I coached Alex nearly five years ago and he wanted to return as he felt his skills had dropped off somewhat and a flush of crashes before today had prompted it. Hayden and Rob joined him this time on the session after raving to them about his first session. I needed to discover the missing skills that had created this lack in confidence and found Alex’s right turns were weaker than his lefts and both Rob and Hayden needed work on cornering too as body positioning, footwork and looking were lacking. I made a set up change that helped correct this and the session grew from there.
We began with drops and applied both mental and physical skills to the technique required and body positioning was key.
From there we worked hard on cornering and soon found ourselves on 2 berms and they were stunned at how controlled and smooth their newly corrected skills made everything feel.
We had a welcome break for coffee and grub and resumed on the skills trail, a seemingly simple piece of singletrack with 14 sections contained within it. We broke it down into bite sized chunks to work on applying their new skills to and the techniques required and before long they were linking them all and as line choice and braking areas were used they became faster and smoother and the grins grew and grew. Errors were now being self diagnosed as they now knew why it felt right or wrong in any section so we moved on to riding steeper drop offs using different techniques and that proved the new skills worked.
They said when we met that bunnyhops and jumping would be something they hoped to be able to do and something they were never fully able to do so jumping it was. A 6ft tabletop soon became no problem as they sailed over at way slower speeds than they thought possible and then they used their mental skills to ride the 6ft gap jump also. the looks of amazement on their faces was a picture as they watched each other sail over it a good few times before Alex declared himself knackered and that maybe they should stop. What about bunny hops I asked? They agreed to watch my demonstration and they commented at how easy it looked but were blown away when they found they could repeat it themselves over various sized logs. They were now done pretty much but not before Hayden rode the 9ft gap jump a few times too.
What a session!!!!!