The North Carolina League recognizes coaches as the most essential component of successful mountain bike teams and we offer many opportunities and resources that can help you grow more comfortable and confident in your role as a coach.
The NICA Coach License Program was introduced to ensure that all North Carolina League student-athletes have adult leaders familiar with the best coaching practices. All Licensed Coaches have been background checked and have received training in topics that include: Athlete Abuse Awareness, Risk Management, Coaching Philosophy, and have received Concussion Training.
Coach License Levels
To work with our student-athletes, all coaches must meet the NICA licensure requirements at one of three levels:
Level 1 Certification: Assists all coaches as directed by the Head Coach.
Level 2 Certification: Assists level 3 coaches with advanced tasks such as teaching skills and leading rides.
Level 3 Certification: Takes a leadership role within the team. Equivalent competencies as Head Coach.
The North Carolina League offers various opportunities for coaches to gain the confidence and skills needed to guide our student-athletes out on the trails. Much of the training offered is held in late Summer/early Fall ahead of the pre-season.
NICA National hosts virtual trainings that provide coaches the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of what it means to be a NICA Coach while being able to interact with coaches from across the country! This training is a great introduction to coaching, and perfect for new coaches. Attending a Leaders’ Summit is a Level 3 requirement, and best of all – this training is free!
Leaders’ Summits are typically held in the Fall leading into our pre-season.
Coach Retreats are ideal for returning Level 2 and Level 3 Coaches and pairs discussion-based training with experiential learning that progresses beyond the trainings that are part of the licensure requirements. These events are hosted over a weekend that allows for camping, riding, and camaraderie with fellow coaches from across NC.
Coach Retreats are typically held in the Fall leading into our pre-season.
North Carolina Coach Supporters are experienced and trained coaches who teach coaches HOW to teach mountain bike skills to our student-athletes. On-the-Bike Skills 101 (a Level 2 requirement) teaches coaches how to teach fundamental mountain bike skills while On-the-Bike Skills 201 is designed for those coaches who actively teach skills for their team the opportunity to learn how to teach more progressive and advances skills to their student-athletes.
On-the-Bike Skills clinics are typically held in the late Summer/early Fall throughout the state. Clinics may pop up into the pre-season and offered for new teams first, with open spaces available to the league.
Our GRiT Retreat is an all-female space for experienced/returning female coaches to connect, learn and develop as NICA coaches in support of the overall GRiT goal of reaching at least 33% female student-athletes participation within the league by 2023.
GRiT Retreats are typically held in the Fall leading into our pre-season.
As mountain biking is an inherently risky activity, it is crucial for our coaches to be properly trained to handle injuries out on the trail. As the North Carolina League is not a medical provider we are not able to provide our own training and must rely on opportunities available from outside licensed providers.
Level 2 Coach Requirement: Basic First Aid (4+ hours) for coaches practicing/riding within one hour of definitive care and Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) for any coaches practicing/riding further than 1 hour from definitive care.
Level 3 Coach Requirement: NICA Approved First Aid (8 hours) for coaches practicing/riding within one hour of definitive care and Wilderness First Aid (16 hours) for any coaches practicing/riding further than 1 hour from definitive care.
Time to definitive care means approximately how long it would take for Emergency Medical Services to reach, evacuate and deliver a critically injured patient to a hospital.
For more information regarding the first aid requirements for Level 2 and Level 3 Coaches, please see the NICA Coach License Program – First Aid Requirements