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.