How Jake Johnstone is Revolutionizing Mountain Bike Coaching

You might not have heard of Jake Johnstone before, but his impact in the mountain biking community is undeniable. Hailing from Squamish with roots in Australia and experience on the renowned north shore, Jake’s journey through mountain bike instructing has been transformative. What sets him apart? It all started with a pivotal moment during a coaching session. Despite trying various exercises and tools, Jake encountered a client struggling with a persistent mental block. This encounter sparked a realization: traditional coaching methods weren’t always effective in addressing the psychological aspects of mountain biking.

Jake’s journey began on the shores as a PMBIA certified instructor, where he discovered his passion for helping others improve their riding skills. Witnessing the joy that came from small breakthroughs in riders’ confidence and control fuelled his dedication. However, it was the encounter with the rider facing a mental barrier that propelled Jake into uncharted territory. As he recalls, “Her body knew what to do, and she believed she could do it, but her mind would not let her. I was lost for words.” This experience ignited Jake’s quest for a more holistic approach to mountain bike coaching.

Driven by this realization, Jake immersed himself in further education, focusing on psychology, mental training, and grit. He sought out coaches to guide him through his own mental and physical challenges on the bike while absorbing techniques to help others navigate similar issues. This journey culminated in the creation of The Mind Mountain—a platform offering coaching events and invaluable educational content.

At the heart of The Mind Mountain lies the Grit With Wisdom podcast, hosted by Jake himself. With each episode, Jake delves deep into the psyche of mountain bikers, exploring the mental and emotional aspects that underpin the sport. Whether interviewing top racers, ambassadors, or coaches, the podcast aims to destigmatize conversations surrounding feelings and emotions in mountain biking, making it essential listening for enthusiasts and athletes alike.

But The Mind Mountain isn’t just about dialogue—it’s about action. Jake has developed a unique coaching approach centered on four key areas: Technical Bike Skills, Equipment Setup, Physical Fitness, and Mental & Emotional Mindset. These elements form the interconnected parts of a rider’s “wheel,” and through various lesson formats, Jake ensures that each aspect is balanced and optimized. Whether through group courses or private lessons, Jake equips riders with the tools they need to elevate their biking experience.

What sets Jake apart from other coaching services in the Pacific Northwest is his unwavering focus on the mental aspect of riding. Mental health is often overlooked in sports discussions, yet its impact on athletes, regardless of skill level, is profound. With The Mind Mountain, Jake has collaborated with Squamish-based Clinical Counsellor and Mountain Biker, Tori Wood, to challenge this stigma and empower athletes and casual riders alike to overcome mental barriers.

If you’re intrigued by Jake’s approach, be sure to explore The Mind Mountain website, tune in to the podcast, and share this valuable resource with your friends. Together, we can revolutionize mountain bike coaching and foster a community where mental well-being is prioritized and celebrated.

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