Mountain Bike Coaching: A Viable Career Alternative
"You teach mountain biking? Really? That's a real job?!"
"You teach mountain biking? Really? That's a real job?!"
Meet the Whistler Mountain Bike Whisperer
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Last fall, I learned of Paul Howard and ZEPtechniques. I was talking to my buddy Andy Bostock, who happens to be former British DH and World Masters Champion, and he strongly endorsed the coaching certification he had recently done with Paul at ZEP.
In this fourth instalment of our ZEPtechniques Mythbuster Series, we’ll be taking a look at one of the classic and most common myths in modern day mountain bike technique - the rider’s body position when descending.
When it comes to seated climbing on a mountain bike, the common technique we hear is, 'tuck your elbows in and pull back on the bars.' Only last week, I heard someone teaching this technique. Today we're going to dissect this myth and hopefully highlight a more efficient way of climbing, that also allows for a greater range and freedom of movement to negotiate technical sections.
In this article we'll be taking a look at the following myth; "I read somewhere that you shouldn't brake through corners and I've been trying to do this for ages, but just can't do it."
There is a ton of professional research out there on the effects of positive learning, in a huge variety of different teaching and learning applications. People of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels, generally learn and perform best in a fun, positive environment. It is strange then that some instructors tend to teach techniques with a “right” vs “wrong” mantra.
ZEP Mountain Bike Camps is pleased to announce our 2011 camp schedule. Camps are available in 1, 2, 4, and 5 week options, each with three different price points from all inclusive to just the coaching.
This video lesson from ZEP Mountain Bike camps takes a look into the details behind the Downhill Body Position and how it ensures stability and balance to help improve your bike control and handling.
First in a series of detailed, instructional "HOW-TO" vids that ZEP MTB Camps will be posting up throughout the summer.
Since the birth of the sport of mountain biking there has never been a definitive method for learning the skills required to ride a mountain bike. You hit the trails and ride them as well as you can, learning what works for you and what doesn’t. After a while you learn to deal with steeper and more technical trails and you get quicker at them. Or, alternatively, you don’t, and you hit a ceiling in your riding. For many of us, talent only runs so deep. The rest is made up by our determination.
I had a feeling that I would like Paul Howard as soon as I first found out about him. He is a well spoken fellow Englishman, who moved to Whistler around eight years ago. Paul is a great rider, soon to be father, has somehow memorized the entire order of a QWERTY keyboard, and has an uncanny ability for teaching. So much so, in fact, that if he was to have written this article, he would probably have told you everything you need to know, concluded it and taken you out riding by the time he was at this sentence right here.
Biking icon Paul Howard tells how he tamed mountain biking and turned it into a sport for everyone.
"Teaching mountain biking is still fairly new. Over the years most mountain bike tuitition has come from magazines written by editors and enthusiasts," says Paul Howard, owner and operator of the Whistler-based ZEP techniques. "Many programs ou there follow this old school method of situation-based teching, like 'how to ride over roots' or 'how to attack a corner.' You can learn that information but you can't apply it everywhere. If you teach someone different body positions on their bike, they can apply that to all different types of [riding] situations"
Chris and I completed our Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Level 2 with ZEP Techniques over the last 4 days. Taking our teaching to the next level! Now we can ensure that when we coach, wether it be for Kovarik Racing clinics or when we contract ourselves out, we can provide quality instruction to help riders effectively improve their skills. August is full of coaching for us so it’s perfect.
I took a coaching course recently, PMBI to be specific. What is PMBI you might ask? Well that would be Professional Mountain Bike Instructor. I thought that it was important to get a formal certification with all of the coaching/guiding I have been doing, so that’s what I did.
I was super excited, but also nervous, because even though I know how to ride my bike, I didn’t know how to teach people how to ride a bike. Thanks to Paul Howard, I now have a much better understanding of how this works, and what I need to do to teach people the valuable skills of riding a bike better.
Zep Techniques is a style of teaching that comes from the mind of "Captain Zep" himself, Paul Howard. My friends Erika, Paul and Anka all joined me in getting officially certified to teach people this glorious sport.
Please again pass on my thanks to Jake and the ZEP Team. I really enjoyed the day. I have had private coaching twice previously and I found that Jake's manner of explanation to be the most effective by far for me. He was exactly as encouraging as I needed without pushing me too hard, especially as I was in a rather fragile state of mind after the big race!
He made a couple of really key changes to my riding technique, and this made a massive difference. I am pleased to say that in the few days we had in the bike park after the coaching session that I successfully and confidently rode some of the trail features that we had discussed on the day. My husband was really impressed with my gains in confidence also, and I actually had to show him how to ride one rock rollover, which was a first for us in 15+ years of riding together. Thank you to Jake for an excellent day!Helen