Let’s go, coach!
Norte coach Jason Plum says you don’t have to be a bike guy to be a good coach — you just have to show up.
“You don’t have to be fast. You don’t need to be proficient at lubing a chain and changing a tire,” says Jason. “Having someone there that’s willing and pleasant and happy to work is by far the most important step.”
Jason has been coaching with Norte for four years. He says part of the attraction for him is the ability to get out on his bike more often than he usually would. In addition, Jason thinks exploring the trails with a group of young aspiring riders is one heck of a side benefit. The most satisfying aspect of coaching, he says, is seeing the riders’ progression from the first week to the last.
“You get to show kids a lot of stuff,” he says. “There’s a lot of first-generation mountain bikers out there, so my job is to help them be more comfortable when they’re out there in the woods. It’s fun when you see a core shift in their capabilities. They learn that they can go ride their bike in the woods with their friends, and it’ll be fine.”
From day one, the riders learn how they like to ride and figure out their favorite places to go. Jason says that the riders know exactly where they want to go by the end of a mountain bike session and know all the best trails to get there. Week by week, it gets easier and more fun.
And for a coach, to see that progress is gratifying.
“If you’re thinking of becoming a Norte coach, maybe you’re worried that you don’t know your way around or don’t know how to fix a flat,” says Jason. “That’s great, no problem. We’ll show you all that, and we’ll help you learn your way around. Showing up is 99 percent of getting the job done.”
In addition to his coaching prowess, Jason served four years on Norte’s board of directors, from 2016 to 2020. He helped shape the non-profit you see today. Our wide-ranging interview touches more on coaching, what makes a community bike-friendly, and what it was like to be a part of Norte in its early days. Read it at the Norte blog: Show up, help out ??
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