Rinse and repeat
In a word: session.
Session a shorter, technical loop to hone your skills and eliminate those bad habits.
Make it fun
Turn your sessions into fun little challenges that everyone can join in with. If you can create an atmosphere where silly tricks and daft challenges become normal behaviour then you’re on to a winner.
Essentially you want to just let everyone play. Even something as simple as always taking the difficult option on a climb, or hopping the longest distance over some roots, can turn into half an hour of belly laughs that everyone can learn from. Give yourself the freedom to act like a big kid and reignite your appetite for learning.
The key to making big improvements is knowing what it is you’re trying to achieve from the outset. If all you’re doing is braking in corners and pulling on the bars, then you’ll just get better at that.
Having a lesson from a professional coach will give you specific goals that you can put into practice every time you ride. You can even download things like the Dirt School app which will give you correct and incorrect examples that you can compare yourself to.
Having a friend film you riding a corner or a jump is a great way of completing your feedback loop. You probably already know what you’re supposed to be doing, but the chances are you actually look very different to what you’d imagine when doing it. Stop at an obstacle the next time you’re out with a group of mates and film each other giving it a go.
Once you all share the footage you can really start comparing your technique against the world’s best. What shape are they in? Where do they push? Where are they braking? You never know, a shared Dropbox folder called ‘Saturday’s Carnage’ could become the best feedback loop you’ve ever had.