Last week I wrote about my personal experience of learning to ride my mtb at the NICA Leadership summit. The purpose of the skills clinic was really much more involved. The leadership summit was put on to train people how to be mountain bike coaches for high school mountain bike teams.
NICA is an organization that started in California. It was started to give kids a chance to learn and compete in a sport that they might not otherwise get involved in. It is dedicated to developing healthy, athletic kids who might otherwise not be involved in sport. Kids who don’t fit into traditional scholastic sports. I wish that when I was the chubby unathletic kid that something like NICA existed. I would have been totally in.
Fast forward thirt…fort…(ish) years, to the point where I discovered my inner animal waiting to get out and you have a totally “in” grown-up who doesn’t realize he is a grown up. There is a place for me in NICA….. starting and coaching a high school mountain bike team.
I saw Single Track High for the first time in March.
A seed was planted in my mind. We have mountain bike trails. We have kids….. Humm.
On the Thursday before Leadville NICA did a showing of Single Track High. New York had just organized a league through NICA and had had its first racing season. I was pretty much finished at that point. Being a NICA coach combines two passions in my life: biking and teaching kids. And so I started down a
Now after the leadership summit, the mountain bike team is being organized. One LBS is totally in. The owner started a local mountain bike club, St. Lawrence Mountain Bike Association (SLMBA) a couple of years ago. It is ready to become something real (rather than a group of guys who ride and talk to each other twice a year). We are getting a president and incorporating as a not for profit. The group has made great progress in developing mtb trails in the area. Like I say its becoming real.
The new club president is excited about the prospect of a high school team and so we are going to fit that team under SLMBA (that allows us to take kids from surrounding schools, rather than just from the local school). The wife of the owner has agreed to become an assistant coach (Hi Shannon!) I want young ladies! Shannon is passionate about getting girls to ride. She is also one heck of a good rider. The local school principal is totally in and will support us through the school. I have a high school teacher, and fellow mountain bike “nut” (technically he is a “nut” and I am “stupid”), on the line. Hoping to reel him in. He is helping me to organize a meeting for kids, and to identify some target kids.
We are going to have an after school meeting in a couple of weeks. Then a parents meeting shortly after. I have permission to show Single Track High, which I will do then. Then I have to register me as a coach, the team as a team, get CPR WFA certification, take my coaches test…….
Right now I am in this funny space. Will there be any kids who want to do this? Will there be too many kids who want to do this? I would be really really happy to have something like 5 kids for the first year and build from there. My nightmare is 0 kids or 50 kids. 5. 5 is the perfect number to start with and grow from.
If I look at the list of people I have sucked into this we all have some things in common. We love riding (duh). We are also extremely busy, involved people. God I hope this works……. (It’ll be fine Doug. Have faith…….Thanks Yeti, that’s the nicest thing you have ever said to me…..Don’t get used to it Meat. You still have ORAMM to look forward to……Buzzkill).
Picture of the Day