Spoke Magazine

How not to…coach.

Posted by Seb Kemp on Wednesday November 16 2011

Vito Sport and BikeRidersUnited ‘How To': Drops – More Mountain Bike Videos

I’m going to probably make some enemies here, but this needs saying. Pro riders with no coaching experience, qualification, training or indeed knack for it, need to stop putting out stuff like this.

In this video we have the legend that is Martyn Ashton explaining how to do rollover drops and something he refers to as “flying drops”. Whilst his riding technique is excellent, he, however, goes about explaining how you or I should go about doing it in a manner that is not only contrary to what he is actually doing in the video, but is not at all helpful. It also lurks into the Danger Zone in places.

This is just another way for professional riders to tout their wares (in this case the wares in question is primarily a van), but in doing so they provide a disservice to riders and the people who call themselves a mountain bike coach. There is a big difference between a coach who has learnt the correct teaching techniques and spent time learning how to communicate the correct ways of teaching and a well meaning professional rider who may be a great rider but couldn’t explain how he makes his magic for toffee.

Smiling Ken

This is Ken Doraty. He is a really good coach. He coaches in Whistler every summer and as well as being able to break down the fundamentals in a concise and understandable way, he infects those around him with the stoke factor. Do yourself a favor and stop scrolling through the Chain Reaction website and start looking for a good coach. It is the only thing that will actually make you a better rider. Stop consuming bike bling, start consuming knowledge.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nickerless Nick Hamilton

    This just shows how much I know about coaching…. I watched that video the other day and thought it was one of the better coaching videos I’d seen. It kinda made sense, other than ‘committing the front’.

    So come on Seb, break it down. How would you have coached approaching the same feature in your #VitoSport?

  • Sebkemp

    Here you go Nick. A long winded and rambling retort.

    http://2flat.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/how-not-to/

  • Scottveach

    I always start with curbs. He mentioned curbs, but it would have been a good thing to add to that video. Plus they could have had the mercedes parked there! boosh!

    You can learn to drop off a curb (flying drop) with rear wheel touching down first and there’s not much consequence. you can also learn the fundamentals of taking a bunny hop to the next level and learning to pop off the driveway lips. I’ve seen people start there with confidence and take it to bigger features from there.

  • NoahSears

    Dead on Sebastian. The manual one is pretty bad too – one of the steps is “pull up on the bars” – which most coaches discourage as a cue.

    My number one “tip” to riders is: GET OFF THE F-ING SEAT WHEN YOU’RE GOING DOWNHILL.

  • Rob King

    I find the “how to” pages in that other NZ MTB magazine are about as pointless. I mean, do we really need to see how to ride across a gravel 4WD track. Not to mention that the photos are often close ups of the coach rather than the obstacle.