Monica Eden is one of two recruits on to British Cycling's annual Coach Scholarship programme, which provides a wide variety of coach development opportunities across all of cycling's key disciplines.
Here, the talented track rider describes her activities over the past couple of months which have seen her reaquaint herselp with the Talent Team set up, put her First Aid phobias behind her and gain plenty of new ideas to take back to her own club sessions!
"With every month that passes, the scholarship seems to get better and better. October was the busiest so far and certainly one of the most enjoyable!
Our first challenge this month was helping out with Talent Team selections for Road and Track, MTB and BMX. As the riders undertook their gruelling Watt bike tests, I could relate all too well to the pain of those three minute exersions.
Name: Monica Eden
Since first riding competitively at the age of 15, I have been part of British Cycling's Talent Team and gained numerous top 10 places nationally in a range of events including a bronze at the National Junior Women's Road Race.
Currently I help out with coaching with Eastland's Velo Cycling Club and I am hoping the scholarship programme will provide me with the skills to reach my potential as a coach in order to help more people enjoy the benefits of cycle sport.
After selections I was invited to help the Talent Team coaches on their four day induction camp in North Wales. This was a camp full of new driving experiences such as following a group out on the road and loading and driving the British Cycling Vans. I relished to the opportunity to get more involved in every aspect of coaching and these were some important skills that I hope to need in the future.
Getting to know this year’s new crop of riders was good fun and helping them improve their riding and learn some important off bike skills felt worthwhile as they really took on board the advice we gave them.
The final day of the camp was a day of cycle speedway and it was fantastic to see a new discipline for the first time and the different coaching points involved.
In the last couple of weeks my first aid skills have been put to the test as a coach, with injuries from cuts and scrapes to a fractured hip. Usually I am the most squeamish person; I literally can’t even watch an episode of Holby City without feeling nauseas, but it's amazing how quickly ‘coach mode’ kicks in and you deal with what ever is thrown at you.
This coping mechanism is probably helped by the fact that as a rider I did crash quite a lot; at the time I thought I was pushing the boundaries but I now think I was just a bit accident prone. The upside of this is the scars from these various crashes do come in handy as a coaching tool. Our club is currently trying to stem an outbreak of mitt-less riders and the scars on my knuckles are quite a good demonstration of why you should always wear mitts.
This month I also got involved with BMX racing at the BMX School Launch on Friday October 21st. Former scholar Amy Willoughby invited Justin Knox and I to help out with proceedings. My job for the afternoon was based at the finish line frantically catching the order of the riders coming through the finish line. Now this sounds quite easy but when there are numbers on the boards like 9.4 it’s quite hard to see!
All of these events have given me plenty of ideas for our Eastland’s Velo riders for the next few months and I’m hoping to give them more opportunities to develop their riding.
Next month there is another two Talent Team camps to get involved with and no doubt some other surprises lined up for another action packed month."
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