Most of our teams start small and grow quickly; it’s a tremendous challenge but highly rewarding! The first step for many successful coaches is attending our coaches conference, a.k.a. the Leaders Summit. We typically host the summit in September of each year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Leader’s Summit and to get involved!
For valuable resources on starting a team, check out NICA’s Team Starter Kit.
Who Can Start a Team?
Administrators, teachers, parents, students and/or community members can start a cycling club at their local school or in their town. While it is not necessary that the person who initiates a school-based club be a school “insider” (teacher or administrator), this can be very useful. A teacher, administrator or school volunteer within the school possesses certain advantages, such as knowledge of the school community, bureaucratic systems and channels, and how to access potential team members. Extensive cycling experience is not necessary. One should simply have the desire to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking and the dedication to see it through. Once you have decided to create a team, the League will help educate you and provide you with all of the tools necessary to be an excellent coach.
New Jersey League mountain bike teams are comprised of students in grades 6 through 12, and can be any size, as long as correct coach-to-student-athlete ratios are met. We forbid 1 on 1 interactions with students, and require a student to coach ratio which does not exceed 8 to 2. No more than a 6 to 1 ratio is often ideal.
The New Jersey League welcomes families from the entire state. Neighboring states may participate if a League does not currently exist in that region, or if most convenient for the family. Out of state families should contact us via email to gain approval. Click here to see where the latest New Jersey teams are located.
October: Registration for New Jersey League teams opens in October. At this time anyone who intends to coach a team should register with the League so that they are covered under our insurance. New teams may form at any time throughout the season, but early October affords you a “full” first year experience.
October 15 – December 1: Pre-season. Teams can commence limited activities on October 15th. Allowable pre-season activities are bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops and skills clinics. Between October 15th and December 1st, teams are allowed to have up to 6 scheduled pre-season activities, which must be approved by the League director and comply with NICA’s team training limits.
December 1- Late-June: Regular season training practice (Typically 2-4 times a week, with 4 practices maximum) can commence on December 1st. All team rides or other training activities must end no later than two weeks after the final League race. A more detailed description can be found in the rulebook (PDF).
NICA Coaches License Program
For more information about the NICA licensed coach program, please click here. Coaches on new teams need only obtain a NICA Level 1 Certification, but the Team’s Head Coach does need to take steps toward obtaining a NICA Level 3 License which will be required to maintain compliance in subsequent years. Please email email@example.com if you have more questions, and we look forward to riding with you as we get #morekidsonbikes in the Garden State!