Name: Travis Blue
Team: Icicle Bicycle Club
Years with League: 2013 – present
Why are you coaching/how did you start coaching?
This is our 4th season. I’m coaching because I love to share the things I’m passionate about with others. I enjoy working with youth and am passionate about riding mt. bikes so this was a natural combination. I also wanted to get a club well established for my 6 and 8 year old daughters for when they’re old enough to join. I think we’ll be starting an Icicle Bicycle Jr. club this year for the younger folks (not part of WSCL).
What do you like best about it?
Seeing students light up when they get a skill down on the trail. This is magnified when they ride a feature or trail that they walked a week or month before. We have some aggressive trails and watching new riders get through things after giving it several tries or walking parts at the beginning of the season is awesome. It’s great to see their pride when the team is cheering and high-fiving students for nailing a section for the first time. When they get faster on trail and have ear-to-ear grins at the end of practice is great! Another high light is when parents come to us and say, “I don’t know what you’re doing out there, but I used to beg my son/daughter to go ride with me and they never would, now they are getting out and riding more than I am and they are better than me.”
Describe an inspiring moment for you:
When a student agreed to join the team just to support the team at the last race of the 2015 season. He had no desire to race or ride with a bunch of people. Once there he agreed to go on the warm up ride with the team. Afterwards he agreed to line up with his group at the start line. Then he set a goal of completing the race. Just before it started his goal was to not come in last. After the race he was all smiles, and very proud that he wasn’t close to last. He raced the following year.
How have you seen the mission fulfilled through your work?
The students are nailing all the mission goals through riding, racing, practicing, getting better, getting stronger, building trail and having a lot of fun.
Why do you think this program is important for students?
It gives a team opportunity to some students who don’t normally get involved in teams. It’s a great thing to do together while still being able to push yourself. And it’s so fun!
How has coaching impacted you and/or the rest of your life?
It’s very fun sharing things I enjoy, so it brings me a lot of joy.
What advice would you give to someone considering coaching?
Take a class. Get the basics of coaching mountain biking because having a good grasp on the basics allows you to teach students with specific progressions. And while mountain biking is still behind on standardized curriculum, most folks are teaching the same thing. Take a class and you’ll be a much better coach.
Give one word that describes your experience with the League: