Dave has been riding for years and wanted to get to the bottom of why he was lacking confidence in his riding and develop his own speed. I could tell that i needed to change his bike set up and did this during the skills check where I found conscious footwork but missing body and looking skills. I set to work correcting this and then we moved onto the drop sections to work on both physical and mental skills sets. It did take long before Dave was landing perfectly and then he used his mental skills to ride the largest a few times too.
Before moving to the skills trail, I ran Dave through a body positioning excersize that enhances grip and control before finally we began working on linking the sections on the skills trail together.
The skills trail has 14 sections contained within it and we used half the trail straight off. Pre jumping and pumping were linked to rock gardens, berms, flat and switchback turns. I worked on line choice and braking areas and his new skills were shining through as Dave smoothly rode all the sections. I added in a fly out jump and corner with a stepped exit and lastly we worked on linking drops into corners.
We rode the trail end to end as Dave was focusing on the errors in his riding and missing the good stuff. Dave was then riding the whole trail alone and any errors were now self diagnosed as he moved into conscious competence. After a few runs more, I moved onto what would prove to be our finally application of the skills sets, Jumping tabletops and gaps.
In a few small moves Dave was sailing over the 6ft tabletop and never feeling like he had left the ground. The kid in him was smiling and the whole session was paying dividends in his riding. He then used his mental skills to choose to ride the 6ft gap jump side a few times too!
Our session came to a close there and we celebrated the session with a cold beer and a tour of herts.