Coaching Basics

ABCDE Bike Check

A – Air in tires?
B – Brakes working properly?
C – Chain lubed?
D – Deraillurs shifting properly?
E – Everything else. Do a drop test and listen for awkward noises.

Video: Bike Safety Check

Helmet Check

  • Proper size and fit?
  • Sitting level on the rider’s head?
  • Straps form the letter “Y” under the ears?
  • Buckle closed and snug under chin?
  • Any noticeable damage to the helmet?

Video: Helmet Check

Equipment & Rider Check

  • Appropriate Clothing
  • Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Closed-Toe Shoes
  • Drink
  • Snacks
  • Proper pre-ride nutrition (food and water)
  • Flat Repair
  • Multi-Tool
  • Extra Clothing Layer
  • Positive energy and mindset
  • No recent injuries or personal concerns that may impact you today

Pre-Ride Safety Talk

  • Coach is always in charge
  • Stopping
  • Spacing
  • Other trail users
  • If you get separated….
  • Nature, wildlife, and plants
  • Leave no trace
  • Describe intended ride
  • Take a head count (maybe even take a picture of your group for easy reference of count and looks)

3 Essential Skills

  1. Head up, eyes scanning ahead
  2. At least one finger on each brake lever at all times (even when climbing)
  3. Level pedals when not pedaling

Video: 3 Essential Skills

See also “101 Skills Instruction” page.

How to Instruct

  1. Name the skill
  2. Explain where, when, and why it is used
  3. Explain teaching points with static demonstration
  4. Provide a moving demonstration
  5. Prompt for questions
  6. Have students practice and provide feedback
  7. Prompt for remaining questions
  8. Offer progressions, if appropriate

Video: Introduction

Trail Etiquette

  • Be nice and say “hi”
  • Riders yield to hikers and horses
  • Yield to rider pedaling uphill
  • Communicate to others – on your left, signal turns, slowing, etc
  • Say “thank you” or “have a nice day”

Reflective Questions

  • What were our goals as we began our ride today?
  • How did we accomplish those goals?
  • Did you notice an improvement in one of your teammates today?
  • What did you like most about today’s practice or ride?
  • What would you like to change for next time?
  • How can I/we coach you better?

Injury Response

  • Remain calm
  • Assess the scene
  • Secure the scene
  • Administer first-aid
  • Is evacuation required?
  • Call emergency contact
  • Complete injury form