So often we tend to focus on the obvious. When what really may be needing the most attention seems to most to not have any direct relationship. This is coaching at its finest and one of the things that I personally believes separates great coaches from good ones.
These last two weekends I have finally able to get on bikes with some of our athletes and this is always fun for me but it also puts me in a funny situation. I am definitely not on the level of our athletes when it comes to their sports and they tend to babysit, which I am thankful for, but they also need to ride.
Well anyway when it comes to mtn biking I am probably the most out of my element because it is so much lighter than my dirt bike and it freaks me out. Especially when it comes to cornering. I have been maybe 5 times now and pretty much live in the butt puckered holy crap I may die space most of the time. Again largely in corners. I walk thru the check list in my head of what Im supposed to do, Ive watched out athletes ride, Ive listened to them coach people but it was never clicking. I wasn’t able to stay forward on the bike in the “attack” position to let the bike do what it can do. I couldn’t figure it out.
Within 1/2 of our first run last Friday with Amanda Cordell, Landen Powell and Mitch Ropo, Amanda ever so nonchalantly looks up from her phone , because she had enough time waiting for me to check emails, and says “don’t pinch your knees like that. You are losing balance in the corners.” Well in my mind I disagreed. This is very different from what we do in motocross and just from what made sense in my head. So I gave some snotty comment back, told her she was still not funny, and we started back down the trail. Luckily she was way in front of me and couldn’t watch me take her advice. So first corner comes up, I take her advice and HOLY CRAP, railed the corner. (for me anyway) That was it. Adjusting what I was doing with my legs allowed me to get into and stay in the proper position with my upper body.
One of the keys to coaching is realizing that we have an end goal to accomplish and instead of giving out cues to fix every little thing its about finding the 1 thing that fixes 5 things at one time. Being able to figure this out for clients and athletes is huge. We so often over coach or just don’t coach the right thing. We get tunnel vision and assume if the arms are out of position that the arms must be the problem.
Open the eyes up and look at the whole picture. You may see something totally different.
Kick some ass today.