Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Control is the path to confidence

Richard booked a one to one session with myself after recommendations from his riding buddies at mbswindon . The day arrived and we chatted about his expecations for the session and areas he wanted to develop. He'd never got air before and struggles to get the front wheel in the air but that was all about to change. The skills check revealed I needed to work on Richards looking and body positioning before I could work on his mindset. A set up change and off we went to apply the skills to the techniques both myself and Nathan teach.
 Drops were first on the menu and the look in Richards eyes when he saw them showed me he was fearful but that was soon to change. In no time at all Rich was in the air and landing perfectly and he applied his mental skills to ride the next, followed by the largest 3ft drop too with whoops of joys ringing out over the hill side.
 Onto cornering and I worked hard on this, particular his right sided turns. I sued three berms first and then we moved to the singletrack trail to work on linking the fourteen sections contained within it together. Pumping, flat, berms,off camber and switchback turns were linked to absorbing, steps, drops, rocks and drop offs. I demonstrated everything and we worked our way down the trail working on each section individually before finally riding the whole trail end to end. Every runs was smoother than the previous as his control and confidence grew and that made him become faster as a result.
 I knew he was tiring and by his own admission, he only had a few more runs in him so we moved to the trail with the three  berms we began on and worked on carrying speed through multiple sections on  a trail by absorbing and pumping to removed pedaling. It all began to click together and Richard could feel he was riding faster through the berms now compared to earlier too.
 What a session. High5!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Getting Craig's wings back

  Craig came to me a couple of years ago and attended a public singletrack session. His riding improved no end from that session but he felt that he was missing something again and that he'd like to learn to jump properly like he did as a kid on his bmx. I adjusted his bike for him at his request and made some subtle adjustment to his set up and that made an immediate difference. We began with the drop technique and the effect of applying his corrected skills sets to getting air was stunning. I was even able to show Craig why his skills sets allowed stye to be added in the air. We moved to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump to work on effort for distance and speed needed, boom! he was flying easier than he ever felt before and then added style just as he used to as a child.
 I moved to cornering and really worked on an error in his right turns before working on absorbing and pumping multiple sections of a trail to gain speed before railing three berms and styling a jump.
 After a break we worked on a 9ft gap jump that is sandwiched betwixt two berms and that proved easy now to craig as time and again he sailed over it and eventually rode the sections before it including a 7ft gap. We moved to a new trail to work on linking gap jumps in  a series and that stunned Craig as now he wasn't thinking about why to do something, it was already becoming an unconscious action. Craig was knackered but still wanted to apply his new skills to another jump and he was eyeing a 12ft gap jump, I demonstrated and soon Craig followed suit and sailed over it three times on the bounce using less effort and more speed as he was tiring and after 4 hours of concentration, Craig ended the session himself a very happy rider.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Carlo's session

 Carlo is 16yrs old and was bought the skills session as a birthday present. The day arrived and I explained why I do a skills check and what it entailed before we began. The skills check revealed looking and body positioning needed work and that would leave the mental skills to work on afterwards. We began with applying his new skills sets to the technique We teach for drops and Carlo immediately felt comfortable and said it felt simple and effortless. He quickly moved through to the largest drop and then we moved to a 6ft tabletop to work on jumping and applying the same skills sets. Boom! Same result, Carlo effortlessly sailed over the tabletop with a big grin on his face and he said he'd be happy if the session ended there and then as it felt awesome but we wasn't destined to end yet. The 6ft gap jump loomed and he sailed over that a good few times too . Carlo is one of the super kids I have met during coaching and along with Henry, Otto, Ellen etc and I knew he'd develop fast today and on wards. We began working on his cornering and carrying speed through three berms as well as pumping sections to maintain and gain speed. It wasn't long before he was pumping, jumping, manualing and turning faster than ever. We worked on steep terrain and that blew him away as he easily rode a near vertical drop off . Onto the singletrack trail and linking drops into corners in particular and before long ,Carlo was linking the 14 sections of the trail faster and faster and smoother than ever. He linked the pump and jump trail through two berms and over a 7ft gap jump followed by a 9ft gap jump and was buzzing. After a few more runs I could see small errors creeping back in and it was clear our time together must end for today but I know I'll see him again.
Carlo, high5!