Joel and Gray have been to myself for mountain bike coaching three years previous and wanted to return as they were feeling as if bad habits had been creeping back but were unsure what and why this was happening. The skills check soon showed me and I knew I’d have to work on Joel’s right turns and Graham’s left turns but also I’d have to work on the mental skills in jumping.
We started with the drop technique and I worked hard on body position before they began landing smoothly and drama free from the 3ft drop. We moved to the 6ft tabletop and I worked on the mental skills and timing of the techniques as well as Gray’s footwork too.
It took a while and then they were clearing the 6ft jump. A coffee break was looming but we moved to work on steep terrain and drop offs and I demonstrated three ways of riding a near vertical drop off and the boys followed suit.
After a break we resumed with pumping and linking berms together and gaining speed through them instead of braking mid turn. Their cornering took a turn for the good as they were soon railing through them and Joel’s footwork nailed it for him.
I demonstrated pumping and absorbing at speed and then jumping along a trail and again, the boys followed suit. Soon they were choosing to pump or jump along the trail.
I knew they were tiring so I moved on again back to the 6ft tabletop and their jumping had time from earlier to process more and they were popping over it nicely. Errors were now being self diagnosed too as they grew more and more confident about riding the 6ft gap jump alongside the tabletop. Once the other three mental skills added up , they both sailed their first gap jumps a good few times before the session came to an end.