Roland and Mike came to me today in order to further their ability in jumping. The skills checks uncovered that I had to work on looking and body position with both of them, in the two techniques that they demonstrated to me, so I set to work. I made all the necessary corrections here, before moving over to apply their new skills set to the drop technique.
I put three drops in front of them, and had them decide which to start on, after explaining the mental skills that we ride by. Soon enough, they were both riding off the largest drop, at a variety of different speeds, and matched their effort to still land both wheels together. We moved straight across to the tabletop, this time controlling their speed for them, so they could focus on the other aspects of the jump. It wasn’t long before they were flying over the 6ft tabletop. Now it was down purely to their mental skills to ride the gap jump. Both Mike and Roland answered yes, and sailed over the gap too.
After lunch, we worked on cornering, first using the slope to perfect the technique, and then moving on to three linked turns to put that technique to the test. Each run was getting faster and the sections were being linked together with more fluidity than before. I then showed them the 7ft ladder gap which followed the second corner, and after watching them run in and checking their gearing and speed was correct, they both flew over the gap, landing perfectly on the other side.
I took them into the quarry to work on steeper terrain. Here I showed them the importance of maintaining the correct body position when rolling down steeper sections both with and without an apex. I also showed them dropping in sideways, and how this technique can be used to carry more speed through a trail.
What a great mountain bike coaching session today was. Roland, work on staying stood up for longer, Mike, keep pressing that hand!