JUNIOR COACH ACADEMY

MTB Coach Training and Mentorship Program
13 - 18 years

A diverse, fun program, designed to build young riders into better “athletes”… meaning safer, smoother, faster riders, with more body awareness and better decision making. If they want to race, great, we’ll help them, but racing isn’t the sole focus of this team.

ZEP began the multi-week Instructor Academy programs back in 2009. For 2023 we’re excited to launch the ZEP Junior Coach Academy! As co-founders and directors of the Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association, ZEP is the perfect home for young, aspiring mtb coaches!

This program is designed to mentor those in the ZEP Racing Programs* who are interested in becoming a mountain bike coach, helping them to develop new skills… and maybe even a new career! Learning how to coach other riders is incredibly satisfying and brings to young coaches an incredible technical and life skill set they can pass onto all areas of their lives, including;

  • Leadership skills
  • Confidence
  • Self Motivation
  • Self Esteem
  • Independence
  • Problem solving
  • Responsibility
  • Public Speaking
  • Risk Management
  • Outdoor Industry Standards

*This program is exclusively available for past and present participants, 13 - 18 years, on the ZEP Grom & Enduro Devo Teams, ZEP Grom & Enduro Race Teams and the ZEP Junior DH Race Teams.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • Learn about coaching through a summer of mentorship with a top ZEP Pro
  • Begin the journey in building the technical and life skills required to become a successful mtb coach & guide
  • Build confidence, self esteem, leadership skills and more!
  • Discover the potential of a career in professional outdoor coaching
  • Attend a 1-day ZEP Junior Coach Training session, prior to shadowing
  • Shadow 8 full day kids lessons as an assistant coach
  • Attend a in-house 1-day first aid session with Canadian Outdoor Med to prep for the 40hr Advanced Wilderness First Aid course (not included), when you’re ready
  • Receive a discount for the PMBIA Level 1 Instructor Course (not included), when you’re ready
  • Get an exclusive ZEP Troy Lee Designs ZEP Junior Coach Jersey.
  • Successful participants of the program will receive an official “ZEP Junior Coach Academy - Certificate of Completion” for their resumes!

THE PROGRAM

The Junior Coach Devo Program will mentor and support the participants throughout the season as they learn under ZEPs’ Certified Coaches as assistants on the ZEP Kids Shred program. The three tiers of training for the ZEP Junior Coaches are;

  • MENTORING & ASSESSMENT
  • CERTIFICATION
  • SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

MENTORING & ASSESSMENT

Junior Coaches will be required to shadow a minimum of 8 full day lessons, within the ZEP Kids Shred Program, between July and August. During each day, the Junior Coaches will act as assistants to the ZEP Coaches. They will be mentored in all areas of coaching, including lesson structure, guiding skills, safety and risk management, teaching skills and riding skills theory.

ZEP Junior Coaches will be assigned a personal mentor throughout the summer, helping to guide their skills, fun and progression with a bi-weekly ‘stoke and performance’ review. Junior Coaches will be graded through the season to help quantify performance to establish clear goals and help identify areas of success and areas for improvement.

Expectations, based on ZEP’s Coaching Philosophies and the PMBIA’s Code of Ethics will be clearly communicated. Participants will be expected to meet a minimum standard of professionalism, punctuality, appearance and work ethic.

Successful participants of the ZEP Junior Coach Academy will receive preferential consideration on applying to work for ZEP, in future seasons.

ZEP Junior Coaches will learn how to…

  • Meet n greet and debrief with parents
  • Perform bike and equipment checks
  • Assist or lead kids through a warm up ride
  • Assist or lead kids through safe skills lessons and games, in the field
  • Assist with rides and lessons on the trails

ZEP Junior Coaches will only be required to work as an assistant. ZEP Junior Coaches will not be responsible for any kids on their own, at any time. They will be mentored at all times by a certified, adult ZEP Coach.

CERTIFICATIONS

PMBIA Instructor

MTB instructors are required to be certified through the Professional Mountain Bike Instructor’s Association (PMBIA). ZEP, as the co-founders of the PMBIA, is the perfect home for any aspiring mountain bike coach to begin their training! The ZEP Junior Coaches will be prepped and trained on the content of the PMBIA Level 1 Instructor Course, to ensure their success when they decide to take the course.

However, the PMBIA Level 1 Course is not included in this program. Junior Coaches can choose to attend the course when they wish and are 15 yrs or older. More details on the Level 1 Instructor Course are available here: https://pmbia.org/level-1/

Wilderness First Aid

MTB instructors are also required to have first aid training. The ZEP Junior Coaches will attend a one-day in-house First Aid Training session, led by Canadian Outdoor Med; the certifying body for wilderness first aid in the sea-to-sky corridor. This will help support their own experience, when they do choose to attend the official 40hr Wilderness First Aid Course.

However, the 40hr Wilderness First Aid Course is not included in this program. Junior Coaches can choose to attend the course when they wish and are 15 yrs or older. More details on the course are available here: https://canadianoutdoormed.com/courses/

Successful completion of the ZEP Junior Coach Academy will result in a 15% discount on the PMBIA Level 1 Course.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Participants in the program will attend a one-day training session to prepare them for their time assisting on the ZEP Kids Shred program. Their skills training will continue organically through their time shadowing their mentor coach, watching and listening to them guide and teach the students. The ZEP Mentors will work with the Junior Coaches to develop their guiding skills first, building their confidence in assisting as a tail guide during trail rides. As the summer progresses, things like basic teaching skills, exercises and lesson plans, will also be included in the training.

Their own personal riding skills progression will be taken care of via the relevant ZEP Racing Program, that the Junior Coach is already attending.

REGISTRATION

Registration to the ZEP Junior Coach Academy is via application only. Interested participants must email a cover letter and resume, prior to March 31st, 2023.

The cover letter should be clearly written by the applicant themself (not their parents!) and include specific details about why they are interested in coaching, they’re personal goals for the program and if they have any relevant experience coaching, assisting, guiding, or working with younger kids.