So, you’ve pulled the trigger on your Ninja skills clinic. Congratulations! You are one step closer to riding like a Ninja. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your skills clinic!
This may seam obvious, but it can be helpful to remind yourself that your clinic isn’t a competition. Rather, this is your opportunity to put your ego aside, have a beginners mindset, and learn! Only after leaving your “inner mean girl” behind can you focus on the process of improvement.
During class, listen for that key body imbalance that your instructor identifies as holding you back. You know, the one that keeps coming up in every exercise. For example, do you ever notice that it’s easier to turn one way than another?! We all have it… an area of our body that the brain doesn’t realize it isn’t using. Be open to feedback from your instructor that can help you identify small adjustments that can really take your riding up a notch!
Take a deep breathe. Eat a good meal before class. Remember, this is fun! A mountain bike lesson is an opportunity for you to work on all of the foundational skills, not try to prove something by throwing yourself down a cliff side. Your Instructor will not ask you to ride anything they don’t think you can handle and all features are “challenge by choice” – meaning if you aren’t feeling it, skip it!
4. Pace Yourself
Your skills clinic is going to be a mega-progression-session. As you see improvements, watch for the point where that upward trend starts to level off, and catch it before it trends downward. When you start making simple mistakes, it can be a good indicator that you need a break. Take a breather and maybe watch your new friends progress while you snack on your favorite trail food (gummy bears for me, thank you very much!).
5. Rest up
After the clinic, your body and brain are going to be tired! Wait till you’ve had some rest before you review the lesson and dive back into practice. You’re probably not going to go home and do push ups right after the lesson, so don’t do the same thing to your brain! (But hey, who am I to say, you go-get-er you!)
Practice, practice, practice your skills after the clinic. Cant remember everything that was covered? The Ninja site offers a wealth of helpful skill articles. Improvement is not magic, it’s directly related to how much time you can spend playing on your bike, so have fun with it!
We look forward to seeing your progress at your next Ninja clinic!
by Ninja Lead Instructor Hillary Marques