Train to be a High School Mountain Bike Coach

The SoCal High School Cycling League, a member league of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), begins coach training in late July ahead of its 7th season of competition in spring 2015. League Director Matt Gunnell said, “Regardless of if you are an experienced coach looking to refresh and upgrade your skills or a brand new coach looking to start a new high school team, there is something for you within the NICA coach educational program.”

NICA has a great Coach Licensing Program which can help take a willing adult and teach them what they need to know to become a successful high school mountain bike coach. Expert level riding ability is not a pre-requisite. A passion for helping middle and high school aged teens build strong bodies, minds, and characters through experiences centered on mountain bikes is all one needs in order to get started.

The core of the program is attendance at a Leaders’ Summit (a two day training program where one day is spent learning the nuts and bolts of coaching and team management and the other is spent learning basic riding skills and how to teach them) and a Wilderness First Aid for Mountain Bikers course (a two day training program teaching basic first aid skills in the context of being a mountain bike coach). Though it is not required to complete both of these programs before starting a team, it is highly encouraged to complete them within the first year.

In addition to in person training, NICA regularly offers webinars for coaches to earn credit toward or maintain and enhance their coach license. For those starting a new team it is highly encouraged to take the free webinar “How to Start & Manage a High School MTB Team” being offered Tuesday August 5th.

The SoCal High School Cycling League was organized to provide a well-defined race season for youth racers and to promote the formation of teams at public and private high schools. With the cooperation of local race promoters and sponsors, the League organizes a first class series of races designed for high school aged riders and is the easiest way for youth to get involved in the challenging and exciting world of competitive cycling.

The SoCal League is offering two Leaders’ Summit options this year. The first one is in San Diego, August 16-17 and the second one is in Newbury Park, October 4-5. The league is also offering Wilderness First Aid for Mountain Bikers on October 11-12 in Temecula.

An early registration discount for the San Diego summit is available through July 31st! For more information on the League, visit or contact Matt Gunnell at [email protected] or (818) 415-1133.

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