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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!

Process goals to set athletes up for success

We’ve all probably set a big goal without really thinking it through. Here’s how it plays out… “I’m gonna ride 8,000 miles this year. Let’s go!” Then, life gets busy. It’s June and you’ve only ridden 1,000 miles. “Geez… maybe I’m not very good at this goal thing. I just need to dig deep… Only 7,000 miles to go. I can do this!! Right? I will just stop hanging out with my friends, stop showering and spend every day on my bike. I said I would do it so….” Ever backed yourself into a corner with a goal like this? I know I have…

How Ted Lasso Changed my life

Hello, My name is Billy Calkins. I’m a NICA coach…and I love Ted Lasso. I would say I am a hardcore fan of the show, but the reality is that the show became so much more than a show for me: Ted Lasso has, hands down, changed my life…