Where We Are Now & Where We Are Going

Within the last couple years mental health has been a hot topic. The benefits of physical activity, connecting with nature, and the power of community have all been recognized as a vital role in our health and well-being. I like many others struggle at times, so I have reaped the benefits of getting on my bike, connecting with nature, and giving back to the community through coaching. Mental and physical health are both improved with mountain biking. Health is going to be an on going topic as I feel very strongly that we need to stay connected to maintain a high level of wellness. We are a community that thrives on each other to keep this sport going.

Scroll through the health and fitness section of your favorite mountain bike forum and you’ll see a plethora of questions about recovering from and avoiding injuries. You ride long enough, you’re bound to go down at some point. This means our physical strength has to withstand some sort of trauma. We’ll dive deeper into the important of resistance training for injury mitigation and recovery.

The complexity of our sport is not news to you. From the fancy suspension designs that ooze engineering genius to gadgets that monitor everything from our power output to heart rate variability (HRV), and modern GPS devices that are accurate to within a couple feet.

Let’s bring this full circle – Mountain biking can have a positive impact on our mental health and physical health, require us to meet a certain level of physical demand, and provide us a chance to use technology to analyze every bit of ourselves. Over our time together, we’ll explore each of these. Each one will guide us into deeper discussions that will bring on new topics. It’ll be a never ending treasure trove of opportunities for us to engage.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my passion and knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years in the mountains, bike shops, classrooms, and laboratories. – Coach Daniel Heller

Published by: Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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