If you’ve spent a lot of time riding MTBs over many years, it can seem a bit weird to think about booking onto a skills course – don’t you just get better from riding more? To an extent, that’s true but you can pick up bad habits – squashing jumps [holds hand up], getting out the back on steep descents or chickening out on steep corners on your bad side [holds other hand up] to name just a few.
Riders who stop to session sections when you’re out on the trail, will already be picking up the benefits of repetition, but by adding in some experienced eyes (and maybe video analysis) provides a level of expert feedback that practice alone doesn’t provide. A good coach will show you the right technique and then break it down into easily repeatable chunks for to repeat. Practice, feedback, practice, feedback, you got it!
We caught up with two of Endura supported MTB coaches (and stars of our last MTB photoshoot), Anna Riddell from RideOut Coaching and Ramsay MacFarlane from Trailcoach to find out what they think the main benefits of skills sessions are for intermediate and experienced riders.
Who doesn’t want to be safer, faster and more confident on their bike? Having a coach give you feedback on what you are doing well, and what you can improve on or alter, is hugely beneficial to your riding. Very often what riders think they are doing and what they are actually doing are two separate things. Repeated practise with this feedback loop built in is how we progress, and how good habits become automatic. The buzz you get from learning a new skill or nailing a section of trail is unreal. A good coach will get you there.
Coaching is the most valuable investment a rider can make - by learning and adopting some core skills from the outset, riders can build on solid foundations that enable the rider to accomplish more challenging terrain, ride faster and have more fun, while also staying safe by avoiding the all-too-common pitfalls. Accidents and crashes typically cause time off the bike due to either injury or mechanical damage - with quality coaching from an experienced rider, most incidents are preventable with good technique - nobody wants to waste time waiting for injuries to heal or fork out the extra cost of replacing broken bike parts or equipment.
What are you waiting for? Find your local MTB coach and get booked in!