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Meet David Haines

David Haines is a head coach, coach developer for NICA’s Kentucky league, and a board member for the KICL – in other words, a NICA rockstar living in the bluegrass state! Learn more about David’s journey as a lifelong learner who stays curious, continues to find joy on the bike, and pushes himself to be the best coach he can be.

SCREAM ‘TIL YOU DROP!

A NEW off-the-bike game for NICA coaches! Get loud and get silly with this off-the-bike game. Never underestimate our student-athletes’ desire to still be kids and have FUN. Games can turn up the fun factor and provide variety for everyone at practice.

Coach Education Department 2024

NICA’s Coach Education team exists to support a network of thousands of volunteer coaches across the country in their work to develop youth through the sport of mountain biking. NICA’s comprehensive coach education program and resources provide coaches with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to be confident and effective leaders and role models who build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling. In 2024, we’re welcoming several new faces to the team. Meet your Coach Education staff and learn about their experiences and the path that led them to NICA!

Alumni Invite Letter

Coaches, we need your help. Can you share the NICA ALUMNI NETWORK with your graduating athletes? Here’s an easy email template you can use to send a note to graduating seniors and their families. Help us continue to build a thriving cycling community, beyond our teams and leagues!

Meet Gwen: NICA Alumna and Coach

NICA Alumni Gwen Sepp is an Alumni Network founder’s circle member, a NICA coach, president of her University’s cycling club, and an avid volunteer for cycling-related organizations. Her journey as a NICA athlete helped her realize the importance of a growth mindset, and allowed her to plug into the cycling community post-graduation, where life on two wheels opens doors and provides fulfillment both personally and professionally.

MEET THE COACH: Jill Bradley

Jill Bradley, a powerhouse coach, staff, and leader from the Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League, is this month’s MEET THE COACH feature! Learn about Jill and her best relationship-centered advice for NICA athletes and coaches.

FOOT Down

This classic game with endless creative progressions can help athletes learn balance, coordination, ratcheting, and ultimately, track stands. How does your team play foot down?

Try-it-out templates

As NICA coaches, it’s part of our job to create welcoming and inclusive spaces on our teams, but it can be hard to try to explain every aspect of riding to someone who has never heard of mountain biking before. It can be an intimidating space to be a beginner, whether you’re a parent of a rider, a new athlete, or even a new coach. A half-day or two-hour “try-it-out” event is the perfect intro to MTB for many beginners!

A year in review

As 2023 comes to an end, the Coach Education team would like to thank over 14,000 registered NICA coaches across the country for their dedication to creating life-changing experiences through youth mountain bike programming.
During our first year of hosting content at The Trailhead, we’ve created a growing library of updates, resources, featured articles, and coach community highlights! We’re excited to keep adding relevant, timely content for our coaches in 2024.

Here are some highlights of what we published for coaches in 2023. In addition, we encourage coaches to access several new permanent resources/references linked through our coach resource library. Coaches can find these resources within the NICA Education Center.

We hope our coaches can continue to refer back to these articles and resources again and again for use on their teams and within their own personal coaching practice!

We’re stoked for 2024 and can’t wait to see all the amazing things our coaches accomplish.

How can we help you reach your goals? Connect with us and share what you’d like to see at The Trailhead in the upcoming year!