Coaching is done almost unnoticed when you ride in a group. For example, you point to a pole. Or on coming traffic, so we have to weave.
Those at the front of a group do that self-evidently. Further on, the signals are sometimes lost. For example, by those who are talking to one another and not passing on the signal. The ones behind them can then at times be unpleasantly surprised by a pole seemingly coming out of nowhere.
You also coach one another to position oneself better in a crosswind. If there’s not much wind, you don’t feel from which direction the wind is blowing when you’re leading the group. The ones behind you notice that much better, and are thus in a better position to know where the leaders should ride. Calling out “bit left” or “bit right” will get them in the right place quickly.
Remember to perform all the directional changes slowly.
See also: Anticipation and slowly make changes
If someone makes in your eyes a “mistake” you try to teach him what he does wrong and how it could be done better.
You tell concretely what behavior of the other you have observed. For example: “Did you notice that you rode there and there around a puddle?” Then you indicate what the effect was on you or the others in the group: “Behind you, there was a disturbance in the group and that is not so safe”, only then indicate how it could be better: “Next time, you could also …. “.
Putting it this way sounds forced, unnatural and exaggerated. But you get the idea: do not scold, but point out in a quiet way what your observations are concretely and how it could be resolved in a better way. You might also explain why that way would be a better way. That always helps 🙂
Often it is better not to give immediate feedback if something goes wrong. A little later on you can talk probably a bit more relaxed and the other one is more open to criticism.
“May I say something?”, “Is it a good idea if …”. “As for me …” are starting phrases that leave much room to the other.
If there is an (informal) hierarchy, (experience-inexperienced rider) the message can be relayed a bit firmer: “The next time you take head on, you do that so and so …” Obviously it in a friendly tone.
Of course you sometimes scream from fright or irritation. You might then clear the air first by saying something like “Sorry I yelled. I was startled, so, could I ask you … “
To receive feedback
Recieving feedback is as difficult as giving feedback. But if you do it well you will learn from it and in addition to that, the other feels free to give you more tips. Don’t answer right away with “Yes, but”. Ask first “What was it exactly what I did, what happened, and what do you want me to do differently?” Only then can you argue, if necessary, if you don’t agree with it.
Feedback is difficult
Giving and receiving feedback is not easy, especially with precious little air in your lungs and a screaming terror in your legs. You do not have to do exactly by the book. Cyclists are used to being yelled at 😉.
Weak legs, big mouth
In a cycling group, the “leaders” tend to be those with the strongest legs. They may also be those with the loudest voices. And often they’re the same :). That does not have to be the case always. It is quite a performance when those with the weakest legs still coach others if that helps themself or the group as a whole. When riding in an echelon, for example, you put the weaker riders on the lee side of the stronger riders. In a team time trial it is even imperative that the weaker rider coach the others.
See also: Learning
See also: Mindset and group dynamics
Another case is if you ride through a busy street, then it can very well be a “weaker” rider who ensures that the pace gets dropped. It’s also more friendly towards the dwellers and other road users. And it won’t harm our image….