February 23, 2012 Tony Doyle

Rafe’s skills coaching session

Rafe is involved in Swindon mtb club and came down for a skills session with myself as he wanted to improve his own riding.
The skills check revealed that he possessed great footwork but needed body positioning and looking developed.
I made a few changes to his bike set up and set to work.
We began with the drop technique and using his new mental and physical skill sets, Rafe was riding the drops effortlessly.

I moved us onto the skills trail and began working on riding the fourteen sections that it contains using the correct braking areas. I broke the trail into bite sized chunks so we could easily focus without overcrowding the mind.
Pumping was first and the gained energy was used to ride the following berm and flat corners. I later added in the rock garden and a berm and switchback corner into the mix and soon Rafe’s new skills were working for him and any errors were identified by him too as he now knew why it was going wrong before.

I demonstrated why his skill set could be used to get airtime from an upslope/fly out and he linked that into a corner with a step on the exit. things were going well now and the smile was beaming across Rafe’s face. I worked hard on linking drops into corners by line choice and now Rafe was riding the largest drop and linking it into the final corner. Rafe rode the trail a few times end to end and each run was more controlled, smoother but also faster than previously.
Finally, it came time to teach Rafe to jump a 6ft tabletop.

In a few small steps, Rafe was sailing over the tabletop and even rode the 6ft gap jump side too!
A good few times he rode them before I could see he was tiring mentally and called an end to what was a very cool session. Rafe’s a nice guy and I’ll pop down to Swindon for a ride on his trails with him sometime.
High5 Rafe!

Comment (1)

  1. Thanks Tony!

    From the very first comment he made it was obvious that mentoring & coaching comes very naturally to Tony and that he’s very good at it (and he knows it!).

    The day was fantastic & my confidence improved no end. Things I wouldn’t have done, or known how to do, were broken down into manageable chunks and completed with ease. Excuse the pun but there were no big jumps in the learning process.

    The session ended sooner than expected but on reflection it was a good call – my brain was fried and I was starting to make silly mistakes that, had we continued, would have just eroded my confidence and possibly ended up with me doing something dangerous. As I said, Tony knows how to coach & is extremely observant.

    A day with Tony is a day I’d highly recommend to anyone wanting to take their mountain biking to the next level.

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