Saturday, 29 October 2011

Julian, Jason, Steve and Simon berks on bikes





Julian, Jason, Steve and Simon met as arranged at the herts skills area and I gave them my commitments for the session and beyond before running them through the skills check. I discovered that I had to work on their body positions and looking skills and I adjusted their set ups accordingly.
We began with the drop technique and applied both the mental and physical skills involved and they all began landing perfectly.

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We moved onto the skills trail and I worked on the 14 sections on the trail and linking them together. Pumping was used to gain energy from the trail and we used this speed to ride the following berm and flat corner before adding the next rock garden, berm and switchback.
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We worked on applying the skills set to fly out jumps, drops and steps too and by now they were all linking the top 9 sections together smoothly and controlled and way faster than before. I moved us to the end of the trail where I demonstrated line choice in linking drops into corners and the guys all rode it before finally riding the entire trail end to end a few times.
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I then moved us onto the 6ft tabletop and gap section and the guys applied their mental and physical skill sets here also and all of them were sailing over the tabletop and some even rode the gap.
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After a good few runs each we moved onto riding over logs disconnected bunny hops and speed manuals as our final techniques of the session. The session came to a close and I gave a riding demonstration of the same skill sets in use on the high woodwork at herts.
Great session guys!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Alison and Richards 2 to 1 session





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Due to a cock up with dates on my blackberry I had to delay their morning session to the afternoon but we got underway as arranged later. I began with the skills check and I found looking, footwork and body position faults and I made some necessary set up changes.
Alison wanted to get comfortable actually getting her wheels off the ground and has been trying for ages. Once I corrected their missing skills, this came easier than she'd ever thought.
I moved onto the drop sections and began working on Richards body position and this enable me to start teaching him to style in the air whilst Alison's looking and body position meant she gor airborne and the look on her face said it all. After a while I moved us onto the skills trail and I worked on pumping and linking sections of the trail together using the identified braking areas. Flat, bermed and switchback turns were linked with a rock garden and they used their looking and body position to great use. After a while I moved onto the fly out jump and both got up in the air using the same skills as before and linked that into a corner with a step on the exit.
I worked on linking drops into corners before they both began riding the whole trail. Richard was flying by now and was 4 seconds faster over a 70m timed segment than he was earlier. Alison's confidence was blooming as she rode off the drop on the trail and linked it to the berm, something she'd not done before today. As it got darker our session ended. I gave a riding demonstration as always and they could see the same skills in use in my riding as I had taught them. I'm already looking forward to our next coaching session guys!

A session with Fluff!






Fluff made his way down from Manchester after trying out various different coaching companies and wanting a skills session with myself.
I began with set up and the skills check where I found a natural unweight and good footwork and body position in corners. I could see I had to work on his looking massively and he knew it too.
We began with drops and he had a habit of sitting back and looking down so I corrected that quickly and Fluff could feel the difference straight away.
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After a while we moved onto the skills trail and its 14 sections and I began on working on linking them all together. Flat, bermed, switchback and off camber turns were linked with rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops. These were linked together using the speed gained from pumping the undulations on the trail.

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We moved along the trail methodically, linking each new section to the last. I worked hard on line choice and looking when linking drops into corners before it was time to ride the whole trail end to end. Each run was smoother and less of a conscious reaction as the skill set, both mental and physical became more of an unconscious action.
Our final technique was jumping tabletops and I use a 6ft tabletop for this. Fluff knew he had issues with the front end dropping on take off beforehand so I knew I had to work on his body position and looking here too and soon he was sailing over it easily.
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Our session ended there and I gave Fluff a riding demonstration of the same skills set in action in my own riding. Awesome session and I can't wait for our next meeting.
High5!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Rich and Gary's 2 to 1 skills session






Richard and Gary came to me for an all round skills health check. After a mishap of Rich forgetting his front wheel and I getting one to replace it we began as always with the skills check. I found footwork and looking faults but also a body position habit that came to light once I had corrected those. Also, both had a natural unweight of the front wheel that was bogged down by a missing skill but not helped by their set up.
Once I had corrected these we moved to the first technique, drops.


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I worked hard with them here on looking and body positioning and soon they were landing perfectly and also were using their 4 mental skills questions that I teach. After a while it was time to move onto the skills trail.
I segmented the 14 sections of the trail into 4 quarters and we worked on the sections contained within. I began with pumping and using the gained speed to ride the following berm and flat corner. After a while I moved to the next segment and added riding a rock garden and 2 more corners before linking all 6 together. Next, I showed why their skills set applied to jumping using a fly out jump and we linked that to the following corner and step before once again linking the previous sections to it. Lastly, I worked on linking drops into corners using footwork, looking and line choice before finally they began riding the entire trail end to end.
After a few runs where they both used their looking, footwork and body positioning to good effect we moved onto our final technique, applying the skill set to jumping tabletops.


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It didn't take long for Gary to get to grips with it and he was sailing over the 6ft tabletop. Rich needed more work psychologically and I worked on his body position too before he too sailed over the tabletop. Gary washed out on the gap jump side when he forgot his looking and braked in the section but he knew what he did wrong and sailed over the 6ft gap jump too!
After a few clears each I called an end to the session with a riding demonstration of the skill set in use on the high herts woodwork.
Awesome session in many ways guys!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Jason and Paul's 2 to 1 mtb skills session





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Jason and Paul turned up as arranged and I could see some set up changes were needed and that was something I did during the skills check.
After the skills check i began with a braking correction before applying their natural unweight to the drop technique. I worked hard on looking and body position here to maintain a controlled and even flight and I also worked on their mental skills too. Immediately they were landing perfectly and after a while we moved on.
The skills trail was next and I worked on pumping undulations on a trail. We then used that energy to ride the following bermed, switchback , flat corners and rock garden, I worked hard on their body position, looking and footwork in corners and gradually it started to become an unconscious action.
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Next up I showed them why their new skill set made jumping easier and we linked that to a corner with a step on the exit too before linking in all the previously ridden sections too.
I used the end of the trail to work on line choice when linking drops into corners and that was something they grasped quite quickly before finally, riding the entire trail end to end. It's an awesome feeling to watch riders using the teachings and riding way better than previously and smiling all the way.


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After a few runs we moved onto our final task. Jumping tabletops and gaps.
I demonstrated first and they then flew over the tabletop with absolute ease and again and again they sailed over it before they both used their new mental skills to confidently ride the 6ft gap jump side too.

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Our session ended as the rain started and we chatted over a cold beer to celebrate an awesome session. High5 guys!

Monday, 24 October 2011

A mtb skills session for Dad and the boys







Colin and his two boys, Henry and Will came to me for a session after I suggested that Dad joined in the session that their mum had booked for them.
I Began with a simple cornering exercise followed by an exercise to unweight the front wheel and get it to rise.
Next I brought them to the top of the skills trail to work on linking 3 sections of a trail together. I worked on their foot and body positioning and looking skills and they began linking them smoothly. Will really got to grips with getting his outside foot down in corners and his confidence grew over time.


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I then took them to the pump trail and I worked on their riding position and pumping to gain speed. Henry took to this like a fish to water and was soon getting air too!
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In time, they were all using less pedal strokes and were getting comfortable moving their body around on the bike to follow the trails undulations. Even Dad began getting air at some stages.



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We moved back to the skills trail and the time spent away from their cornering had allowed it to settle in and they all were cornering and pumping too. Harry was trying to get air anytime he felt like it.
After a braking correction exercise our session ended as they boys were growing tired and I gave them a riding demonstration of the same elements I had taught them in use on a high and fast line on the woodwork.
I really enjoyed today's session and I look forward to their future riding updates.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Graham's mtb skills coaching session





Graham has had coaching previously with a couple of different people and his journey to enhance his riding led him to myself.
I immediately ran him through my skills check and found that he needed work on looking and body positioning. I made the necessary bike set up changes and set to work.
We began with applying the new skill set , both mental and physical to the drop technique and the effect was something Graham could feel straight away and i was able to work on moving the bike in the air too so he could begin to style it.
I then moved us onto the skills trail and the 14 sections contained within it. I worked on pumping and speed manuals and how to use the trails energy rather than your own to gain speed.
We linked this with berms, switchbacks, off camber and flat corners, rock gardens, fly out jumps and drops. I worked very hard on his body positioning in corners and gradually it started to become an unconscious action.



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We moved onto the 6ft tabletop and gap jump and in no time at all Graham was sailing across them both as his mental skill set was put to good use. After a few runs we moved onto a 9ft gap jump and once again, using his mental skills questions I teach, Graham sailed over the gap 3 times with ease.
Lastly, we worked on the application of the skill set in riding steep wooden berms and he found that far easier than he had thought previously.
Mentally, Graham was drained and called an end to the session and I did a riding demonstration of the skills set in use in my riding on a high fast line at herts.
Great session and a great end to an awesome week.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Taking the Sketchy out of their mtbing!







Simon, James and Nigel came to me to get more comfortable jumping and also to develop their cornering. The skills check is where i made the set up changes that were necessary and where I found the areas in their skill sets that required work.
I began with the drop technique and used the largest drop to develop their looking and body positioning in flight and that enabled me to show them how to style it in the air.


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I then moved to working on their cornering and linking sections together. we worked on pumping techniques and used the speed to link the 14 sections on the trail together. Flat , bermed, off camber and switchback turns, drops , steps and rock gardens were all linked using their skill set and they really began to shift down the trail.
I then moved to the tabletop and 6ft gap jump side to work on their physical and mental skill sets before turning it up a notch.
We moved onto a 9ft gap jump and once I had demonstrated it, they all rode it with confidence.

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Simon began tweaking it in the air too.




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They then started riding it together to replicate just riding a trail and their new body positioning in both jumping and cornering was really paying off.


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Nigel was really railing the berm that came after the 9ft gap jump with commitment and confidence.

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As did James, who was motoring all day and as his looking developed he began feeling slow as the vanishing point moved away from him.

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Lastly we moved onto a dirt jump with a steeper lip as all three had said they have issues with those kind of take offs and I worked on that before linking it into a 12ft gap into a berm.
Simon was first to link the two together but Nigel and James soon followed.
The session ended with myself giving a riding demonstration of the skills in use in my own riding being applied to the same techniques we'd covered.
Great session guys!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Getting Tom, Phil and Chris airbourn









Tom, Phil and Chris came to me wishing to learn to be comfortable in the air on jumps and drops. The skills check showed me what was missing in their skill set and also what was present but bogged down by bad habits. I made some set up changes and the change was dramatic.
The first technique I covered was the drop technique and using 3 graduated drops I demonstrated why the skills applied and the lads followed suit. I worked on their body positioning and looking skills, this enabled me later on to begin to teach them to make it look stylish in the air too!
I didn't want to use the whole skills trail for this session so I used the top 3 sections consisting of pump bumps, a berm and a flat corner. I showed them the basic pumping technique and they used the free speed gained to rail the 2 corners using their enhanced body position and looking skills.
I then Taught them the application of the dis connected bunny hop and also the bunny hop to ride over logs and they got to grips with that straight away with Tom bunny hopping cleanly and effortlessly over 2 ft. I then showed why the same techniques can be applied in pumping too.

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Next up it was the basics of jumping using a fly out jump and soon they were linking this with more corners and even a drop.
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I worked hard on line choice and the application of their 4 psychological questions I give riders when linking drops into corners and they could feel the speed come naturally and it felt un hurried.
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Finally, it was time to move to the 6ft tabletop and gap jump. None of them had jumped gaps before and none had been able to jump tabletops with any regularity, but in a very short time they were all sailing over the tabletop easily.
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Tom and Phil then applied their mental skills to ride their 1st ever gap jump and did it so easily.
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Chris was at a corporate coaching day the day before and I could see he and others were beginning to tire mentally so I ended the session with a riding demonstration by myself and they could see the exact same skills in use in my own riding on the woodwork and dirt of Herts.
Amazing day of progression guys!