Luckily, the framework for the course already existed and I was able to use the excellent Scottish Cycling Mountain Bike Leader syllabus as a guide. Taking that course and improving and advancing it to the levels demanded by Coaching Ireland took many weeks of design, session planning, meetings, conference calls and practice until finally a couple of weeks ago I was ready to deliver an observed pilot.
I must admit that it was a lot more daunting than I'd anticipated actually delivering the course. I'm well used to teaching and coaching with all types of people but with 4 candidates on one side of me and a panel of 4 observers made up of my tutoring peers and representatives from Coaching Ireland and Cycling Ireland on the other, I did feel a bit sandwiched in the middle. I'll openly admit to being a bit of a perfectionist and so although it was a pilot course I put myself under great pressure to deliver a polished finished article.
Did it work?
Largely yes it did! The timings need a tweak and there are a couple of suggestions from Coaching Ireland on content and also around firm pre-requisites in terms of the personal skills of participants but essentially it was a great success. Therefore, I'm anticipating that Rock and Ride will be offering the new Cycling Ireland MBL course from early 2014.
The course is a step up and away from the Scottish Cycling MBL course with a greater emphasis on personal ability and coaching without losing any of the essential leadership aspects. It definitely focuses on developing leaders who are not only safe to operate in remote mountainous areas but are also able to offer the detailed one to one coaching skills that really add value to a clients experiences. For Cycling and Coaching Ireland, leadership and coaching have to be viewed as one interlinked entity and I totally agree. The idea of a leader who doesn't coach seems ridiculous and unrealistic to me, if you can't teach somebody how to ride a bike properly then how can you safely lead them on a mountain biking session?
|A good MBL standard fix on the pilot MBL training!|
- Existing TCL holders who have used that award extensively and to its limits.
- Coaches and guides that want to legally and safely operate in highly technical terrain.
- Guides that want to operate abroad in the mountains (it will be internationally recognised so can be used to guide in mountainous regions throughout Europe, except France!).
- Highly skilled guides who want to be recognised as being amongst an elite group at the pinnacle of their profession.
The assessment is going to be deliberately very tough, physically and technically in order to ensure that only the very best can gain the qualification. Criteria for the assessment are obviously discussed in depth during the training course. Pre-requisites for training include the ability to ride highly technical terrain confidently and confidence inspiringly and perform skills such as bunny hops, riding drop-offs and step ups and pumping. If you can't do these things then you are recommended to attend an Intermediate Skills course a few months prior to the MBL course.
Cost will be around £165 for training and £90 for assessment. Contact email@example.com for more details.