Leaders Summit

North Carolina League Leaders Summit 2019: Comprehensive Leadership for Youth Coaches

September 14-15, 2019
Western Piedmont Community College Foothills Higher Education Center
2128 S Sterling St.
Morganton, NC 28655
Leaders Summit 2019

Leaders Summit 2019

The weekend of September 14th and     15th, we made our way westerly to   Morganton, NC for our 4th Annual     NCICL Leaders Summit. This event   brought together coaches and volunteers .   —both new and experienced—to develop skills and knowledge, share strategies, and build community.

New coaches learned what you need to know about NICA’s philosophy, how to work with Student-Athletes, and how to run a team. Attending this LS met their requirement to get to Level 3. On-the-bike 101 training was offered on Sunday, for a limited number of participants. Priority was given to coaches of new teams. Remaining spaces were then be filled by new coaches with existing teams. We limited the number of participants in on-the-bike classes to enable more feedback and a better experience for coaches. We offered additional on-the-bike 101 and 201 classes throughout the fall in different locations.

For experienced coaches and volunteers, we had a new track this year with content just for them. For experienced coaches that have already been to a Leaders Summit, this LS counted as continuing education credits that they needed to maintain their coaching level (exact credits TBD, but no less than 6).

As with previous Leaders Summits, some of the most effective learning comes from peers. To ensure that we continued learning from each other, we solicited presentations from current NCICL Coaches. 

After our classroom session on Saturday, we went for a group ride, then had a Saturday night dinner and social at Fonta Flora Brewery at Whipperwhool Farm, which is minutes from the Lake James trailhead (see below for details).

Our classroom sessions continued Sunday morning (except for SOLO participants, who will spent the day in SOLO training).

Registration included lunch each day, lights snacks and refreshments, Saturday evening dinner and any conference materials (provided electronically if applicable). Registration did not include lodging or breakfast. Please see information below on lodging options.

Date: 9/13 (Friday: Overmountain Cycles):

Friday Evening (5:00 PM – 7:00 PM)

For those who arrived Friday evening, Burke Bearcats coach Michael Lowther hosted a very casual open house at his shop – Overmountain Cycles. Coaches who arrived before 7 p.m., were free to stop by to say hello, and perhaps grab a beverage from the Fonta Flora tasting room next door to his shop.

Date: 9/14 (Saturday: Western Piedmont Community College Foothills Higher Ed Center):


Saturday Check In / Registration (8:00 AM -8:30 AM)

Saturday Classroom (8:30 AM -4:30 PM)

Saturday’s seminars covered the nuts and bolts of working with high school student-athletes in the context of a NICA mountain bike club – basic knowledge all NICA Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Ride Leaders should be aware of and incorporate into their duties.

A differentiated track was available for experienced coaches that have previously attended a Leaders Summit, which included Teen Trail Corp and our Adventure program.

Saturday Ride (5:00-6:30 PM)

Following Saturday’s classroom session, we had planned to depart for Lake James trailhead (approximately 25-minute drive) and ride the Lake James trails but it rained the night before and we couldn’t ride. (https://www.trailforks.com/region/lake-james-state-park/).

Lake James Trails Picture: NW NC MTB Alliance

Saturday Evening Social (7:30 PM)

Later Saturday evening we made the jaunt to Fonta Flora Brewery’s beautiful Whipperwool Farm, where we had a casual dinner in a semi-private setting. We also had a chance to try out some of their beer and with dinner on-site. This was a great chance to mix with your fellow coaches!

Fonta Flora Brewery at Whippoorwill Farm

Date: 9/15 (Sunday: Western Piedmont Community College Foothills Higher Ed Center):

8:30-4:30 (SOLO Participants Only)
SOLO First Aid (Satisfies Level 3 First Aid Requirement)

This 8 hour front-country first aid course was designed for mountain bikers and satisfied the first aid requirement to get to a Level 3 coaching certification (this will also satisfy level 2). CPR Certification was included in this training.

8:30 AM to 12:00 PM (All Other Participants)
We started the morning back at Western Piedmont Community College Foothills Higher Ed Center for a few more classroom sessions.

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM


1:00 – 4:30 PM


NICA On-the-Bike Skills 101
In Sunday’s clinic, coaches learned the NICA-endorsed training method, which includes the progressive steps needed to teach anyone (even yourself) both basic and advanced mountain biking skills. Coaches also learned about experiential teaching techniques, how to accommodate different learning styles, and how to create a positive learning environment for young riders. The majority of this clinic was held outdoors. Attendees brought their bike and appropriate riding and safety gear for the weather.

Group Ride: TBD

A limited number of partial and full scholarships are available for those who need financial assistance. For more information, please contact Mike Long, mike@northcarolinamtb.org.


Quality Inn

2400 South Sterling Street

Morganton, NC 28655



$71.10/night + taxes & fees

Group Name: NCICL (room block active through 8/22)


Please note: In addition to drive-in tent camping, Lake James has boat-in and walk-in camping. Please make sure that you’re booking the correct type of site.