Ben has wanted a skills session with myself for a couple of years and when the time was right, he booked in and today was the day. I could see the missing skills in the techniques I check for during my skills check and began installing my skills set. We began with cornering and the change was immediate in his riding as he could feel more grip and therefore control in each turn. We moved onto a trail to use it in the more real world and worked on pumping to gain speed and carrying that speed through one, then two and finally three berms. The grin on Ben's face never left.
I was buzzing too as we moved to applying the physical skills to the technique required for riding drops. Ben had never been comfortable with airtime and in no time at all he found himself using his new mental skills to great effect by riding all three drops with consummate ease, Time after time the same result of perfect landing occurred.
Ben saw the tabletop alongside the drops and I could feel the trepidation in him as he asked if it was possible to show him why the skills sets make jumping easier too.
It blew him away at how simple and undramatic jumping the 6ft tabletop and landing on the down slope felt and he rode it over thirty times at least to cement it. Ben could see the 6ft gap jump and wanted to ride it but fear held him back so he continued riding the tabletop until he could answer his mental skills positively and then he sailed over it . Woop woop! We were both grinning and laughing as he really opened a door in his riding as that was the first ever gap he'd ridden. Loads more goes proved it no fluke. We had a break and resumed on the trail we started on but this time we worked on choosing when and why to pump or jump multiple sections of a trail and added the final jump after the three berms. This jump has a 5/6ft face and looms like a brick wall in front of riders as they approach. This is the same that happens at Ben's fave trail center, bike park Wales but now he was sailing into the air from that too. We took another break but Tiredness and adrenaline had got the better of Ben and he ended the session with a man hug and a high5!