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How to sequence games throughout your season

On and off the bikes games are great! Especially if you play the right game at the right time. The athletes will be engaged, they will have fun, and they will learn something. If we play a game before our athletes have the social and MTB skills necessary to play the game, the game can be frustrating, no fun, and potentially dangerous. Great coaches and teams understand when to play games and how to adapt them to the athletes in front of them.

Coaching with Games: PART 1

Welcome to our 3-part Coaching with Games series! We’ll highlight skills, methods, and best practices for using games with your teams.
As NICA coaches, we know that fun is an essential part of learning and whole-athlete development. Here’s how you can become a pro at COACHING WITH GAMES!

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day and NICA are a natural fit. NICA’s vision is that every youth is empowered to be part of a thriving and engaged cycling community and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day seeks to introduce the joy of mountain biking to the next generation.

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!

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.

Pre-Race Practice Activities

Mountain bike racing is awesome! And there are a lot of elements that may feel complicated if athletes don’t get your help navigating them in a manageable way. To help athletes feel ready – mentally, emotionally and physically – coaches can (need) help them prepare by including practice activities that mimic what they will experience on race day.

Data for Coaches

At the end of each NICA season we send out a survey to all coaches, parents, and student-athletes. The 2022 fall end of season survey had some interesting results that can help inform our coaching.

One of the most impressive results from the survey was that 97% of student-athletes reported that…

Building Team Culture during the start of your season

Teams take time to form and build. Coaches need to respect that building process and help guide athletes through the process. The start of each season is a great way to invite new athletes into your team culture and remind returning athletes why they love being a part of your team.