Sunday, 19 December 2010

Supposed to be clearing the snow at Herts!

Went to Herts today to clear the snow and see if it's ok for coaching this coming week. The rain midweek has left a sheet of ice on the woodwork covered by snow. It was sketchy as hell, so we cleared a line.
Before I could think of doing more, I figured it was ride o'clock!
I will see how much I can clear tomorrow now :)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Rebuilding Charlie's confidence

Charlie has recently got the fear for dropping into any ramp with coping. After our previous session it was clear that he needed to consolidate all the things he had elarned but remove any focus that made him fixate on this fear.
To begin with, we went to a small mini ramp and worked on his coping fear and soon he was dropping in and riding out smoothly. We then moved onto another area entirely to begin to work on turning in a ramp by hopping the bike around.
Next it was time to look at the bowl again and develop Charlie's pumping and get him to ride out smoother without feeling out of control.

It then became clear that I had broken his fear of riding over the coping and that it was now a height of the ramp issue too. With this in mind I changed the context and had Charlie carving up a wedge and riding across the deck to drop into another quarter pipe.
This soon became smooth and then he was dropping in opposite direction too.

Before our session ended we had a look at an even larger quarter, but the height made Charlie unable to tick off his mental skill set. Our session ended and I gave charlei some parts to work on to take his focus away from the dropping in and I look forward to reading his progress over the xmas period.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Chris's bmx baptism

I have coached Chris twice in mtbing and he asked me for bmx coaching, wanting the basics. we began with dropping in, riding out and pumping first. Chris got to grips with this really quickly and my job was to keep him progressing without extending him outside his comfort zone. Having already taught him how to jump on his mtb off road, it was an easy transition to make for him bringing it over to bmx. We began in the foam pit, making sure Chris was comfortable with the bike in the air. Next, we moved onto the resi ramp and Chris sailed over it landing perfectly on the transition.

Now he was happy jumping, we moved onto the street section and worked on step downs, step ups.

Then jumping the driveway and turning 180 on a quarter pipe.

Finally, we worked on riding spines/volcanos and linking them to a turn on a ramp. Even with regular breaks, Chris became tired in about 4 hours and called an end to a great session. I even introduced him to the world of the 20" as he was convinced a 24" bike was better suited to an adult :)
High5 Chris

Monday, 13 December 2010

Dom and Andy's day


Dom and Andy came to me wanting to develop their flow in their riding and corner better. They never thought he day would pan out as it did.
On meeting them I ran them through my skills check and found some good habits and also some gaps in their skill sets. Neither knew how to get the front wheel off the ground properly and were stunned at how easy it was once I made a few set up changes and gave them looking and footwork to add to their skill sets.
Once the push to unweight was happening, we moved on to the drop technique and applied it there. Almost straight away both were landing perfectly and I worked on their mental skill sets too and gave them a framework to ride by.
Once onto the skills trail, I broke the trail into quarters and worked on the sections contained within each before moving down the trail and adding the next quarter. We worked on flat, bermed, off camber and switchback corners. Also steps, rocks, fly outs and drops into corners too. Gradually each section was linked with their correct braking zones and the flow began to really happen!
Then we rode the entire trail a few times and all the sections were linked beautifully and the smiles said it all.
Both Dom and Andy were buzzing but as light was beginning to fade, I moved onto the jump technique and taught them how to jump and to apply their push in that context. Seeing them take off with ease was a delight to see as always. fading light brought an end to the session.
High5 guys!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Dan and Ed's development session

Ed and Dan had varied riding experiences and have been abroad riding but needed a polish of their mtb techniques. I identified the missing skills from their skill set and set about correcting this, making sure a push technique was in place before moving onto the first technique of drops.
Here Dan was comfortable with drops and with the addition of a boost to his looking skill I was able to start getting him to move the bike in the air. Ed however needed more development of his body positioning and looking before he became confident. In time, both of them were riding all 3 drops sections easily and landing perfectly. We worked on the mental skill set too here also and time came to move onto the trail.

The trail consists of 14 sections. Flat, bermed, switchback and off camber corners. Rock gardens, steps, pump bumps, drops and fly outs. Each section was worked on, the entries, exits and braking zones were identified and used correctly. We gradually worked our way down the trail linking each section to the previous ones and in time the flow became evident. I timed segment of the trail to give an indication of the cost of not using the skill set and the benefit of it working.

After a few runs of the complete trail we finally moved onto the tabletop and the jumping technique. Here I showed the push technique in yet another context and whilst I managed their speed and gradually added it, both became airborne and were landing smoothly on the transition.

Ed had never jumped before and was blown away how easy it was and Dan moved over to the gap jump and sailed over it 1st time. After a few more runs , we called an end to the session as tiredness and fading light dictated it.
Great session guys!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Looking at giving Kirsten's riding a jump start

Kirsten was given a skills gift voucher by her partner Keith, who has been coached by myself. So she kind of knew what to expect.
I found that Kirsten lacked looking in her riding skill set but had some great habits too.
The first technique I covered was the push to unweight the front end and after a set up change, Kirsten found the front wheel raised easily.
We then moved onto the drop technique and here I demonstrated the push in this context and very soon Kirsten was flying off of all of the drop sections with ease.

Next, we moved onto the skills trail and the 14 sections contained within it. I split the trail into 4 segments and we worked on the sections contained within each before adding it to the previous one. We worked our way down the trail methodically. We worked on pumping, flat, bermed,switchback and off camber corners, fly outs, steps, rock gardens and drops. each was worked on and the skill set, both mental and physical were used and applied.
We then rode the trail in its' entirety and as the ground softened and became slower, Kirsten became faster and faster as she applied the skill set and averaged 10-15% faster by the end over the initial runs.
I then asked Kirsten if she would like to learn to jump as she rides at Swinley forest a lot and therefore it has value to her riding. She agreed and we moved onto the table top which has a gap one side. In a short time again she was pushing correctly and getting air time! Time after time she landed perfectly and then she moved across to the gap jump and sailed over it easily!
After a few goes I called an end to the session as fatigue began to show.
This brought to end an amazing day.
Thanks Kirsten!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Giving Tom's confidence a jump start


Tom was given a gift voucher for a skills session after dropping hints as he needed to find the reason for his drop in confidence with his riding.
During the skills check I discovered what was causing this lack in confidence and set about correcting it.
We went straight to the skills trail and worked on the first half of it with its corners, pump bumps and rocks. Here we worked on Toms body position and looking and gradually Tom went quicker and quicker but also smoother too!
I then moved over to the drop sections and worked on his missing looking skill and also his mental skill set and how and why to apply it. Very qickly, Tom had ridden all 3 drops and landed perfectly.

I then moved us back onto the coaching trail to work on the next half. We linked fly outs, more corners, steps and drops. Then it came time to ride the whole trail and Tom was flowing fast and controlled down the trail . linking each section by its correct braking zone and adding speed where he should.

Now came time to start jumping. I moved us onto the table top that has one side taken out to form a gap. In a short while Tom was sailing over the table top and was bubbling with confidence and rode down to the gap side and flew over it perfectly. His first ever gap jump! I then started working on moving the bike about in the air a bit to both relax his body position and also make it start to look stylish.

Finally, we moved onto a more dirt jump style gap jump and began working on judging speed into it. Once again, Tom was flying over it. Any mistakes made were identified by Tom himself as he knew what he did wrong and corrected it himself. Our session ended as mental fatigue began to show. Tom, awesome session mate!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Dave's confidence building session.

Dave contacted me saying he needed a confidence boost as he just couldn't ride down trails as quick as he is up them. We arranged a date and on meeting I discovered what was missing from the skill set and began installing them.
Dave had read me talking about the push to unweight the front end of the bike and this took some time to get. I changed his cockpit set up and explained and showed why I had done so.
That had the desired effect as his front wheel rose up easily.
Time for drops!
To Dave's surprise the first technique we applied the skills set to was drops. I matched his push to a speed and Dave began landing perfectly. I then began working on his mental skill set too and Dave rolled down to the middle drop (larger than any he had tried before our session) and easily landed both wheels together and the smile on his face said it all. After a few more runs at the drops we moved onto the skills trail.
I always segregate the trail into four parts and work on the sections contained in each before adding them to the previous one as we work our way down the trail.
We worked on pumping, drops, up slopes and down slopes, steps, rock gardens, flat bermed and switchback corners as well as adverse camber. I showed how to identify the braking areas before and after each section and we worked our way down the trail.
I took Dave to an isolated berm to work on carrying speed into and out of corners and identified a protective mechanism he which we worked out of him before moving back to the trail and riding the whole trail in it's entirety.
By the sessions end, Dave was 25% quicker down the trail than he was at the beginning.
We ended our session as I saw mental fatigue appear so not to put the rider at risk of a crash.
Awesome session Dave!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Tim's "freeride" session

Tim came back to me to further his riding once more and as he wants more "freeride" focus, We worked on both dirt and wooden constructions.
I worked on pumping the transition and also footwork whilst linking sections together with turns.
I began with riding ladders and getting used to feeling like you are off the ground before adding it to a hipped drop.
We then moved onto a small dirt jump and worked on that before adding a wooden kicker into a corner into a 9ft step down gap.
I worked on beginning to move the bike in the air off of a booter made from half a tree.
Each section was worked on individually before adding the next section to it and so on.
I worked hard on the mental skill set here too as commitment and confidence needed over coming.
We ended the session with a few complete runs before darkness fell.
high 5 Tim.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Pete and Julie's skills session



Pete got a gift voucher from me for skills coaching from Julie and she decided to join him on the session too. The 1st thing I do is see what skills are there already and install what is missing before even moving onto techniques.
The first technique we covered was the drop technique where both used their natural unweight of the front wheel to land perfectly. After a few successful goes we moved onto the skills trail where we worked on the 14 sections contained within it including steps, pump bumps, rocks, fly outs, drops and flat, bermed and switchback corners.
Each section was methodically stitched to the next using the correct braking zones and the flow began to happen. Gradually we worked our way down the trail until we they were riding the complete trail and really riding fluidly and relaxed. I worked heavily on footwork and looking as well as body positioning. I also went into the mental skill set required for all techniques too.
Finally I worked on body position on steeper descents with Pete and we ended our session as daylight faded with smiles all round. I gave them feedback and things to work on too as we warmed ourselves around the fire.
A great end to a great session.