Coaches are essential to our being able to offer this program to students in the Lower Merion area. To ensure the safety and overall well-being of our student-athletes, NICA requires a minimum of 1 coach for every 6 students, so if we're short on coaches, we simply can't run our practices or events. Coaching with NICA is unique in that it offers parents the opportunity to ride along with the student-athletes at practices, learning new skills and staying active instead of waiting on the sidelines! Having a son or daughter in NICA is not a requirement of coaching, so if you're an avid rider, here's a chance to give something back to the sport you love and help the next generation of riders "find their stoke"!
Getting started as a Level 1 coach is easy and consists of just a few hours of online courses and a PA background check. Being a super-skilled mountain biker is NOT necessarily required, but some level of dexterity and skill will be needed, as the trails we ride are not always smooth and easy. We'll train prospective coaches in the pre-season, so they're ready to go when the season begins in July. Prospective coaches need to be reliable and on-time, have a properly functioning mountain bike and helmet, a desire to work with kids, and a positive supportive attitude. Level 1 coaches assist our more experienced Level 2 and 3 coaches, acting as additional eyes and ears to keep our rides safe and keep practices and events running smoothly. Time commitments are flexible and even coaching a couple times a month can make a big difference to the team!
Our practices are generally held at Belmont Plateau, along with other area trails. A typical practice might consist of 25 students and 10 coaches. Practices start with activities to improve the students on-the-bike skills, followed by trail rides to build confidence and endurance. For trail rides, the team typically divides into smaller groups of 6 to 8 students, according to skill and speed (not age or gender). Rides are led by Level 2 and 3 coaches, with assistance from the Level 1 coaches.
For more info: www.nationalmtb.org/coaching/
If you or someone you know would like to coach, please let us know!