COACHES RETREAT SoCal coaches give a lot of their time, energy, and wisdom. We want to try to repay that in a small way by hosting our second annual

SoCal coaches give a lot of their time, energy, and wisdom. We want to try to repay that in a small way by hosting our second annual Coaches Retreat on the weekend of September 14-16. This will be on a space available basis and open to returning licensed SoCal coaches (coaches who have completed at least one season as a licensed coach). It will be a time for coaches to get together, ride, and share cameraderie.

Thanks to the generousity of SoCal coach Jon Tanklage of Rim of the World HS and parent Paul Castro of Orcutt Composite we have secured lodging in Mammoth. We have two large houses within close proximity to each other. Between the two locations we have 30 beds. As many of these are queen sized, we could accommodate a few more people as we do have a few husband/wife coaching duos.

What is the plan?

The plan is that we will have the houses open by late Friday afternoon so you can arrive and either settle in or go for a short ride. Friday evening dinner is "on your own" but will likely be groups going to local restaurants. Saturday morning we will get up and have breakfast then go riding! Riding locations are your choice. Last year most of us went to the mountain and purchased one day park passes (unlimited trails, lifts, gondolas, and shuttles $45) while some went to the mountain and rode trails without lifts $15). Saturday lunch is "on your own." Saturday afternoon will be more riding. Saturday evening will be a big BBQ dinner. Sunday morning we will have breakfast, pack up, then ride. Last year most of us shuttled the EPIC Lower Rock Creek Trail.

What is the League covering?

The League is covering lodging for coaches staying in one of our two houses, breakfast both mornings, and dinner Saturday night.

What do we have to cover?

Dinner Friday night and lunch Saturday and Sunday. For cross-country/trail riders, you will need to purchase a $15 "pedal pass" if you want to access the mountain. If you want to ride the bike park, rent a downhill bike, or ride the lifts and gondolas you must pay for those activities. HERE is a link to the costs for passes of all types at Mammoth.

Can my family come?

This trip is specifically for licensed, returning League coaches. If you would like to bring a spouse (unless he/she is also a coach) you are welcome to provide your own lodging and we will treat you to the group dinner Saturday night. Please let Matt know if you are planning this option! We love our children and student-athletes but we spend plenty of time with them all year. This retreat is for adult coaches only.

You say we have to be licensed?

Though we deeply appreciate everyone who commits to helping our clubs this retreat is for those who have some time under their belt. To attend this retreat you must have coached a League club at least one season and you must have a NICA license. Preference will be given to those with a Head or Assistant Coach license through August 26th. At that point, any remaining open slots will go to coaches who are still in the process of completing their licenses. If you are a large team with many licensed coaches, please ask before more than 3 coaches sign up.

Please contact Matt Gunnell at if you would like to come! Final details will be sent in the confirmation email a few days ahead of the trip.

The 2011 SoCal Leaders' Summit and Wilderness First Aid-MTB have been scheduled. Leaders' Summit will take place in Hemet the weekend of October 20-21. We are excited to announce that Lee McCormack, all around skills ninja, will be teaching MTB 101. He will also be working with several League coaches to qualify them to become MTB 101 coach trainers. Look for registration to open over the next few months but save the date now if you need to or want to attend. Our next WFA-MTB course is scheduled for the weekend of December 8-9 with venue TBD.

If you plan on managing a club or being the primary training coach on the trail and have not attended a Leaders' Summit and WFA course; please put the dates on your calendar. We can't stress enough the importance of coaching your club with the NICA philosophy and best practices.

On the off chance you are traveling or simply want a change of scenery; you may take your Leaders' Summit and/or WFA-MTB courses with any NICA league. Look for courses being offered in NorCal, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Utah, Minnesota, and other new leagues this year and next! Check the NICA calendar for options.

The SoCal League has a coach and staff only facebook group. Since it launched near the start of the 2011 season, coaches have been sharing ideas and information and the League has used the group to put timely information out to coaches. If you facebook, the group can be found HERE. Please feel free to use this group as a touchstone to share coaching ideas, coaching questions, and equipment and clothing exchanges.

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