Friday, 14 September 2012

Paul and Chris come down from Nottingham

Paul and Chris came down to me for a skills session upon recommendation and on meeting I gave them an outline of what I look for during my skills check and why. I discovered that they were both missing looking and body positioning and I set about correcting these.
 We began with the drop technique and I worked on the mental skills that for the questions that each rider uses to decide whether or not to ride a section. In no time at all they were riding and landing perfectly and with greater ease than ever before.
 A body correction exercise in corners followed before we went to the skills trail to apply their new skills sets. Pumping, rock gardens, steps, fly out jumps and drops were linked to flat, bermed, off camber and switchback turns. We moved gradually down the trail, always adding the new segments to the previous ones and before long they were both riding the trail end to end with more control and confidence and greater speed too. We had a break to give them a breather mentally before resuming on the trail to work further on braking and line choice.
 For our final application of the skills sets, I demonstrated riding steeps and soon both Paul and Chris follwed suit. I even took them to a near vert drop off and they repeated the technique there too.
Our session ended as I could see they were very tired mentally.
What an end to a great week of coaching.

1 comment:

  1. I decided to wait for a couple of weeks before I wrote about my experiences of Tony's coaching. I wanted to give myself time to get a few rides in and let the skills I'd learnt bed in a bit to give me chance to evaluate everything, so here we are.

    I've been involved in sport on and off most of my life, playing Rugby at county level and Ice Hockey whilst at uni, going on to coach for a fair few years. I have been a sport scientist, taught coaching skills to teachers and students and had a crack at a lot of different sports, Big deal I hear you say. And you'd be right, because the 20 years or so of sport involvement I have had meant that on the day I visited Tony I was left baffled!

    For those that know me, they'll know I'm often loud, jokey and rarely use my off button, so the worry in my friends voices when I spent the journey back from Tony's coaching in near silence underlies the process my brain was going through as I tried to sieve through what had just happened.

    I guess the nickname Jedi isn't just a light tag applied to Tony because for the life of me I can't get to the heart of exactly how he taught us or unlocked the things in us he did. Now I know about coaching, I majored in psychology but to say that Tony seems to get inside your head isn't a comment I make as a throw away gesture it's a firm reality.

    Perhaps it's the fact that Tony effortlessly conveys his love for what he does, his land which he has crafted into the perfect place to ride, have fun and learn (you get the sense that every corner and rock has been sculpted and placed to test and refine). Or maybe it's the quiet, unassuming effortless way in which he coaxes out of you the confidence you need to just try something a little differently.

    I trusted him immediately, (you can sense that he can back his words with some sweet riding), Liked him immediately (The good coffee helped) and I don't think I stopped smiling once. All those articles, books, videos, time spent pouring over this and that, the money spent, when all I could have invested in long ago was a session with Tony.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no Danny Hart, I never will be, but trust me I have hit corners at my local trail centres faster than I have ever imagined I would, dropped and jumped off things I would have skidded to a halt over before and every time I ride I have found a new sense of love for my riding because after my session with Tony it's like someone has flicked a switch in my riding.

    I'd try to give an outline of my session but couldn't do it justice, for those wondering if it's worth the coin or the journey all I can say is it definitely is. There are now at least 5 of us from the group I ride in who have seen Tony and everyone has raved about it. All exchange knowing looks about "what happened", perhaps like Tony we're all a bit eccentric, a bit mad for our riding.. but there's no where else I'd rather be with my riding right now and you'll be hard pushed to find someone as good or as passionate as Tony for what they do. As Tony says High 5 mate, see you soon and thanks loads!!