Coach Training

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.

Join the NCICL Coaches Group

The NCICL Coaches Group on Facebook is a group for sharing resources, ideas, and an avenue for communication among coaches.

Post your questions, resources, ideas, successes, and everything else NCICL related – this is your coaching community!

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.

Click here for more information about NICA Coach License requirements


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.

Leader Summit:

NICA National hosts online 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 Leader Summit is a Level 3 requirement, and best of all – this training is free!

NICA Coach Licensing has scheduled another round of Online Leader Summit Sessions in February in preparation of the 2022 Fall season – seasons are open for our coaches as well!!

Upcoming Sessions:

February 21st-25th @ 9:00pm EST
February 28th-March 4th @ 3:00pm EST

For more information, and to REGISTER, click HERE

Coach Retreats:

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.

NCICL is hosting 3 Coach Retreats and 1 GRiT Retreat for the 2022 season.  Content between Coach Retreats and GRiT Retreat will be the same (with the GRiT Retreat being an all female training and with a bit more focus on our GRiT Program) and each retreat will be limited to 30 coaches (minimum registration needed to hold each Coach Retreat is 15 coaches). Coaches will earn CEUs by attending a Coach Retreat.

Training Topics Include:

  • Ride Leading (Practical)
  • Coach Practices/Meetings (Recruiting, Training, Empowering) (Discussion)
  • Coaching: Beyond the Bike (Practical)
  • Supporting Female Coaches and Student-Athletes (Discussion
9/18-19/2021Coach Retreat #1Kanuga
Hendersonville, NC
9/25-26/2021Coach Retreat #2Lake James State Park
Nebo, NC
10/16-17/2021Coach Retreat #3Lake Norman State Park
Troutman, NC
10/23-24/2021GRiT RetreatLake Norman State Park
Troutman, NC

GRiT Retreat: 

The NCICL 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.

NCICL is hosting 1 GRiT Retreat for the 2022 season, and will be limited to 30 coaches (minimum registration needed to hold the GRiT Retreat is 10 coaches).  Content between Coach Retreats and GRiT Retreat will be the same – with the GRiT Retreat having a bit more focus on our GRiT Program. Coaches attending the GRiT Retreat will earn CEUs.

Topics Topics Include:

  • Female Coaches: A Key to the Success of Student-Athletes and NICA (Discussion)
  • Ride Leading (Practical)
  • Yoga for Mountain Bikers (Practical)
  • Coaching: Beyond the Bike (Practical)
  • Coach Practices/Meetings (Recruiting, Training, Empowering) (Discussion)
10/23-24/2021 GRiT RetreatLake Norman State Park
Troutman, NC

On-the-Bike Skills:

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 and provides them the opportunity to learn how to teach skill progressions, intermediate skills, as well as how to utilize game play when teaching skills to their student-athletes.

On-the-Bike Skills clinics for the 2022 season will be held in August(registration with exact locations and details will open in early July)

8/7/2021OTBS 201IC Imagine Charter School, Asheville
8/8/2021OTBS 101 (2 clinics)IC Imagine Charter School, Asheville
8/14/2021OTBS 201Big Branch Bike Park, Jacksonville
8/15/2021OTBS 101 (2 clinics)Big Branch Bike Park, Jacksonville
8/21/2021OTBS 101Forest Ridge Park, Wake Forest
Bur-Mil Park, Greensboro
8/22/2021OTBS 101Chapel Hill
Salisbury Community Park, Salisbury
8/28/2021OTBS 201Dark Mountain, Wilkesboro
8/29/2021OTBS 101 (2 clinics)Dark Mountain, Wilkesboro

NEW TEAMS forming for the 2022 season: We will work with teams forming after the start of the preseason to set up a clinic, with any available spaces opened up to the league.

First Aid:

Mountain biking is an inherently risky activity and 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. 

Substitutions for your NICA First Aid RequirementCertain professions and associated training often exceed NICA’s first aid requirements. If you have qualifications on this list, just upload the corresponding documentation directly into Pit Zone in place of your first aid certification.
Acceptable Substitutions List
Petitioning for Additional SubstitutionsTo substitute a training not included in the above list, please use this application form. 
First Aid Substitution Application

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