Saturday, 30 October 2010

Teaching Iain to fly






Iain found me through the ctc website.
On meeting he explained he'd love to be able to jump and drop. First I needed to see what was present and missing from the skills set so I ran him through my skills check.
I found a natural push to un weight the front end and also that he had partial footwork but he looked down all the time, I set to work.
We worked on many different sections and how to apply the skill set to each technique in a simple and memorable way. I worked on flat, off camber and bermed corners, drops, kickers, rock gardens, steps , pumpable bumps and drops into corners. Each time we applied the skills set and then I worked on his mental skill set also.
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Gradually we worked on each section on the trail and linked it to the next and so on. Iain was beginning to really feel the flow of the trail as the skill set became more and more ingrained.
My final task was to teach Iain how to jump.
I have a very simply method for this and in about 15 minutes, Iain was landing perfectly on the downside of the table top and riding away shouting in delight! He then applied his mental skill set as he rode the gap jump side of it too!
Our session ended as fatigue crept in. Great session Iain!!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Mike's day of self discovery.






Mike has had coaching from a couple of different companies before but after seeing my single track skills video he wanted to come to me for a session. During our pre coaching conversations Mike had said he wished to become comfortable with drops over 1ft and maybe jumps too!
After the skills health check, I discoverd his missings skills from the skill set I teach but also uncovered a gem of an un wieght of his front wheel that was held back by his lack of a further skill.
Once corrected, I moved to the drop technique and I showed why We push to un wieght for drops and I matched his push to a speed for this technique. I then went through a mental skill set for him too and he applied it as he moved through all three drops comfortably and landing perfectly.
Next I moved onto the skills trail and here I broke the trail down and we worked on the sections contained within it.
Drops, rocks, steps , kickers and Pump bumps. flat, off camber, switchback and bermed corners. I worked on speed manuals and how to generate speed from them. We worked on linking all the sections together using their correct braking zones and gradually Mike began to really shift down the trail. After a few complete runs, it came time to move onto the jump technique.
Here I manage the riders speed and gradually sprinkle the speed in whilst working on the remaining skills that comprise this technique. In 5 steps, Mike was clearing the table top easily and comfortably. By his own choosing, he moved across to the gap side and once again sailed across it perfectly!
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After a few runs, I ended our session as mental fatigue just began to show as the adrenalin from jumping began to tire him.
Awesome session Mike!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Jonathan's one to one session




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Jonathon contacted me to develop his off road skills both on the mtb and also the cyclo cross bike.
After the skills check I discovered that we had much work to do in cornering but also uncovered a natural push that was covered up by his lack of 2 skills from the skill set I teach. Once those were installed, we moved straight to the drop technique.
Here I went through how to land etc and I set about matching his natural push to a speed and soon Jonathon was landing perfectly. applying his mental skill set, Jonathon moved through to the larger drop in his own time and on all three of them he was landing perfectly. I then got him to use different speeds and graduate his push accordingly.
Now it came time to work on Jonathon's cornering and linking his entries and exits from them. Here we worked very hard on footwork and looking further along the trail. each error was identified and corrected methodically. We worked on flat, switchback and bermed corners, rock gardens, steps and up ramps. I also showed how the push applies to the bunny hop technique and soon Jonathon was un weighting the front wheel over the log easily and the second push of the technique was there too but the timing was out. That technique will come on in the on coming weeks.
Finally, I worked on carrying speed into and out of corners as I worked hard to remove his tendency to comfort brake mid corner.
We ended our session there and I gave Jonathon some areas to work on and I'm looking forward to our on going partnership with his riding development.
Great session.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Geoff's day of confidence building






Geoff had a bad experience with drops when coached a while back by another company and his confidence had suffered. He told me of his worries and aspirations and I set about building his physical and mental skills. I found that he had a common missing skill but more importantly, he had a natural push that he was totally unaware of because it was buried beneath some bad habits.
Once corrected, I brought him straight to the drops to show him how and why we apply the push to the drop technique. Very soon, Geoff was landing perfectly and confidence grew but I felt his doubt about moving onto the larger ones so we moved onto the coaching trail.
Here we worked on the 14 sections contained in the trail and broke them down and applied the skills set to flat, bermed and switchbacked corners, steps, rocks, up ramps and drops. We worked on linking each section by their correct braking zones and we explored line choice.
By timing segments of the trail, Geoff could see the benefit of the skills application in each section as he took time off each run.
After a few complete runs of the trail, We moved back to the drop sections and Geoff choose the larger one from before and repeatedly landed both wheels together sweetly.
We ended our session working on carrying speed into and out of corners and removing any mid corner braking.
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We covered loads of ground during our session and I look forward to being part of Geoff's development and growth as a rider.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Charlie's bmx session




Charlie came to a packed skatepark and we needed to reinforce the things we covered before. After doing so, we gradually pushed on into other techniques. We went through pumping around the bowl and riding back out and Charlie was fine doing this, it was riding or pegging in that he had barriers doing so we brought him away before it became an issue. We worked on dropping in by footing in, which he was ok doing on the smaller quarters but not in the bowl.
Charlie wanted to learn some very complicated tricks but needed to work on the basics first.
We worked on un weighting the front and the rear wheels. We applied this to manuals, kickturns and to the rear peg grind techniques which charlie worked hard at and nailed. Gradually Charlie became more confident and committed more to the techniques.
He nailed the rear peg grind over 20 times and was turning on a ramp that he previously couldn't, confidently. sore hands brought our session to an end and i'm looking forward to hearing the news of how the manualls have progressed!
high5 charlie!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Cheryl's skills session







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Cheryl contacted me wishing to overcome her barriers out on the trail and cure her tendency to crash through and over stuff because she couldn't raise the front wheel at all. I assured her I would remedy that very quickly.
First however, I had to see what skills were present during the skills health check and found that Cheryl had looking and body position faults but naturally had a push to un weight the front but it was bogged down by the lacking skills. Very quickly, Cheryl was un weighting the front wheel nicely and it was time to move to the drop technique and use it in that context.
I matched her natural push to a speed and then Cheryl was landing perfectly off of the curb sized drop. Confidence and commitment grew and Cheryl then rode the middle, larger drop comfortably and perfectly.
It came time to move to the coaching trail and use her natural push in other sections including steps, drops, rocks and up ramps and also to work on flat, off camber and banked corners.
Gradually, we worked our way down the trail and by looking into the next section Cheryl really began to flow down the trail. I timed different segments of the trail for Cheryl to see a measurable improvement as the skills were implemented.
After a few runs of the complete trail Cheryl equaled the time of the fastest lady on the trail but when pushing it washed out on a berm trying too hard and giving away her skill set.
I moved Cheryl to an isolated berm where I worked on carrying speed into and out of the corner. Cheryl got quicker and smoother on it and I moved back to the coaching trail where she shaved 2 seconds off the fastest time.
Great session!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Cheltenham mtb club day.







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Barnaby, Mike, Ben Andrea and James came to me all the way from Cheltenham and the rain held off nicely for us.
As always I put the riders through my skills check and discovered the missing and the already existing skills required for every technique in mtbing. Once the required correction exercises were completed I moved the group onto the drop technique. Here I showed how the front wheel un weighting exercise is the same thing required for drops. Starting on a kerb sized drop to begin with I developed the skill set further and began working on the mental skill set here too.
All the riders were riding and landing both wheels together on touchdown and the smiles began to shine. James in particular as he has only 5% vision!
After a short break for food we moved onto the coaching trail where I broke the trail into quarters and worked on the sections contained within. we worked on braking zones, line choice, flat, bermed and off camber corners, drops, steps and rocks. I worked with the riders and timed them so they could see the effect of their new skill set in action. All the riders took a handful of seconds of their time for the trail. Andrea worked hard on her footwork, Barnaby on his too , Mike really got his line choice dialed and Ben equaled the fastest time on the trail in sub optimal conditions. As tiredness began to affect a couple of the riders, I showed them how to jump. Andrea and James decided to sit this one out and the remaining 3 were airbourn in no time at all.
The 6ft tabletop and the gap side to it were ridden comfortably and I even had the oppotunity to work on beginning to style in the air!
Rain closed in as our session ended.
great day :)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Public jumps and drops course












Martin, Tom, Chris and Mark joined me for my jumps and drops public session at the Herts skills area. I set about immediately installing the physical skill set that comprises the push technique that un weights the front wheel. i worked on the missing skills in all four riders before moving onto the drop technique. Here I used the 3 drops that are side by side and using the skill set each rider rode and landed perfectly in a short space of time. I began working with them on their mental approach to riding and their own mental skill set. Gradually all four of them rode all 3 drops comfortably. Things were coming along nicely! I then got them to ride the drops in pairs and also as a group to replicate being out on the trails with riders in your peripheral vision.
Next, I worked with them on linking drops into corners to once again replicate trail situations.
Jumping was next on the list, but before the table top I used the up slope on the coaching trail to first get the riders to get airborne without the worry of a transition to land on. Only after everyone was comfortable there did I move to the table top.
By controlling the riders speed it enables the riders to focus on the remaining physical skills required and also keeps them safe so that gradually as I sprinkle speed in everyone cleared the 6ft tabletop perfectly. Using the mental skills, the riders moved across to the gap section of the jump and once again , all landed perfectly. Chris asked how to tweak the bike in the air and style it so I explained how and he was off skyward with style! Once again, I used the trail above the jump to replicate trail riding conditions as I got the riders to all use their own speed judgment to clear whichever side of the jump they wanted to.


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I then moved us all back to the drop technique and applied it to a small wooden ladder drop. They applied the push in this new context and all rode away strong and smooth. Finally, we moved onto a part of the wooden construction that required each rider to ride along a ladder that climbed gradually and then drop off the end.
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This concluded our session and I called a halt as fatigue began to show but the smiles were beaming!
Thank you for being part of a great session!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Gareth's day of discovery






Gareth contacted me with the wish to get faster on singletrack for xc racing. On running him through the skills check I found him deficient in his braking and looking into the next skills. The first technique we covered was the drop technique. Here I ironed out Gareth's body position during the flight time. After Gareth rode all 3 drop sections by his own choosing, we moved onto the skills trail. The trail has 14 sections with in it and I broke it down into 4 segments. We worked on the sections contained in each and then I timed each section, working hard on Gareth's looking and body positioning. Gradually, seconds were hacked off as we worked on flat, bermed, off camber and switchback corners, linked drops, rocks, steps and up ramps. Gareth got faster and faster through each segment, but it came time to move him away as he was getting fixated with the speed and his form began to breakdown. We next worked on steep , alpine style switchbacks where looking and footwork were worked on heavily to enable the technique to be dialed. I then moved us onto an isolated berm to work on Gareth's speed management in berms. As he got faster and faster, I worked on his habit of braking early in the section which made him go offline in the corner. Now he was really flying, so I moved him back to the coaching trail to see if he could link each segment together fluidly and fast. By the end Gareth was the fastest rider to date on the trail by 2 seconds!
Finally, I taught Gareth how to jump table tops, gaps and how to begin to style in the air. This ended a truly epic session and I cannot wait for the updates on his riding!
High5!
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