GoG.I.R.L. coaching with Jodie Willet
A lovely group of GoGIRL ladies took advantage of a Bushranger initiative to offer free coaching for them. In fact, it was snapped up, “flickety sticks”, thanks to a grant they had recently obtained.
Non-Bushrangers were welcome too and if they so desired they might have made a little donation on our website (paypal/australian sports foundation). Hint hint! No pressure though!
Don’t worry boys, Ben (our president) and co. haven’t forgotten about you either. At the moment, they are a little busy building trails in Parklands with their trusty volunteers. Just keep an eye out on our website for more coaching opportunities coming later this year, after we have built a flow track and a skills park in Parklands. Yes, you heard correctly, how exciting is that! What a perfect place to have coaching locally. Dreams do come true.
Meanwhile, GoGIRLs woke to the sound of rain. The forecast was showers. The question was to cancel or not. I put a “the coaching is a go” notice on the FB page and set off. I said a prayer to the rain god (Stay up here, don’t rain down there). First we traveled 1.5 hours to Underwood Park where we met Jodie. She was just finishing up with her first group.
After introductions, Jodie began by explaining the fundamentals of MTBing in a way that was easy to understand by all. I was chosen to model the correct stance on a bike. A considerable amount of time later, (I’m sure it was over 10 minutes) I demonstrated standing, pedals level, heels down, bending at the hips, bottom back and keeping low. I was relieved I had my magnesium levels up. Jodie hadn’t even broken into a sweat holding me up that whole time! At that time, getting a major cramp would have been embarrassing and probably resulted in a pedal in my leg. Disaster averted!
Next we practiced braking to a stop, wheelies and cornering. A lady from Jodie’s last session momentarily interrupted and excitedly reported that she had just done the “Wall of Death”. I was wondering if that was part of our session? Some of the GoGIRLs were wondering what have they had signed up for?
After plenty of skill drills, receiving individual feedback, and asking numerous questions, we headed to the trails. By the way all the girls got gold stars for lifting their front wheel off the ground. Sonja was the expert and gave tips to the rest of us. We kept practicing till we looked like pros or at least we made a promise to keep practicing till we did! I’m pretty sure I heard plenty of squealing when someone had put it all together. Maybe that was me!
The venue had everything close at call; plenty of berms to practice right and left hand turns, roll overs, rocky descents and slabs to climb. Jodie knew where all the teaching opportunities were, because well of course, she designed this section of the place. We rode past Janine Jungfel’s Trial section and marvelled at her brain child and remembered her awesome coaching session too! It was great to see all the ladies nailing the tasks. We didn’t want the session to end so we headed to the skills part and Jodie gave us instructions on how to manual.
After giving her vigorous thank you’s, some ladies stayed to ride the trails. The trails were great fun and well designed. There were heaps of berms and step- ups to practice what we had just learnt. Soon, we came across the “Wall of Death”. There was a lot of looking and talking of which way to best approach this steeper rocky descent. Luckily I stopped before dropping down to check if I had the right line! Because guess what? I didn’t, in fact it was exactly where NOT to ride. Proceeding would have been nasty. Another disaster averted. Note to self: Look before you leap! Or ride in this case. After carefully noting the entry point again, I put my modulating brakes technique into action and down I went. After the initial going over the edge, it didn’t feel like the Wall of Death. It felt great, no skidding and totally in control. I can’t wait to tell Jodie and organize the next session. Meanwhile in the wise words of Di,
“It’s practice, practice, practice”.
Thanks for coming ladies and I hope you all got something out of it.