PMBIA Level 3 Instructor Course

PMBIA LEVEL 3

5-DAY PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTOR COURSE

DESCRIPTION

The PMBI Level 3 course is for experienced instructors who want to learn more about teaching advanced to expert riders. Additionally, the course will provide the relevant tools and training to help an experienced instructor begin to transition into coaching.

The Level 3 will train instructors how to assess and develop the technical skills of riders on any terrain, up to and including black diamond and double black diamond ability levels. Instructors will also learn more about instructing vs. coaching skills, providing them with the tools necessary to either teach an expert rider on a half-day lesson, or coach someone over a weekly, monthly or even seasonal period.

This is particularly relevant for instructors who are wanting to work on long term coaching programs, including instructor training camps or race (competition) development programs, for example.

It is the aim of the PMBI Level 3 course to also complement and support existing coaching certification programs, such as those provided by the Coaching Association of Canada, to provide mountain bike coaches the full detail of information and tools they need to deliver the best possible results in their students.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE?

  • Experienced PMBI Level 2 Instructors.
  • Level 3 Retest. If you were unsuccessful on the Level 3 Course on either your riding or teaching components, you must take the two day module as your retest. This provides further training and more opportunities to learn, progress and to meet the course standards.
  • Experienced instructors wanting to learn more about assessing, developing, and refining the skills of advanced to expert riders.
  • Experienced instructors wanting to teach on more challenging terrain and black diamond trails such as “Schleyer”, “A-line” or “Dirt Merchant” (see Whistler Bike Park).
  • Experienced instructors wishing to learn more about teaching over longer time frames, such as a multi-week rider improvement camp, or a season-long race program.
  • Coaches and Instructors who wish to learn more about how to further develop the technical skills of riders and racers, to complement their physical and mental training programs.
  • Instructors wishing to learn more about the differences between instructing and coaching, and the different tools available to effectively switch between the roles, as required by the teaching situation.
  • Mountain Bike Coaching/Camp/Lesson Company Owners, Head Coaches, Race Program Coaches, Bike Park Supervisors, Instructor Trainers.

PRE-REQUISITES

  • PMBIA Level 2 Air or Trail Course, mandatory
  • Two-day Level 2 TRAIL or AIR MODULE. If you completed the 4 day Level 2 AIR course you would need to complete the 2 day Level 2 Trail module and vice versa. This will ensure riders have a diverse skill set for both riding and teaching, before attending the PMBI Level 3 Skills Coaching Course.
  • 5+ seasons working full time as a Mountain Bike Instructor.
  • 3+ Seasons Teaching Mountain Biking (or other sports such as snowboarding) to intermediate riders and beyond.
  • Confident riding at speed on all trails, including technical and flowy trails, advanced to expert terrain, including green, blue, black and double black trails.
  • 40hr Wilderness First Aid (or equivalent) mandatory.
  • 80hr Wilderness First Responder Certification (or equivalent) strongly recommended, but not mandatory.
  • A minimum age of 20 is recommended for Level 3 to ensure the instructor has not only the appropriate knowledge and technical skills, but also the depth of experience (time), risk management skills and sense of responsibility required when legally responsible for students, while teaching advanced skills in potentially dangerous terrain.
  • Other instructor or coaching certifications (skiing/snowboarding) a strong asset, but not essential.

WRITTEN PREP

Candidates must complete the following assignments prior to the course commencing, and after the course has finished. More details will be emailed to candidates, after registration. 

PRE-COURSE

  • Level 2 Worksheet  participants must complete the Level 2 Worksheet in full, prior to the course commencing. This acts as a great review of the PMBIA content, leading up to the Level 3. (Simply access the Level 2 Booklet from your “My Courses” tab, once logged in to the members read).
  • Technical Article Written Assessment – participants must submit a technical “How-To” article.
  • Level 3 Booklet & Worksheet – participants must study the booklet and be ready to complete the Level 3 worksheet, during the course.

POST COURSE

  • Long Term Coaching Plan Module – participants must submit a six week “Technical Skills Coaching Plan”

PRACTICAL PREP

Candidates must make sure to be physically, mentally, and technically ready for this course. If you need some time off or on the bike prior to the course or need to arrive early in Whistler to familiarize yourself with the terrain and dial in your riding, please take this into account. The riding and teaching standards are high, demanding full attention and focus for five days. Preparation is key to ensure the best possible learning experience. 

RIDING STANDARD & TEACHING STANDARD:

Below are some of the main examples of the riding and teaching skills required on the PMBI Level 3 course. With the Level 2 teaching and riding skills previously dialed, a Level 3 candidate should be able to confidently and consistently teach advanced riders using a variety of different instructing and coaching techniques, in any and all situations. All Performance Factors must be taken into account to effectively develop the skills of any rider, in any terrain.

Candidates are able to critically assess the skills of a student, further prioritize the skills based on the stage development for each skill, and then use a combination and/or variety of biomechanics, exercises, tasks, terrain, or maneuvers to effectively address and refine each skill deficiency, in a safe and consistent manner.

Some Terrain, Riding, and Teaching examples include;

RIDING

  • Developing and refining the technical skills of advanced to expert riders on black diamond trails
  • Developing and refining jumping skills on trails such as “A-line” and “Dirt Merchant”
  • Developing and refining technical skills on steep, rough terrain, such as “Angry Pirate” or “Schleyer”
  • High Speed cornering in flat, off-camber & banked corners (berms)
  • Steeps, rock rolls and technical terrain with roots and rocks
  • Drop-offs with different speeds and shapes (e.g. take-off angle vs landing angle)
  • Table top and gap jumps exceeding 12ft, with different speeds and shapes
  • Advanced Maneuvers; manuals, wheelies, bunnyhops, stoppies, whips

GUIDING & COACHING

  • Expert Guiding & Risk Management Skills through the Safety Rules, Class Management & Terrain Communication Protocols
  • Expert lesson structure integrating the IACRCV Skill Development Model to refine the delivery of technical information and feedback
  • Expert teaching skills to adapt parts of the Training Wheel and IDEA Progression accordingly, to suit the specific terrain and intended outcome
  • Clear Outcome-based approach with a strong understanding of not only what the students are working on and how, but also why these techniques will ultimately benefit
  • A clear understanding of instructing vs. coaching and when to favour each approach
  • Refined explanations to deliver specific, technical concepts in a simple, easy to understand presentation
  • Refined lesson content, through expert knowledge and technical understanding of the Skill Components within each of the Six Skills
  • Coaching to encompass all Performance Factors (Equipment, Environment, Technical, Tactical, Physical, Psychological) within each session
  • Mechanic skills: suspension set up with sag, rebound, compression (high and low) for all types of bike, bike fit, BB and headset maintenance, brake bleeding, basic wheel truing.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

In order for candidates to successfully gain the PMBI Level 3 Skills Coach certification, they must pass the following modules:

  • Expert Riding Exam – skill assessment on blue, black, and double black terrain.
  • Expert Skill Teaching Exam – 45-minute session developing and refining the technical skills of an expert student.
  • Expert Maneuver Teaching Exam – 25-minute session developing and refining the jumping and drop-off skills of an expert student.
  • Written Assessment – participants must submit a technical “How-To” article.
  • Long Term Coaching Plan Module – participants must submit a six week “Technical Skills Coaching Plan”

Please read through the details below for information on common questions, before emailing us:

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AGE FOR THE COURSE?
A minimum age of 20 is recommended for Level 3 to ensure the instructor has not only the appropriate knowledge and technical skills, but also the depth of experience (time), risk management skills, and sense of responsibility required when legally responsible for students, while teaching advanced skills in potentially dangerous terrain.
DO I NEED MY FIRST AID CERTIFICATE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COURSE?
No. While the PMBIA strongly recommends all instructors be a minimum 40hr Wilderness/Outdoor First Aid certified before working as an instructor or guide, you do not need a first-aid certificate, prior to participating in the course.
WILL THE COURSE RUN IF IT’S RAINING?
Yes, the course runs rain or shine. Mountain bike instructors and guides work in the outdoors. If clients want to ride in the rain or heat, within reason, the instructor or guide has to. With the exceptions of extreme weather and/or lightning, the course runs so make sure you are dressed appropriately and have spare clothes, if required. Spare socks and gloves go a long way on rainy, cold days.
WHAT RIDING SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
For the Level 3 course, you should be confident riding at speed on all trails, including technical and flowy trails, advanced to expert terrain, including green, blue, black, and double black trails. Be aware that these trail ratings are based on technical, B.C. trails that are often more challenging when compared to other riding destinations. For example, a Whistler – grade blue trail, maybe more similar to a black trail, somewhere else.
CAN I TAKE THE LEVEL 2 AND 3 IN THE SAME YEAR?
The PMBIA recommends teaching for at least two to three seasons, between passing Level 2 and signing up for Level 3. This helps consolidate all the teaching and guiding skills that are presented in Levels 1 and 2. Level 3 also requires more advanced riding skills, which may take some Level 2 instructors one, two, or even three years to learn.

However, an experienced instructor (for example, they are a Level 2 or 3 Snowboard Instructor) who is also a strong, experienced mountain biker, might be able to successfully pass both courses in the same season. Technically, once you have Level 2 you can sign up for Level 3 straight away… just be sure you are ready and you take into account the PMBIA’s recommendations.

COURSE LOGISTICS

WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION, IF I’M TRAVELLING?
PMBI courses require minimum numbers to run and while most courses do run, some do not. It is therefore very important you do not make any travel arrangements until the course is confirmed to be happening. Simply registering for a course is not a confirmation that the course will ultimately run.
WEATHER
Be ready to ride every day of the course, regardless of the weather; be sure to dress appropriately for conditions and bring spare clothes as required. The course will not be canceled due to rain or hot/cold weather. Only severe weather conditions such as heavy rain (which damages the trails), heavy snow, lightning storms or extreme heat, may result in a course being rescheduled.

To view our Booking & Cancellation Policy, please click here: pmbia.org/policies

TIMING
Please be punctual and arrive ready to listen, learn and ride! Plan your journey to the course location and if in doubt, take extra time to avoid being late. We will take up to an hour for lunch each day, between approximately 12pm – 1pm. Please bring food or money for food, depending on course location. Days typically finish between 4-5pm.
EQUIPMENT
For courses in lift-accessed, downhill bike parks (lift up, ride down):
The Level 3 course includes riding on green, blue, black, and double black mountain bike trails, with tabletop jumps and drops. We, therefore, recommend participants are comfortable riding at this level and over these features, before attending the course. The PMBIA recommends a good working downhill or modern “Enduro” bike, with 6+ inches of suspension front and rear, quality disc brakes (200mm rotors) with downhill or enduro casing tires & inserts; to help avoid pinch flats associated with harder terrain and higher speeds in bike parks.
A good condition, full-face helmet that fits correctly, and knee pads, are mandatory. Gloves, elbow pads and spine protection are recommended, but at the discretion of the individual.
OTHER EQUIPMENT
Instructors and guides must be self-reliant and therefore capable or carrying and using the following equipment. Please be sure to bring the following items as a minimum…

  • working phone
  • pen and paper
  • small backpack or hip-pack to carry these things…
    • spare tubes and patches/tubeless puncture kit
    • tire levers and pump
    • multi tool and chain tool
    • first aid kit
    • rain jacket
    • water & snacks
    • lunch, or money for lunch

RE-TESTS

IF I FAIL THE RIDING OR TEACHING PORTION OF THE COURSE, HOW DO I RE-TEST?
Re-testing is always an opportunity to learn and continue to improve. As much as we never like to see someone not completing a course, we strongly urge them to finish the training process and return for a re-test.

If you were unsuccessful on the Level 3 Course on either your riding or teaching components, you must take the two-day module as your retest. This provides further training and more opportunities to learn, progress, and to meet the course standards.

Please note: if you were unsuccessful with both riding and teaching components on the Level 3 course, you must take the full Level 3 Course again. This is due to the additional training that is needed to meet the required standards in both riding and teaching components of the course. Candidates will be offered a 15% discount on their second course.

Timeline

  • Timeline: Level 3 re-tests have two calendar years to complete the re-test. Failure to complete the re-test within the deadline will require the candidate to take the full Level 3 course again.
  • Successful re-tests will receive a certificate dating from the time they first took the full, Level 3 Course and not the date of the re-test.

Please make sure you have taken the appropriate time and practice to genuinely improve your riding or teaching, before signing up for a re-test. Not taking enough time and/or not being aware enough of your own progress, are by far the most common reasons why re-tests are not successful.

TO REGISTER for a re-test, please sign up for the Level 3 Module, here

RE-CERTIFICATION & MEMBERSHIP

HOW LONG DOES MY PMBI CERTIFICATION LAST? DO I NEED TO RE-CERTIFY?
The PMBIA certification is valid for three years. If you wish to remain up to date you must either take a development module, the next level of certification course, or a Re-certification course, before your certification becomes older than three years and expires. This ensures our members maintain a minimum level of competency and skill, to ensure the PMBIA upholds a professional standard within the industry.
HOW DO I RE-CERTIFY MY LEVEL 3?
Level 3 Instructors must re-certify every 3 years. Simply sign up for a two-day, Level 3 Module to re-certify and brush up on those skills! For more details, check out the Level 3 Module, here.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO RENEW MY MEMBERSHIP & WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
To be a member, you must have a current PMBI certification (see above) and pay for a yearly membership. Annual PMBIA membership will allow you to enjoy its many benefits including access to all the latest teaching materials, pro-deals, newsletters, training tools, and more.

The memberships fees also help genuinely support the PMBIA. These fees go directly towards paying for the administration of the association, developing new course materials, website and resource improvements, researching new locations, building new industry partnerships, and a whole lot more!

INJURIES

I HAVE HAD AN INJURY OR CONCUSSION THAT IS STILL AFFECTING ME. SHOULD I DISCLOSE THIS INFORMATION IN THE REGISTRATION PROCESS AND SHOULD I STILL PARTICIPATE IN THE COURSE?
The PMBIA strongly recommends not registering or attending a course if you are not 100% physically and mentally capable; this is especially important if you have recently suffered a concussion.

Please let us know if you have any prior injuries, before registering for the course.
You will be riding and thinking (a lot) for multiple days. The PMBI courses are physically and mentally demanding. Please consult your physician for a professional opinion on your physical condition, should you have any concerns.

I HURT MYSELF RIDING AFTER I REGISTERED (BUT BEFORE THE COURSE) AND CAN NO LONGER ATTEND THE COURSE. WILL I GET A REFUND?
This sounds like an obvious thing to say, but if you’ve paid your money and signed up for a PMBI course, you should be taking it easy and making smart decisions so you don’t get hurt riding, before the course. It is your responsibility to make sure you are healthy and ready to participate.

For any injury-related cancellations, a doctor’s note will be required and you will be offered a 50% refund or space on another course. Please contact us as soon as possible if you think you will not be able to attend due to injury at info@pmbia.org

PMBI courses require minimum numbers to run. They also require many logistics, including trail permits for specific dates, detailed scheduling, travel, and accommodation of course staff, and are confirmed two weeks prior to the start date. It is for these reasons this refund-injury policy exists to ensure the not-for-profit PMBIA and it’s course participants, do not suffer from last-minute cancellations.

Please note, the PMBI Level 2, plus either the L2 AIR Module, or the L2 TRAIL Module are mandatory requirements before registering for Level 3.

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