I have coached both Steve and John before and this time they brought Dom along for a skills session. I asked what they wanted to work on and both Steve and John said airtime and Dom explained that he’d love to aswell but he’d never got any air before. As we chatted, John said he’d crashed at Afan Lodge skills area last year and that it had affected his riding a lot. When we began I could see it had but how much so was to appear later. The skills check showed that Steve had worked on his skills set, John had developed protection due to his crash and that Dom needed his looking and footwork to be worked on.
We began with applying the skills to the drop technique that Nathan & I teach and soon they were landing perfectly and Steve was beginning to add style into his riding too. From there, we moved to jumping the 6ft tabletop. Now this is where John’s fear from his crash really showed and patiently I broke it down to the smallest degree and began to build him back up whilst Steve and Dom really began to fly and added the 6ft gap jump into their repertoire. Nathan arrived on his day off to do some maintenance but couldn’t help but join in the coaching. This enabled me to focus on John after lunch to really un-can his riding skills that were now buried in fear. We worked on cornering and soon they were all railing through three berms and jumping a large faced jump that followed. John popped into the air but it I spotted something so small that had a huge effect on him. I made him switch his lead foot and began to piece together his jumping again. The smile returned to john’s face and Nathan was nodding in approval at both Dom and Steve’s riding improvements as they all now pumped, jumped and cornered though the trail.
They were tiring very quickly but we moved them onto a new section, a 9ft gap jump. Now Steve rolled in after I had demonstrated it and cleared it with a small rear wheel tap but the old John was now back and a couple of run up checks saw him sail over it again and again. Dom followed suit, something he never ever thought he’d ride in a lifetime let alone a few hours of coaching. They even rode the line from the top to bottom choosing what to jump or not as they rode. All three of them declared themselves knackered and in need of a beer so we celebrated an amazing day with a pint at the local pub.