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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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

Race & Event Weekends: Bringing the Fun

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Get ready for the races! This month we’re covering everything you need to know to create a great event experience for your NICA team.
As our spring leagues start planning for their upcoming season, and our fall leagues begin racing, we’re sharing ways to create amazing race-weekend experiences for your entire NICA community – from riders to families to coaches!

Creating a Fun & Inclusive Event Weekend for your entire team

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We all have that one thoughtful, crafty, or creative friend who knows how to level-up any occasion. Maybe that person is YOU! We want to share a few team-level ideas for how to elevate your next race weekend and turn up the FUN-o-meter to eleven. And beyond!