At our academy, our primary goal is to instill a lifelong passion for cycling! We achieve this by fostering a creative and progressive approach to riding, always placing fun at the heart of our kids’ academy.
Here’s a breakdown of how our Academy is structured:
Our initial stage is designed to introduce essential off-road cycling techniques. This includes mastering skills like braking on loose surfaces and shifting weight to navigate obstacles.
Progressing from the Newcomers Stage, our Explorers group focuses on honing more specific mountain biking techniques. Riders delve into skills like ‘pumping’ and navigating bermed turns.
3. Trail Riders:
Building on core techniques, the Trail Riders session employs guided discovery to help riders apply their skills to the trail. This involves mastering advanced techniques like drop-offs, off-camber turns, and climbing steps. Highly motivated riders from this group also begin racing competitively.
We believe in grouping children based on abilities rather than age. This allows those with more mature attitudes to share insights with younger or less experienced riders. This also creates role models within the group and encourages the development of social skills for young children. This approach fosters a sense of cohesion among riders who share a common love for outdoor activities.
What to Expect in Our Academy Sessions:
Our sessions cover a spectrum of MTB skills, progressing from fundamental techniques like brake application to more advanced skills such as hip jumps and tight turns. The key is progression, with each child developing at their own pace.
As the saying goes, “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” We promote advancement by moving children up through our academy groups when they feel confident at their current level and are ready for the next challenge.
Individualised Learning Within a Group:
To cater to individual differences within a group, we provide options for each group to practice their techniques. For example, the group might vote on which trail to practice ‘pumping’ through. This not only builds independence but also instills trust that the group can make sensible choices based on their own risk management. Additionally, when practicing drop-offs, riders can self-select the difficulty level they wish to improve on, ensuring a personalised and effective learning experience.
What do our Academy Sessions Look Like?
Every session at our academy is carefully crafted with a specific goal that aligns with the current developmental level of the group. To kick things off, there might be a short ride to our practice location, setting the stage for our coaching activities.
The coaching activities themselves are diverse and engaging. They can take the form of skills challenges, riding games, or whole-part-whole technique drills. These activities are designed not only to impart essential techniques but also to infuse an element of fun into the learning process.
One distinctive feature of our sessions is the incorporation of ‘free practice.’ During this segment, riders have the opportunity to explore and apply previously learned skills in a child-led learning environment. This emphasis on exploration allows each child to take charge of their learning journey.
Our sessions strike a balance between structured coaching and the freedom to experiment, ensuring a dynamic and effective learning experience. Whether it’s navigating a skills challenge, participating in riding games, or refining techniques through drills, each activity contributes to the comprehensive development of mountain biking skills.
This holistic approach provides both individual riders and the groups they belong to the flexibility to progress at their own pace along the spectrum of mountain bike skills. We believe in nurturing a cycling journey that is not only educational but also enjoyable, fostering a genuine love for the sport that lasts a lifetime!