From Switzerland

 

Paul and his 11yr old son Cam live in Switzerland and came over for a skills session to help with Cam’s xc racing. The skills check showed they both needed footwork, looking and body positioning worked on and then the mental skills also. We started with Endo’s to show how simple that technique is and then we moved to the drop technique. They were both surprised at how easy they all were once they used their new skills sets.

Onto cornering and then to linking sections of the singletrack trail together. Pumping, rock gardens, steps, drops and jumps were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We took a break as I know all too well that kids get tired quickly even if they remain upbeat.

We resumed with linking drops into corners and then onto pumping and absorbing multiple sections of a trail to maintain speed and railed through three berms that followed.

What a pleasure it was to coach them both and I look forward to the future riding updates,

High5!

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Filling in the gaps in their skills sets

Andrew and Steve arrived as arranged for their mountain bike coaching session. I’d coached Andy before and Steve wanted to join him on this one.

They both wanted to work on their mental skills for jumping so I set to work by first correcting their set ups and also their missing physical skills

We began with drops and quickly moved across to jumping a 6ft tabletop followed by the 6ft gap jump side also.From there we moved to pumping and cornering through berms and then jumping once more on a large faced take off jump.

After a coffee break, we resumed with linking gap jumps on a trail and judging speed and effort. Later, we worked on carrying speed through two berms and jumping a 7ft gap jump followed by applying their mental skills yet again and jumping a 9ft gap too.

We finished the session by riding a ladder gap into a bank ride. They were blown away at their improvements and i’m looking forward to seeing them again.

High5!

 

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Nigel and Mark uncover the rider inside

Mark and Nigel arrived and we chatted of their aspirations and expectations for the session. Mark had ridden for years and Nigel for a couple but they shared the session together as friends and riding buddies.

The skills check revealed the areas of footwork, looking and body positioning needed work before I could work on their mental skills.

I made some set up changes and then set to work. The drop technique was first up and it wasn’t long before they were riding them easier than they could have before and already self diagnosing errors.

We then worked on cornering and delved into their past skiing experiences which really surprised them both as they found more grip than they thought possible on a bike.

We worked on steeper terrain and steep drop offs and that blew them away. Control and confidence went through the roof.

Onto jumping and I worked hard on Mark’s mental skills and Nigel applied his natural pop to the 6ft tabletop and soon they were flying. Nigel even rode the 6ft gap jump a few times with a huge smile on his face as he did so.

We moved to the pump and jump trail to work on using all the techniques covered and linking multiple sections and corners together.

What a good session with two awesome guys.

High5!

 

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Changing how Nick thinks about riding

When Nick contacted us at ukbikeskills back in March he said he wanted to work on his cornering as well as bunnyhopping and booked today to discover why he wasn’t bale to do such things.

The skills check showed body positioning and looking errors and I made a simple set up change. Nick felt the difference straight away and was surprised when I said we’d be starting with bunnyhops. Boom! he found it simpler than ever and the bmx boy of old returned to doing what was buried beneath years of mis advice and poor positioning.

We worked on his weaker left sided cornering and soon he was railing through berms faster than ever before. I don’t have a strict plan to my mountain bike coaching and keep this as reactive as possible so we worked on pumping and keep speed on the trail before a welcome coffee break.

We resumed with applying both mental and physical skills sets to the drop technique. Nick was blown away at how simple it felt and he now knew why too. The 3ft drop proved no issue.

Next up was jumping tabletops, something he had never done before but soon he was sailing over the 6ft tabletop with ease. I demonstrated riding steep drop offs and linking drop offs into corners. Nick applied his mental skills to decide what to ride or not too throughout the session.

He was linking 14 sections of the singletrack trail together and was flowing smoothly rather than slamming his brakes on mid turn.

Our session ended after a good few runs of the pump and jump trail to round off an awesome session and brilliant week of coaching at ukbikeskills

High5!

 

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Brushing up Chris’ technique

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Chris had been on a public jumps and drops session with us before, and returned today to brush up on his technique in this area. I took him straight onto drops to see what skills were remaining from last time. What I had to work on now was his timing and matching his effort to how fast he entered. He was beginning to understand what I was looking far, and was able to fee when it felt right, and knew any mistakes he was now making.

We moved straight over to the tabletop, and again I managed his speed and had him adjust his effort, and as I slowly increased his speed, he was jumping further, and soon clearing the 6ft tabletop.

After lunch, we looked at steeper sections. Body position was one thing I didn’t have to correct with Chris, and he quickly overcame any mental trepidation on the two sections I showed him, and rode them perfectly.

We moved back onto the pump and jump trail. We used the first three sections to begin with were had had maintain his speed through the first two sections, and then jump the third. He was doing this nicely, but he was beginning to feel tired, so he had a couple of runs down the whole trail, jumping sections of his choice, and enjoying being in the air.

Nice one Chris. Explode!

Nath (@ukbikenath)

Single track skills with John

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John was already there when I arrived, so we had a quick coffee then started the session. He wanted to work on his single track skills, so he could be faster and more in control when racing. I discovered he was missing body position and looking within this technique, so I corrected this here, and then spent the first half of the session perfecting it. We used the top half of the skills trail, the three linked berms and also the hillside to really exaggerate the components of his cornering. He could feel how this was a much more comfortable way of cornering, as it adds grip and control, and he was beginning to self diagnose his errors when they didn’t feel right. I also showed him how much moving your seat down can affect your riding.

After lunch we worked on drops. First we used the three on the hillside to again work on the technique, and matching effort to speed. We then linked drop offs into corners at the bottom of the trail, where he now had to think about controlling his speed, as well as maintaining the correct technique in his corner. I demonstrated the last section of the trail we had not ridden, and how to absorb and carry speed through fly outs and steps, and we finished off here riding the trail top to bottom.

We looked at some steeper sections, rolling in straight, on sections with and without apexes. He had to use his mental questions but after a run up he was able to answer yes, and rode them perfectly, now understanding the body position I had explained.

We finished up back over on the pump trail, were we just touched a bit more on pumping, and carrying the speed through the sections on this trail.

Nice one John! Think looking and let me know how it goes!

Nath (@ukbikenath)