Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Over coming the fear, A session with Craig and Amy

After meeting as arranged, I put Amy and Craig through the skills check where I look for specific skills already present. During this i found that both Craig and Amy both naturally pushed their bikes and to their surprise i told them this.
From un weighting the front wheel , we moved onto pumping the trail and Craig in particular really got to grips with this technique. It became quite clear early on what style of learner each rider was but also that they shared a similar mental barrier, FEAR!
We moved onto the drop technique and at first i used a small mound of dirt to enhance the feeling of the technique before moving onto a proper drop section. Slowly The mental skills developed and I worked on Amy's concentration and Craig's confidence very specifically..
From there we moved onto cornering and also linking each section on the trail together and using only the identified braking areas.
after 5 hours mental fatigue really began to tell and our session came to a natural end.
Keep me informed guys on how the skills work for you on your alpine holiday and beyond!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Emma's a natural!

Emma contacted me and said she had ridden off road maybe three times and wanted to learn the basics.
We met as arranged and On putting her through the skills check I discovered that Emma naturally pushed the bike away and had the beginnings of the front wheel un weighting technique. Emma now needed to realise this and in doing so her mental skills began to grow.
Confidence blossomed very quickly as we went through the pumping technique as Emma rhythmically pumped and flowed down the section. On leaving the trail we see how far we can go and Emma got furthest of all my lady clients and into the top 10-12 of all my clients at the technique.
Things were really coming together.
Steep descents are a very common fear for riders and this was the case for Emma. We gradually worked up to fully descending a section by working up from the bottom and soon Emma was riding the whole length of it showing confidence and commitment.
We now moved on to the drop technique and worked up to a 1ft drop gradually and Emma's natural ability to un weight the front was really flourishing as she began landing 2 wheels together.
Now i moved onto a trail where we worked on cornering and linking sections together using the correct barking zones. looking and footwork were really worked on here and soon the speed of the trail was being harnessed and used by Emma. All sections were flowed through confidently and as mental fatigue began to show we headed back to the car park but not before riding down one last length of single track. Emma really shone in her new abilties and confidence n her new skills and we ended our session.
I can't wait for the on going feedback on her riding.

high5 Emma!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Developing Julie and Mike's off road confidence

Julie and John booked with me asking for a confidence build.
Steep descents, exposed single track, corners and flowing down trails were an issue.
With this in mind I ran them through the skills check and immediately worked on the front wheel un weight and this is a king pin technique after pumping.
We worked on those and Julie in particular began moving around more on the bike and we really began to see some changes.
I then began working on their looking and footwork in corners and gradually we broke it down in bite size bits and built them back up so they we riding through corners and braking in the correct places.
A steep roll down was too much for them at this point so I moved us onto a tight trail through trees where footwork and looking was para mount and after a short while they began to naturally do their footwork and look further along the trail.
next was an exposed section of trail with a drop to one side. With footwork and looking they both began to gain confidence and commitment as they rode it time and time again.
After that trail we moved onto a trail with lots of performance cues to look through and steep but short roll down section that by now they just rode as we rode along the whole trail happily.
finally, I brought them to a steep hill exactly like the one they were not comfortable with and both rode down it with out hesitation a few times bringing our session to a great end!

John and Alex's 2 to 1 session

John and Alex contacted me for a 2 to 1 session asking to learn jumps and drops and maybe cornering.
All things in good time, so after identifying the missing skills but also the natural skills of each rider i began working on installing the full skill set.
After un weighting the front wheel, we moved on through pumping and the dis connected bunny hop. It didn't take long for both Alex and John to get to grips with these techniques so we moved onto drops and jumps.
I demonstrated and then they both began to fly, quite literally. The drop and the table top section proved no problem with their new skill set.
Keeping things flowing along, i moved them onto a trail. I broke the trail into 3 segments and we worked methodically on each segment and the sections within.
Each section was flowed through and braking zones were easily identified so a smooth controlled and fast ride down the trail was the only result.
We ended our session as tiredness showed it's head so we rode back in the sunshine reflecting on a very cool session.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Nige's Alpine preperation

Nige contacted me after one of his friends (Andy) recommended he attend a session with me.
After identifying his missing skills i began to install the missing ones right away. through unweighting, pumping and the dis connected bunny hop before moving onto drops and jumps.
Nige had some very solid ingrained skills already so it was my task to remove the bits he didn't need to be doing. Slowly, the skill set began to really shine through as air time was gained and the mental skills began to develop.
From there we moved onto our first of 2 trails where we worked on cornering and oh boy did Nige really got to grips with it. section after section on the trail was smoothly linked and any braking was done in the correct zones. We ended that trail with a couple of end to end runs and Nige is the fastest rider I have coached on that trail!
Now we moved onto a tighter trail with loose corners and steeper entries and larger drop and gap jump sections, after a first look run, Nige smoothly ran through the whole trail easily and the smile was beaming. A few runs were done before we finally moved onto a even larger drop section to work on air time to get Nige used to flying further through the air and not react to ground rush. Our session only ended by the onset of mental fatigue.
have a great holiday Nige!

Adrians Morzine preperation session

Adrian booked a 2 to 1 session and the day requires a separate blog for each as the day was filled with progress both mentally and physically.
As usual I began with the skills check and identified the missing physical skills in his riding before moving through unwieghting, puming and the bunny hop technique which Adrian really got to grips with after a few pictures fed his visual learning nature.
I then moved onto the drop and jump technique and on a small 1ft drop section and 4 ft table top I really worked on the skills required that form the technique and Adrian really started to fly.
From there we moved onto a trail and after breaking it down into 3 segments we worked on each segment and the sections involved and linked them methodically together before finally riding the entire trail a couple of times to really feel the trails energy and Adrian was using the trails energy superbly.
From there we moved onto a steeper, tighter trail that had a larger drop section and a gap double of 6-7ft. By now Adrian was just reacting to each section accordingly and flowed through the entire trail effortlessly and the mental skill set was shining through. Now adrenalin was really pumping so I moved onto another isolated drop section to enable Adrian to use his speed management and gradually go larger in air time, eventually landing 10-11ft down from the drop.
Our session ended as mental fatigue just started to show.
Awesome session!!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Dave's Emergence

Dave's riding has been off and on for a few years but in a short time I was able during the skills check to see some of his riding experience had led to some good riding skills choices.
I identified that during cornering he needed work on his footwork and looking and that to unweight the front wheel he pulled, HARD! It's not as bad as it sounds because just before the pull he naturally pushed the bike away and after showing him this in pictures and explaining that the pull needed removing from the technique a first happened. 1st try, Dave un weighted the front wheel smoothly and manualled over a bike length. Now things were looking up!
We began with pumping and the dis connected bunny hop and those were lapped up with his new found un weighting technique and on leaving the pumping area got 2nd furthest of all my clients too.
I then took him to the jump and drop techniques and once again, in a short while he was flying in the air.
We then moved onto a trail and worked on cornering and linking trails sections together and removing un necessary braking along the way. Smooth and fluid became the words to describe Dave's riding and after a few top to bottom runs we moved onto another trail to work on tighter, loose corners and a larger drop section and straight away Dave was linking them together before Tiredness set in and we called an end to our great session.

A session with a southern Yeti


Matt contacted me from the forum asking for help with jumps and drops.
On meeting in the car park I could see why he had rotation issues when doing said jumps and drops . I put him through the skills check and found that he had missing looking skills whilst cornering too. First we began with pumping and the bunny hop before moving onto the drop technique. Matt already had the confidence to ride bigger drops but landing was an issue so I began working through the skills set with him and developing his mental skill set too! We developed his set up move in the air so it corrected his body position in flight and also worked on style!
jumping followed and I brought him to a small table top first to isolate each skill and take away any anomalies in the technique .
soon it was time to move to another trail where we worked on cornering. Matt was surprised to find that he had cornering issues but gradually we worked them out and he began flying through the corners. We started to move down the trail , linking all sections together and using the identified braking areas.
finally, we moved onto a more technical trail with steeper, more loose corners and larger drop and gap jump sections. Very quickly Matt really began to nail the whole trail smoothly and the flow was there to see, including styling the gap jump.
keep working on the points I gave you Matt and I look forward to hearing of your riding in the future

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Neil's Scottish session

We met as arranged and as always began with the skills health check where it allows me to see which skills the riders already posses and which are missing and need work on.
Neil's footwork and looking skills were not there at all so I began working on this. On the climb up from the hub we worked on looking around each corner on the way up and this is a really good way of getting used to looking way farther along the trail but with the speed managed by the climb so the rider is comfortable.
I worked on the drop technique first with Neil as he had a habit of pulling the bike up with his feet whilst performing the technique.
gradually we began working this out of his technique and soon had Neil landing controlled. We then moved onto riding down rocky sections and with footwork adjustments, Neil could feel more planted and in control of the bike and trail.
I found a log and showed the dis connected bunny hop and it's two pushes to Neil and only the timing prevented him from performing it but the elements were there and I know Neil will have that technique nailed very very soon.
We worked on linking sections in the trails together including corners, drops and adverse camber sections.
With his new looking and footwork, Neil really began to fly through sections linking them up sweetly.
We ended our session with a complete run top to bottom and really flowed down the trail to the fantastic food and coffee at the hub.
great session.

Return of Metalheart Neill

I first worked with Neill in February and I was excited to see what changes had been made to his riding since.
The first thing I did was put Neill through the skills check and I could see that he really took on board the last session.
We worked on the drop technique, ironing out any irregularities in the skills then onto riding down rocky steps. We really worked on Neill's footwork and pushing through with his heals.
Then we moved onto a trail and began working on linking corner sections together. Also we worked on line choice in corners, disconnected bunny hop and adverse cambers. It took Neill a while to not comfort brake but soon was flowing through the sections.
We then worked on linking a drop to 2 corner sections together and even though tiredness was beginning to show Neil confidently rode the sections before finally doing a complete run to the hub for coffee and food.
Keep the improvements going Neill!