Coaching Archives - Wye MTB

Triple Success at British Cycling 2020 Tutor Awards

WyeMTB achieved triple success at the inaugural British Cycling Tutor Awards ceremony this month!  

Our main man, David Windebank (Windy), won the 2020 award for MTB Leadership Award Tutor.  An award well deserved as he has trained and assessed hundreds of MTB leaders in his time as a tutor.   He is one of only a handful tutors delivering the prestigious Level 3 mountain bike leadership course, and also offers technical advice to outdoor providers.

British Cycling Level 2 Training course

“I am genuinely over the moon at winning this Award. I love delivering these courses and inspiring future MTB leaders, and it’s so lovely to have recognition for this.” Stated Windy on the evening

The evening wasn’t over for him yet though. Alongside Gareth Sheppard, they won Tutor Double Act in recognition of their collaboration delivering the MTB Leadership courses as co-Directors of  WyeMTB. 

Gareth also was runner-up for British Cycling Coaching Tutor Award for delivering the Level 2 Mountain Biking Coaching Award. He delivers several of these courses a year in the Forest of Dean.

Loving the mountains

For more information on how to become a Mountain Bike Leader and our course dates for 2021, click here.

Why should I have mountain bike coaching?

Trying to get faster between the tapes is a key goal for some from coaching

Mountain bikers have been slow on the uptake to get a coaching session. Most people would never just go down the local golf course and start just hitting balls or hacking at the turf, but they will just pick up their MTB and start riding.

Surely I will just get better if I just ride more?  Maybe…but it will depend on how much you ride, what you ride and how you ride it!

One of the fundamentals of skill improvement is repeated practice. In mountain biking terms this means ‘sessioning’ a section of trail you find challenging, repeatedly until you nail it with consistency!

How often do you just go on a ride, and never cover the same section of trail more than once?

When you make an error, or get a section wrong, do you go back up and ride it again or just carry on?

How many times have you had feedback on what you are doing right and what you could improve on?

There is the 10,000 hours rule with skill development. To turn from beginner to world-class in a particular skill or sport will take 10,000 hours of repeated, focused practice.

That isn’t just going out riding, that is working on a particular technique – cornering/jumping/drops/body position etc. and really focusing on that technique until it becomes natural (i.e. you can do it without thinking about it!)

This is where coaching can really help.

Having someone to show you the correct techniques, break them down into bite-size chunks, practice with you but more importantly give you the feedback on what you are doing and how you are doing it!

This is one of the major difficulties in self-coaching, the absence of the feedback loop.

To give you an example, a client we were working with had been working on his jumping for years, but could never really get the ‘pop’ and height he wanted on a jump.

He knew what he should be doing, and thought he was doing all the right things, but when he came for coaching, we quickly realized that while he thought he was standing tall on the bike to unweight and release the energy to create the ‘pop’, he was staying relatively low on the bike and ‘squashing’ the jump. With some video feedback, he could immediately see where he was going wrong!

Once we had identified it, slowed him down and done some repeated practice on this particular element of his jumping, it really started to come together!

Do you need coaching? That is a question for self-reflection, but every rider, beginner through to world-class, can really benefit from that feedback loop and repeated practice!

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership award