Junior Instructor Course
2-DAY ASSISTANT INSTRUCTOR COURSE
The Junior Instructor Course is a two-day course designed for 14-16 year olds who are interesting in learning about, or becoming a mountain bike instructor. The course will provide the relevant training and information to allow the course participants to become an assistant-instructor. Building essential life-skills such as communication, leadership and people skills, brings a lot of value to the teenagers that take this course.
A strong focus is given to learning guiding and teaching skills in their own right, to develop a sense of this all important part of a safe mountain bike lesson. As students learn and practice proven, modern teaching skills through the course, they’ll see how being a good rider is only one part of being a profes-sional instructor.
Riding skills and theory are also covered along with plenty of time to practice as well as receiving personal feedback for their own development, each day. The two day course is practical-based, spending each day riding and practice teaching on the trails. Additional workshops covering topics such as bike-fit, mechanics and first aid, take place at the start or end of each day, to further build their knowledge and skill set during the course.
Why take this course?
- Improve your riding skills: Learn the all-important, fundamental skills you need to rail corners, gain confidence on technical climbs & descents, and master maneuvers such as front and rear wheel lifts, or rolling drops. Learn how to gain control in any situation to build confidence, safety and fun on your bike.
- Develop a passion for teaching and helping others: Any instructor must have a passion for teaching as much as they do for riding. This course will give you the essential tools you need to become a good guide and teacher - indeed, teaching is a skill you must master in it’s own right, if you are to become a safe, effective instructor.
- Build essential leadership and confidence skills: Talking in front of other people can be challenging, but it’s a great life-skill that mountain bike guiding and teaching can help develop. Similarly, leadership skills, problem solving, team work and confidence skills can all be developed during this course, with a friendly PMBI Mentor.
- Some key things you’ll learn: How to ride better and the theory behind riding, guiding and teaching theory, how to assist with and organize a lesson, how to communicate clearly and effectively, how to organize and assist with managing a group of students, risk assessment, people and leadership skills.
- Become more skilled, versatile and adaptable as a rider and as a person.
- Have fun! It’s two days of riding bikes, learning and getting stoked!
RIDING & TEACHING SKILLS
Below are some of the main examples of the riding and teaching skills that are developed on the Junior Guide Course. While the course does not include a “pass/fail’ assessment element, participants are expected to show a minimum standard in competency, in order to receive the award. Specific riding, guiding and teaching skill requirements include:
- Climbing and descending on technical, single track (intermediate) terrain - blue and easy black trails
- Banked and flat corners on various terrain surfaces
- Maintain chosen line in technical (rooty/rocky/uneven) terrain
- Front & rear wheel lifts - standing
- Seated front wheel lift, using a pedal stroke (very basic wheelie)
- Switchbacks - slow, tight turns
- Basic ladder bridges/raised trails
- Prioritizes safety and guiding over teaching, at all times.
- Clearly Explain & Demonstrate techniques
- Choose safe, appropriate terrain for student Practice
- Assess students and provide positive, simple feedback to continue learning
- Basic mechanics: adjusting a bike to fit, suspension sag and rebound set-up, flat tires, broken chains, replacing brake pads, adjusting headsets, correct cleaning and maintenance.
PRE-REQUISITES & OUTCOMES
- Confident riding at trail speed on intermediate terrain, including green, blue and “light” black trails.
- A minimum of 36 months mountain biking experience.
- First Aid & CPR certifications are recommended as part of their on-going training.
- Students age between 14 and 16 are eligible for this course. Guiding and teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous and being legally responsible for other adults and children, warrants a minimum age for participation in this program.
- PLEASE NOTE: Successful students will be eligible to work as an Assistant Instructor only, typically working as a “tail” guide with a currently certified PMBI Instructor. When they reach the age of 17, should they wish to become certified to guide and teach groups independently, they will need to then take the three-day PMBI Level 1 course. Junior PMBI Instructors will receive a discount on the PMBI Level 1 course.
While this course does not involve a strict “pass/fail” assessment criteria, there is an expected minimum level of competency in each students’ riding, guiding and teaching skills. Children and young adults often focus and learn better outdoors, if they know there is some kind of “minimum standard” required.
The goal is for each student to learn in a fun, non-stressful environment, while still providing a standard that each student can aim for, to receive the “completion certificate” for the Junior Instructor Course.