Student Athletes

how many student athletes are registered with NICA



number of coaches in state of arkansas

NICA Coaching

Coaching for NICA is a fun and fulfilling experience, and one of the best parts of it is that anyone can do it! You don’t have to know how to shred those trails or catch that air to help out — we’ll teach you the skills you need to train your team’s student athletes. You can contribute as much of your time as your schedule allows, and coaching is often fun for parents, as they have a common activity and can spend more time with their kids. There are even ways to help out with a team that don’t involve biking, such as organizing race weekend food or activities and communicating with parents. However you decide to help, we want you to know that it will be appreciated. Coaching is the lifeblood of our organization, and we couldn’t do it without you.

Stay tuned for more info on the 2024 Arkansas Coaching Conference to be held in June 2024 in NWA.

The Arkansas-NICA Leaders’ Summit is our annual event that provides coaches with the opportunity to learn about the Arkansas League structure and processes, how to start a mountain bike team and run student mountain biking practices, how to work with their schools, issues related to liability, and the unique intricacies of working with high school and middle school cyclists. The primary goal for the Leaders’ Summit is to teach and license adults as competent NICA coaches while sharing a combined passion for the sport and the NICA vision.  The summit is an ideal opportunity for coaches and team organizers to collaborate and network with each other and league leadership, share thoughts and best practices, and get charged up for the upcoming season. Click on the Eventbrite link below to learn more about the event and agenda. 


Thinking About Coaching?

Watch this brief video to hear from other coaches about their experiences. Now that you are super stoked to get involved, consider helping your local team or starting a team in your area or school. You can do this, and we will help.

How to become a nica coach

Becoming a NICA coach may seem confusing, but it really is simple! Here are 4 steps to help you get started with NICA!

  • Connect with a Team

    Does your son or daughter ride with their school team? Do you have a school in your community that you would like to coach with? Is there a school that you would to start a NICA team in? Whatever your situation, we have a path for you! If the school you want to coach in already has a NICA team, get started by talking with the team head coach/director. If there is not a team in a school or area where you are located, please take a look at our Start A Team page to get started bringing NICA to you!

  • Coach Licensing

    The head coach of the team will send you an invitation to the pit zone, which is our registration system. Before you can work with student athletes, you must register for NICA ($25 in Arkansas), pass a background check and do some safety and risk management training online.

  • Start Going to Practice

    You don't have to be a skilled mountain biker to be a NICA coach. You may find that the best place for you is to help lead before practice stretches, or making sure each student has a helmet, water and a spare bike tube. You can be the team sweep that rides behind the team to make sure no one is left behind, or you can be the team lead that pushes each student athlete to try their hardest. Whatever it is, we have a place and a need for you!

  • Build Your Skills

    You don't have to be a mountain biker to start being a NICA coach, but you sure can build your skills through NICA and learn to be a skilled mountain biker! Through NICA practices and NICA National training resources, you can build your skills fast! 

Commonly Asked Coaching Questions

Not at all! Many of the best coaches across NICA leagues had no experience when they started.

NICA GRiT (Girls Riding Together) focuses on getting more girls on bikes !

We have some amazing student ambassadors all throughout the state of Arkansas that are working to recruit girls on their teams and make sure the girls in their area are having a ton of fun on bikes. They are leading group rides, encouraging other girls, helping girls with skills, grabbing coffee or ice cream or whatever is needed to make sure all the girls in NICA are having a wonderful time! But, in order to run the NICA GRiT program safely and effectively, we need lots of help! We need women coaches who also want to get more girls on bikes in their area of NICA. This means, coming to GRiT events, mentoring/helping the Ambassadors, being super encouraging and just being creative in helping girls have a ton of fun riding their bike.

If this sounds fun to you, we want you to join us as a GRiT coach! You do need to be registered in the Pit Zone as a NICA Coach, but it is not required that you are part of a school team. You can just be focused on GRiT! Find out more information here! 


Arkansas NICA Teams

Blue Markers are Current Teams.

Purple Markers are Developing Teams

Current Coach Resources

Coaches Licensing and License Renewal

The purpose of NICA Coach License Program is to provide comprehensive training to NICA coaches so that they are equipped to provide quality programming to NICA student-athletes that meet national standards and best practices and develops strong mind, body and character.

Please follow this link to NICA national coach licensing requirements. 

COACH Toolkit

Once you are a registered coach, you have access to an abundance of resources. Additionally, you are fully insured when working with student-athletes at all practices and races. As a way of saying thank you, NICA also provides you industry benefits on bikes & equipment. Check out all the resources available to you as a NICA coach.

  • Start
    A Team

  • Coach

  • NICA

  • Pit Zone

  • Coach

  • Financial