Last week, I had the opportunity to put my coaching skills to the test when I took my friend Steve Tan down the North Shore double black diamond trail, Boundary. Coaching him through the technical terrain and watching him progress throughout the day was a truly rewarding experience.
As an avid mountain biker myself, I'm constantly seeking ways to improve my skills on the trails, whether it's mastering the basics or tackling more challenging techniques. That's why I believe taking a mountain bike lesson should be at the top of every rider's summer to-do list. With the guidance of a skilled coach, you can expect to make significant improvements, both big and small, in your riding abilities, leading to greater confidence and enjoyment on the trails.
Why investing in Coaching is Worthwhile
I've noticed that there's a clear split in the mountain biking community when it comes to the value of skills clinics and sessions. Some riders see it as money well spent, while others don't see the point. From my experience, I've found that the perceived benefit of taking a skills session often correlates with skill level. So, I want to clear things up and explain why I believe everyone should invest time and money in some coaching.
Sure, you can learn from your friends or significant other who are experienced riders.
However, the way they transfer their knowledge may not always be the best for the situation. I've heard riders give advice like "just get back and let the bike do the work" or "just go faster" or "just follow my line." While well-meaning, these pieces of advice may not always be the best solution for the situation.
This is where a mountain bike coach comes in. They can teach you the fundamentals of mountain biking, assess your skills, and help you improve. They can also identify the most appropriate trails for you to work on skills and make advancements, and help you break down more advanced skills and techniques into understandable pieces. The best part is, they match their demonstrations of a skill with the words they are telling you, and keep their explanations succinct.
Get Ready to Improve: What to Expect from a Mountain Bike Coaching Session
During a session with a coach, you can expect to learn things both big and small, from small shifts in body position to full-on epiphany moments. One thing I appreciate about coaching is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow as a rider.
Here are some of the things you can expect to improve upon with a mountain bike coach:
Getting you bike dialed in
Before even working on bike handling skills, making sure your bike is set up for you is key. From having the correct air/spring in your suspension to having brakes that work properly and riding a bike that fits you well, these things can have an effect on how well you can transfer skills learned to practice.
Having a good body position while riding your bike is one of the fundamentals. Even as we advance as riders, keeping that good body position is key. From small body movements like foot pressure on the pedals down to tweaking the position of your whole body, small adjustments can make a big difference.
Line of Sight
Where you look is where you go! We often get fixated on the very thing we shouldn't be looking at, like when we get into a challenging part of the trail and start looking right in front of our tire. Learning to look ahead more can help you anticipate and react to the trail and improve your trail riding speed.
Carrying speed around a corner, be it flat or bermed, is one of the most common requests I get as a coach. Good body position and plenty of practice are the keys to mastering cornering. This skill alone is worth working with a coach on.
Jumping and dropping can be intimidating for many riders, and for good reason. But with the right technique and practice, you can become more confident and skilled at it. A coach can help you work on your approach, speed, and technique to help you conquer jumps and drops with more ease.
Book Your Essential Mountain Bike Lesson Today and Take Your Riding to the Next Level!
I highly recommend taking a lesson to anyone who wants to improve their skills in a particular area. Whether it's a new hobby, a professional skill, or just a fun activity, taking a lesson can provide you with the guidance and expertise you need to achieve your goals.
Not only will you benefit from personalized instruction and feedback, but you'll also have the opportunity to ask questions, get hands-on experience, and connect with other learners who share your interests. Taking a lesson can be a valuable investment in your personal and professional development, and it can open up new opportunities and possibilities in your life.
Book a lesson today: HERE