British Cycling National Youth Series - Scarborough 2018 - image courtesy Huw Williams
Coaching under 18 year-olds
Coaching the very young should be fun and hence the British Cycling 'fundamentals' programme delivering basic techniques and improving skills whilst keeping sessions fun and riders active. Riders' energy can come thick and fast, so a coach has to be prepared to control the session fulfilling the rider needs and channelling the riders' enthusiasm.
10 - 14 year-olds
Riders at this age (and often under 8s) benefit from the earlier sessions (above) and group sessions - developing confidence in groups, group work when riding close together - dealing with physical contact, gear selection, riding position, sprinting - both out of the saddle and seated, judgement of pace, cornering, taking turns when working together, etiquette and group control. The young person should become a more confident and capable rider, enjoying the opportunity to ride and racing if desired. Younger riders may even compete in local races. From 2016 riders from the age of 13 can accrue points and rankings, if placing high up in British Cycling events. Under 13s from 2016 will not accrue points or rankings but compete for cups & trophies depending on the event/promoter.
14 - 18 year-olds
Teenage riders often have more than improving group work, cycling techniques and skill progression to contend with: body changes, relationships, hormones, growth spurts, changes to co-ordination not to mention the pressures of revision, exams and a social life of course!
Performance/One to One Coaching for teenagers can commence at 14, with continual parent/guardian inclusion and consultation. Many Performance coaches avoid this period as there are many factors that can affect any coaching planning provided (as detailed above). However I think this time of life can be crucial, as many young riders want to progress as they transit the Youth B Youth A and Junior categories, looking for guidance on a more personal training plan basis to progress. This is also a time when many young riders can easily disappear from the cycle scene (especially at Junior level i.e. 16-18 'Wilderness years').
Any training plan has to be structured around the developing riders lifestyle, which in the case of a school/college pupil takes into account: other sporting activities, other school & ex-curricular commitments, family support (where would any athlete be without the 'support crew'), school commitments, revision & exams. The same principal used with adult riders - Rider Information & Lifestyle Audit, is used to capture as much information as possible. Only then can a proportional training plan be created to help the rider achieve the goals agreed (detailed by the rider, then agreed by the coach & parent).
Performance/Weekly Training Plans for under 18s start from £35 per month. (more details here) This includes: Analysis of the Rider Information and Lifestyle Audit Annual plan Weekly prescriptive plan, review of weekly plan (submitted each Sunday by the rider) including any adaptation to the following week's prescription Race plans Annual summary Coach availability at anytime for cycling/coaching queries, email etc.
If you think you have an under 18 rider who would benefit from weekly prescriptive/performance coaching use the contact button below, get in touch and I'll forward a Rider Information Form & Lifestyle Audit, then we can arrange a meeting and progress from there.