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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!

Team Expansion Playbook

It can be scary and intimidating to split a large and successful team. Splitting a growing team can be a really good thing! It means that you’ve created something so amazing that it needs to grow. NICA’s new Composite Team Expansion Playbook helps guide you through team growth and helps teams understand when and how to split their teams.

In an open field, a cyclist rides past the camera, while another cyclist behind them rides underneath a limbo stick while balancing on their bike.

Adapting Games at Practice

Games increase fun, joy, and skill development. Allowing our athletes to play supports connection to their teammates and the sport of mountain biking. Coaches work in a dynamic environment, and your games will often need to be revised or adapted. Making a change doesn’t mean that you did something wrong, or that it was a bad game. It is essential to adapt activities to ensure that athletes are having fun and experiencing the right level of challenge.

Brain Injury Awareness

March is brain injury awareness month, a great reminder for coaches to refresh their knowledge on concussion protocols and training. Check out these concussion-specific resources and tools to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep athletes safe and healthy.

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!

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!

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.

ONLINE LEADERS SUMMITS 2024

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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.