MTB Coaching Philosophy

Dirt Smart MTB Mountain Bike Coaching PhilosophyUnfortunately, mountain bike skills coaching doesn’t really have a lot of depth.
One source of advice is riding buddies telling you that “you just need to ride more and you’ll figure it out”, or “just hit it faster!”

Another source that eager to learn riders that will also get you injured or killed? The internet!!

And, these days, there are about a bazillion random coaching organizations that attempt to hire numerous regional coaches, almost always with very limited practical experience (though often with a bunch of expensive coaching certifications), pay them squat, and thus, continuously have a ridiculously high turn over of inexperienced coaches.

But you’re probably aware of this: riding buddies, Youtube, and hobbyist newbie coaches regurgitating the generic coaching curriculum that they attempted to memorize when they completed (purchased) their coaching certification(s) courses won’t get you very far when it comes to actually learning how to successfully ride the bike. And success may simply mean being safer and more in control at one end of the spectrum or going fast and winning races at the other.

Even many top pros and “good” riders often don’t really understand what they are doing on the bike in terms of functional movement, balance, vision, etc., much less being able to explain and articulate the processes and movements involved in riding the bike correctly.

So, why DirtSmart MTB?

Mountain biking in tough terrain, where skills are essential to being safe and/or fast, is an athletic endeavor.  And like any form of athletics, it needs to be treated as such and broken down into it’s simplest terms and necessary movements in order to determine what is relevant and important for success. Unfortunately, most riding advice (and a lot of formal MTB instruction) doesn’t take any of this into account.

Much of my coaching is based on methods that are involved in teaching and learning traditional “stick and ball” sports. These sports are broken down to their simplest movements, practiced until these movements can be done properly, and then repeated until the technique is essentially automatic and default.  I deconstruct mountain bike riding, and teach it, in a very similar manner. It is also very important for me to understand and teach mountain bike riding based on real and relevant knowledge of how the human body works. For instance: how balance works; how vision works; how the body works in terms of power, stability, mobility, etc. I also look at how this works in regards to the bicycle itself and mountain bike equipment and design. I draw heavily from motocross, which in terms of technique, has many similarities to riding mountain bikes and a much greater appreciation and understanding of coaching, teaching, and mentoring riders at all skill levels, then is currently present in MTB.

I believe in keeping things as simple as possible with MTB skills instruction and thoroughly explaining the techniques and their benefits.

              • What are our goals in any particular situation?
              • Why do we need to do these things, on the bike, in this particular manner?
              • Why will other methods not work or only work to a certain extent? (There is lots of very bad riding advice floating around out there!)
              • How do we accomplish these goals? Which movements, positions, etc., are necessary.

I teach students technique in controlled settings so that students can focus on the technique without being distracted or intimidated by gnarly obstacles. Once students understand and can pull off the technique in these controlled settings, then it’s time to hit the trail and see how and where to apply these techniques in the “real world.” We can then work our way up in levels of difficulty, riding with intention while using using applicable and proven knowledge, and continuing to raise the skill levels.

I believe that all mountain biking is about basics and “building blocks” even at the highest levels. I have taught thousands of satisfied students who consistently come away from my instruction stating that I break riding down, making it “conceptually simple” (this doesn’t mean it’s easy!) so that they can understand and identify proper technique and separate this from improper riding technique. It is also very important to me to be able to erase the question marks, mysteries, myths and just plain bad technique passed of as proper riding that is, unfortunately, still very common.

Students will receive a written curriculum consisting of techniques, methods, and drills to continue to improve their riding after instruction.

Mountain Bike Lessons Denver Dirt Smart MTB

Mountain Bike Lessons Denver Dirt Smart MTB

Mountain Bike Lessons Denver Dirt Smart MTB