Thursday, 30 June 2011

Luke's one to one session






Luke made the trip up from Devon and after a coffee and chat we got underway. The skills check revealed the present and missing skills that I look for and once this was corrected, along with his set up we set to work on applying the skills.
We began with drops and I worked hard on Luke's body position and looking and he began landing perfectly. I worked on moving the bike in the air too and this came to him easily, much to his surprise.
We moved onto the skills trail itself and began working on the 14 sections contained within it. I broke it down and worked on each section before adding the next.
Pumping was used to connect to the living trail and the speed of the trail was used rather than the riders energy.
We linked flat, bermed, switchback and off camber turns. Rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops.
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Luke linked each section on the trail and used the correct braking areas and soon was riding faster and smoother. I worked hard on line choice when linking drops into berms and Luke used his mental skill set to good use through out.
I then moved us onto the table top and 6ft gap jump and once again I was able to work on body position in flight so he could move the bike in the air.
Confidence was booming as he rode the 6ft gap jump time and again, his first ever gap.
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For our final part of the session I brought Luke to a 9ft gap jump and once I had demonstrated, Luke sailed over it 3-4 times easily and linked the following berm too!
Fantastic session Luke!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Al's one to one session






Al has only been riding for nearly 3 months and was recommended to me by his friend whom I had coached before. The skills check revealed the areas needing most work and I set to work.
I adjusted his set up which enhanced his body position and footwork then we began with braking technique. Here I moved his braking from rear to the front and the control it gave him was obvious.
Next up was the drop technique and in no time at all Al used his mental and physical skill set to good use and landed perfectly. After a few runs we moved onto the skills trail it self where later on Al would have to link his drop technique with cornering.
I began with pumping and cornering and we worked hard on footwork and then his looking skills. When corrected a good body position habit surfaced that I hadn't taught him but came from other sports he'd done.
We gradually worked our way down the trail, linking each section to the next using the correct braking areas. Al was starting to flow through sections as parts of his skill set became automatic, reaction wise.
We linked, pump bumps, flat, bermed, off camber and switchback corners with steps, rock gardens, fly out jumps and drops.
I worked hard on linking drops into corners but soon Alistair was landing the drop and railing the following corner.
It was time to ride the entire trail and Al really flew along the trail commenting on how slow it feels as his looking further down the trail than ever before. Over a timed 70 meter section he was 3-4 seconds quicker than when we started which related to massive gains over a complete trail.
We ended our session after a few complete runs of the trail as Al became mentally tired.
I rode a demonstration on the woodwork so Al could see the skills in use in my own riding.
A cold beer was welcome as the thunder rumbled all around.
Brilliant session.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Today's singletrack session








Graham, max and Sam came for this public session. Sam had previously attended my jumps/drops course and wanted to work on the other aspects of his riding.
I made the necessary changes to their set ups and corrected their missing skills during the skills check and then set to work immediately to applying it to the drops.
I worked with Sam on more drop style as he'd been with me before whilst i worked with max and Graham on their push and speed into drops and in no time at all they were landing perfectly.
We then began working on the singletrack skills trail.
I worked on pumping, flat, bermed, off camber and switchback corners, rock gardens, steps, fly outs and drops.
We worked methodically along the trail, linking the sections together using the correct exits and entry's and soon they began to flow along the trail. Footwork and looking was the staple we worked on and later, body positioning in corners too. This really changed how they cornered and the speed came naturally.
They rode the trail end to end loads of times and each runs was smoother than the previous as they used the trails energy more and more.

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I then moved us onto the pump trail and developed their pumping more and using the trails energy they were able to get airborne on a tabletop mid trail. The session ended their as the heat of the day took it's toll and they visibly began to tire.
Great session guys!
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Saturday, 25 June 2011

uncovering sarah's skills






Sarah booked a one to one session with me and after a coffee discussing her aspirations I set to work. The skills check was first and it revealed the missing skills and also uncovered something Sarah had no idea how to do, unweight her front wheel with a push. Once i had corrected her footwork and looking , she found it easy. I began as always with applying this push to the drops and in no time at all, Sarah was landing perfectly. After a while we moved onto the skilsl trail itself and we worked on all types of corners, pumping, rock gardens, steps , jumps and linking drops into corners.
We broke the trail down and worked on it in quarters before adding the previous quarter to the next and so on. we worked hard on footwork and looking in corners but also body positioning too and Sarah could really feel the difference.
I worked on a fly out to show why her push applied to jumps and to her complete amazement, she was airborne!
I also worked on a mental skill set with Sarah too as we worked on linking her drop technique to her cornering technique in berms and soon she was dropping confidently and smoothly into the corner with control.
Lastly Sarah rode the entire trail a few times and it all came together before Sarah finally declared mental tiredness and ended the session .
I ended the session with another coffee and I rode a line on the woodwork to demonstrate exactly the same skills I had taught her being used in me.
Great session!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Tim and Chris's jump, drop and berms session







Tim and Chris came to me wanting help handling airtime and also their fear of berm riding.
The skills check showed me the errors in their riding and after changing their set ups I set to work.
I began with drops and worked on body position in flight and worked on style with Tim and heavily on Chris's body position and fear mechanism and they both began landing perfectly.
I needed to move them to an isolated berm to work on their speed management in berms along with their other skills before linking drops into berms at the end of the coaching trail.

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The change in them both was amazing as they confidently entered the drop and linked it to the berm easily.
I then moved them onto the tabletop and the 6ft gap jump side of it and worked hard on Chris's push at speed and also Tim's 2nd push to land.
Both landed perfectly on the transition time and again and Tim even rode the 6ft gap jump side a few times with the same ease.
The guys called an end to the session as mental tiredness crept in and I closed the session with a riding demonstration of the skill set in full use on the woodwork at Herts.

Awesome session and the end of a great day.

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Paul's jump and drop birthday present session.






Paul got a voucher as a present for his session and although he recently got into riding after years away, he had a background in bmx and that was something I could use and dip into.
The skills check revealed the missing skills of footwork, body positioning and looking and I worked on these before moving onto the drops.
Here Paul applied his push enhanced with looking to great effect and I even worked on style in the air.
I worked on berms very hard with him before we rode drops into a berm where I worked on line choice and braking.
Next up was jumping, and using the tabletop I showed Paul why his push applied again and he was soon up in the air sailing over the jump perfectly. He then moved across and rode his first gap jump of 6ft to his amazement and then began styling that up too!
I moved us onto the 9ft gap jump and here Paul used his mental skill set to ride it. The session wasn't over as Paul wanted to learn vertical wall rides and so we had a few runs on that too before ending the session to a cold beer.
Great session.
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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Ian and Stacey's alpine preperation






I had coached Ian last year on a public singletrack skills course and during the skills check this time i could see it had paid off and that he had body positioning to develop. Stacey needed looking and footwork in corners and missed a skill in other areas too.
I began with braking technique and then onto drops. In a short while both were landing perfectly and i began working on moving the bike in the air and starting to make it look stylish.
From there we moved onto the skills trail and I worked on using the trails energy and pumping and pre jumping.
We linked that to flat, off camber, switchback and bermed corners, steps, rock gardens, fly out jumps and drops.
Gradually we worked our way along the trail linking the next to the previous sections and the flow began to really happen. Ian was showing the benefits of the previous session as mixed with his new body position he was hooning down the trail!
Stacey was putting it together too and the rain didn't matter one iota.
We linked drops into berms at speed to enable them to manage their alpine speeds easier.
After a few runs of the complete trail we moved onto our final technique, jumping.
I demonstrated how and why their push applied and they sailed over it and even began styling it a bit too.
Stacey, followed later by Ian rode the 6ft gap jump too easily with huge grins as they walked up.
Our session ended with a tour of the place with an ice cold beer each.
Awesome!

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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Filling in the blanks in Jim's black grade riding







Jim is an experienced rider but wanted to flow along trails better and feel more control in the air.
The skills check revealed the missing skills and also what was present and I set to work.
I changed his set up and showed why I did it before moving on the drops.
Jim was comfy in the air once his looking was corrected and I began working on style in the air.
We moved onto the trail and i worked on his body position and looking skills in flat, bermed, switchback and off camber turns and we linked them to rocks, pumping, fly out jumps, steps and drops.
We worked hard on linking drops into corners and then Jim rode the entire trail end to end a few times. Each run was becoming smoother and more fluid than the previous as he took seconds off his overall time with each run.
Lastly, we moved onto the tabletop jump and the 6ft gap side of it too.
In a few runs after working on his push and body position he was sailing over the tabletop and then used his mental skills to great effect to ride his first ever gap jump too.
Awesome session!

Friday, 17 June 2011

4 go mad in Hertfordshire







James, Scott,Mike and Hugh came to me for a private group session and wanted to work on cornering but also jumping and dealing with airtime too.
The skills check revealed the areas that needed work and after a few set up changes and the missing skills corrected we then went and applied them on the trails.
We worked on drops and body position and looking in flight and I was able to work on moving the bike in the air to begin to style it.
We went onto the trail and worked on pumping, flat , bermed, switchback and off camber corners, rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops. We worked down the trail methodically and linked each section to the next using the identified braking areas and soon it began to flow.
We worked hard on footwork, looking and body position to enable them to ride at the speed they wanted to but couldn't previously attain.
I worked on carrying speed through drops into corners and also line choice.
with each complete run of the entire trail they flowed smoother and faster.

We left the trail and moved onto the tabletop jump and the gap jump side of it too. All four riders sailed over it with ease and Scott and James began styling over it and Mike and Hugh landed their first ever gap jumps too!
Finally. we moved onto a 9ft gap jump and the boys used their mental skill set to decide yes or no to riding it. Scott and James said yes and 3 or 4 times sailed over it smoothly.
Our session ended with a cold beer and smiles all round.
Awesome session.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Over coming Jen's fears


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Jen's fears are very common in female riders and she spoke of them when we met and as I ran her through my skills check.
I corrected her footwork and looking and also changed her set up to give her more control and better body position to under rotate her.
I show why we push a mtb and how to unweight the front wheel.
I then corrected her braking technique and this really enhanced her overall feel and control of the bike and the trail.
We began with the drop technique and to yells of delight, Jenn began landing perfectly and couldn't believe the ease of it.
We moved onto the trail and began with pumping then linked that into a berm followed by a flat corner. Jenn's footwork and looking paid dividends as she flowed through these sections using the correct braking areas.
We then began working on riding over rock gardens and linked those into a berm and a switchback corner. Jenn was smiling ear to ear and commneted how undramatic it feels now.
Next up we confronted another fear, steep and short up slopes. Not only did Jenn ride up it but she also jumped up it after a while once she applied her new found push.
I could see Jenn begin to tire so we had a short break before riding the whole trail end to end and to whoops of joy from her at the bottom.
Great riding and I look forward to your riding updates Jenn!