of time as it was a left turn and unless it was corrected here it would magnify those errors when it became more technical.

Our mountain bike coaching session finally got to alpine style switchback that looked fine when on foot but on the bike was a different prospect. I demonstrated a few times to give Dhana a visual of what was required but it took several attempts to get it right but he was determined and eventually got it. The adrenaline shakes were in full affect and we moved on to riding multiple sections of a trail and sticking to the ground and linking three berms together via control zones. After the steepness of the alpine corners they were easier for Dhana to digest and carried speed through them.

Our session ended after a short session working on the techniques involved in riding over logs on a trail.

I love sessions like this.

High5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nick’s session

 

Nick came to me after being given a gift voucher for his birthday. He arrived as arranged and on meeting we chatted about his wants for the session and cornering was top of the list. In every session , we discover the best learning style of each rider and Nick was visual and very very self analytical which meant lots of small steps and moving from sections quickly as small errors would cover up the gains from the whole picture. We began with the skills check and I discovered missing looking and body positioning skills and that set the tone for the session which lasted five and a half hours, good going in the heat.

I worked on the mental skills too and we began with applying the skills sets to the technique of getting air from drops. It wasn’t long before Nick was landing smoothly but even the slightest difference made him think he’d done it wrong but soon he was riding from the largest drop he’d ever ridden and was landing smoothly as the video shows. I love coaching riders with Nick’s energy levels as he rode up the hill again and again for repeated goes and we soon moved to the 6ft tabletop.

We spent a long time at the tabletop as they have a large mental aspect but bit by bit I pieced his skills set together until he cleared it a couple of times but it was clear we needed to take a break as small, unforced errors began creeping in.

We resumed with cornering in berms and pumping. It was clear that that was too much to focus on so we worked on linking the berms together and gradually, the pumping began to happen and he was getting small accelerations every time it was timed correctly and even jumped a few sections too.

We moved onto the singletrack trail to work on fluidity and carrying trail speed. Pumping, rocks, steps and upslopes and drop offs were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. I broke the trail down and demonstrated everything before it was Nick’s turn and the remainder of the session was spent riding the trail top to bottom. Suddenly, the errors came back in and it was clear that mental fatigue was reached and Nick knew it. Nick found himself unable to compute what he wanted to do and it all became clumsy so our session ended there to save a melt down and possible crash. Love sessions like that.

HIgh5!

 

 

 

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