Every year gets a healthy dose of reflection, from pre-planned post race reflections with athletes to sporadic reflection on the core coaching principles or how methods and means work or don’t work for a given rider. Reflection and review are one of the most embedded practices in any decent coaches “tool-box”.
Making a “habit” of something is the more sure fire way to really grow and learn with any technique or method. There is probably a lesson in there somewhere about how you can apply daily small “micro-goals” or “processes” to your big 2019 new years resolutions – thus turning positive actions in habits. But really this post is all about the yearly task of reflecting on what was the best ride of the year just gone. 2018 for some reason, didn’t feel as “successful” as 2017. On paper it was more successful and rolling into 2019 there are many small details that actually drill home to me how productive a year it was for the riders I work with. Maybe it was that many of the 2018 successes where genuinely hard fought; maybe they were more hard fought because our preparation wasn’t as good as it could have been? Potentially more reflection required!!
The best ride of 2018 you ask?
Well the reason I do this every year is because time and again for a variety of reasons I am reminded by the simple task of riding bikes with friends that that is the true reason behind all the long hours of planning, training and meticulous preparation. the true reason for the endless square eyed hours behind the lap-top, the hours spent studying scientific journals old and new, the hours spent doubting coaching choices and decisions, the hours spent in total confusion as to the best decision to make. All of it, every last second is actually really only made worthwhile because of the love I and the riders I coach share for riding bicycles down mountains. It’s the reason why “coaching”, at least from my perspective, has to always go beyond “physical preparation”, always strive for more than S&C, aim higher than physiological buckets. Integrate and Complement. Riding bikes as fast as you can down hills is holistic, therefore coaching must always respect the whole more than the parts. Simple.
Below are a selection of some of the best rides of 2018….the title winner is at the bottom! Helping to build the French Champs DH track on Le Pléney here in Morzine was awesome. A fantastic experience to help grow the sport in my adopted home town. It was made all the sweater by getting to ride day 1 practice with Greg Callaghan. Of a similar vain was getting to smash a days practice at Crankworx Les Gets DH with Killian Callaghan, another long standing Point1 athlete. A big day of riding with Kelan Grant at Ainsa EWS was prety tasty also.