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Get inspired with book recommendations from NICA staff

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As the days get shorter, and the weather turns colder (in many of our leagues, at least!) we’re looking forward to cozying up on the couch next to our trail dogs with a cup of tea and a good book. For coaches who are just finishing their time with their teams, the off-season is an excellent time to reflect through reading! For our spring coaches who are starting to plan and ramp up their season, it’s the perfect moment to be inspired by a good book!

Two foundational visuals for NICA coaches

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As coaches, we know that people learn in different ways. For those visual learners among us, we want to highlight two key illustrations that have been foundational in the way we teach athlete-centered coaching at NICA.

Planning transitions for success

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Great leaders (and coaches) know that they should be thinking about their successor long before they plan to leave their role.
When the time comes to pass the torch, transitioning leadership thoughtfully can be a complex process! It can be tough for a coach who has built and grown successful teams to hand it off, and for new leadership to feel empowered and ready to jump in. There’s also a LOT that goes into coaching and planning, it can be overwhelming to think about all of the info that’s needed to pass along!


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2024 dates are now available and registration is OPEN for Leaders’ Summits through December 2024. The NICA Coach Education team will offer nine full workshops covering the four core sessions of NICA’s Leaders’ Summit.

Preseason Coach Education Reminder

As you head into your season, please take a moment to check your NICA Pit Zone profile and make sure your NICA license status is at a minimum level 1 before you begin participating in activities with your student-athletes. If you plan to lead any athletes on-trail, ensure that you are license level 2 or 3 before hitting the singletrack.

Roll the Dice

Create some excitement around skills late in your season once trail riding has gotten a little stale. Get creative and customize your skill and activity options!

A “crash course” in MTB Lingo

Sometimes, mountain bike lingo feels like another language. For a beginner rider, coach, or parent, the vocabulary that comes with this sport can be overwhelming. As we know, language is a powerful tool, so we’ve worked with some of our trusted partners to kick-off this lingo list and clarify some of cycling’s techy terms!

Meet the Coach: Julie Childers

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Julie is a super-coach! Read about her role as a NICA leader and as a co-founder of Trails for Youth, an organization that provides opportunities for children to explore biking trails in and around Washington, D.C. Julie empowers riders with life lessons on and off the bike, and shares her best coaching advice at The Trailhead.

Engage your entire coaching team to get ready for the season

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As coaches, we dedicate a lot of our time to preseason events that are focused on student-athletes. Don’t forget that coaches are a key part of our team communities, and that more than 90 percent of an athlete’s time is spent with coaches in team-level practices and events. It’s important to ensure your coaching team feels confident, connected, and prepared as a new season begins! Hosting coach-only practices and events can help everyone get on the same page, build stoke for the adults within your community, and ensure that everyone feels empowered and ready to jump into team activities.

Be a catalyst for expanding bike infrastructure

Teen Trail Corps work can take on many forms. It doesn’t always have to include dirt, trails and tools. Teen Trail Corps work is also sharing our voices. To increase trail access across the country, we must also increase our advocacy efforts. PeopleForBikes, a NICA community partner, has launched the Great Bike Infrastructure Project to accelerate the construction of safe, fun, connected places to ride, reduce barriers to access, and welcome more people to the joys of biking.