To our NICA coach community:
As 2022 comes to a close I want to take time to offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for everything you do to get more kids on bikes!
Being a NICA coach is one of the most rewarding things that I have done in my life but it can also be difficult at times. Your commitment to kids, mountain biking, and youth development will foster the leaders of the future. The experiences that you are creating for athletes, fellow coaches, and your community will ripple out for years to come. What you are doing matters and it's important.
Thanks for being awesome.
Have a great holiday season.
Mike McGarry and the NICA Coach Education Team
Coach Licensing News: Level 3 CEUs
NICA Awards: Call for Nominations
GRiT Corner: A Year in Review
Game of the Month: Minefield
Coach Wish List: A NICA Gift Guide!
SRAM Gratitude: Upgrade for less
Online Leaders' Summits: 2023 dates
COEUS: Fueling for Race Day
Important change in NICA's Level 3 CEU Requirements
The NICA Coach Education team is instituting an important change in the number of CEUs (Continuing Education Units) required to maintain a Level 3 NICA coaching license.
Previously, we asked coaches to maintain 9 continuing education units every three years. Starting TODAY, December 15th, 2022, coaches will only need 6 CEUs to maintain a Level 3 license.
This change reflects our ongoing work and commitment to providing excellent training in coaching and youth development. As we have continued to update and improve the quality of our in-house online coach education courses, we feel that there is less need for coaches to seek training beyond NICA.
This updated requirement will impact all current and future Level 3 coaches, who dedicate an immense amount of time and energy to their teams each season. Pit Zone will update automatically, so there is no need for coaches to take any action. Any current level 2 coaches who now meet Level 3 requirements will receive an email notification of their license level change.
CEUs are a way for coaches to pursue continuous learning as part of their work with NICA student-athletes. As a reminder, detailed information about CEUs can be found on the NICA website, along with opportunities for CEU credit from within NICA and outside of NICA, either with our partnering organizations or beyond.
Know someone who has gone above and beyond?
Celebrate it by nominating them for a NICA Award! Nominations are now OPEN for the 2022 NICA Awards. NICA Awards recognize student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, and alumni who have made outstanding contributions to the youth cycling community over the past year.
A Texas GRiT try-it-out event brought 40 new riders out to have fun on bikes! Photo: Maegan Fitzgerald, TX GRiT Coordinator
Celebrating a Year of GRiT Growth
The percentage of female student-athletes in NICA has held steady since we started tracking…until now! Over the past year, we’ve increased the percentage of girls in NICA by just over 1%. That may not sound like much, but it’s a measurable increase and a sign that GRiT activities led by teams and leagues are adding up and making a difference.
We want your help in bringing more girls and women into mountain biking and NICA! You don’t need to wait for permission to get started. Early next year, we’ll release an online GRiT coach course, along with accompanying event templates and other materials. These resources will help you get started, build your recruitment plan, and organize GRiT activities to get #moregirlsonbikes.
If every NICA team takes one or two intentional actions each season to recruit and retain more girls, we’ll see an even greater percentage increase in female student-athletes over the next year. Thank you for joining us in this effort!
A game that works perfectly at a small practice venue, or on days when trails are closed. Minefield helps student-athletes practice essential mountain bike skills as they transition to riding more and more singletrack!
Photo: Wisconsin Adventure training
Where: Open space
Objective: I can have fun. I can build steering, timing, and coordination skills.
101 Skills: Braking, bike-body separation
202 Skills: Ratcheting, rock dodge, track stand
Setup: Designate a square area that is a couple of bike lengths long and wide. Scatter many cones throughout the area.
How to play: Ask participants to ride through without touching a cone with either tire. Don’t touch a cone. Hopping is allowed but one wheel must remain on the ground at all times.
Options or progressions: If the area is wide enough, have two riders challenge each other to get across first without touching a cone. Or, add squeaky toys. The objective is to run over the toys, and the rider earns extra points. In "team challenge mode" when a rider runs over a squeaky toy, all other riders must pause for 3 seconds (attempting to track stand).
Reflection: What was your plan for the activity? How did you come up with your plan?
For any coaches still looking for a last-minute gift, don’t miss the NICA Holiday Gift Guide! These suggestions and additional deals from our NICA partners are sure to make your 2023 rides more merry and bright.
The comprehensive guide includes everything from sunglasses to team kit and apparel orders - check it out!
NICA coaches can upgrade for less, thanks to the SRAM Gratitude Program
Until 12/31/22, SRAM is piloting a giveback program to the NICA Community to launch in 2023. As a test, SRAM is offering a GX AXS (wireless shifting) Upgrade Kit for $376. This is available to EVERYONE!
Download the order form from your coach benefits, located in NICA's Coach Education dashboard. Simply send the form to NICA@SRAM.com as either an individual or team order.
If you would like to work with a shop, SRAM is informing all of their retailers of the program! If your preferred retailer needs more info, have a shop representative send an email requesting more info to NICA@SRAM.com.
2023 Online Leaders' Summit registration is LIVE!
WHAT: Join NICA’s coach education staff and coaches from across the country in five unique, 1-hour zoom sessions
WHO: Open to NICA coaches looking for Level 3 licensure or CEUs
WHEN: Summits are offered in five, one-hour sessions on weekdays; times vary.
Each week consists of the five core required Leaders Summit sessions. You can mix-and-match which sessions you attend over several weeks, but all five sessions must be completed to fulfill Level 3 licensing requirements. Current Level 2 and 3 coaches can also complete individual sessions for 1 CEU each.
The Feed is an online resource to get all the nutrition, performance supplements, and recovery gear you need to get more out of your training. Create your account to get your Student Athlete or Coach credit and get a free custom bottle with any purchase over $65.
Looking for a previous edition of the NICA Coaches' News?
Check out the entire collection in the archives!