Start A Team

Most mountain bike teams start small and grow quickly; it’s a tremendous challenge but highly rewarding! The first step for many potential coaches and team organizers is attending our spring coaches conference, Leaders Summit.


Administrators, teachers, parents, students and/or community members can start a cycling club at their local school. While it is not necessary that the person who initiates the 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 teen cyclists. Extensive cycling experience is not necessary. One should simply have the desire to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking. Once you have decided to create a team, the League can help educate you and provide you with all the tools necessary to be an excellent coach.


An Arkansas League mountain bike team can be any size, as long as correct coach-to-student-athlete ratios (6:1) are abided by. Teams can be associated with a school or a composite team for multiple schools in a geographic area.


The Arkansas League includes the entire state. Neighboring states may participate if a League does not currently exist in that region. Click below to see where the latest Arkansas teams are located.




  • 1

    Step 1

    Decide you want to start a team! Contact Terry or Bob Ocken to get the process started.

  • 2

    Step 2

    Hold an info meeting for your community. Can be virtual or in-person. You, the local person, do the outreach and get people to the meeting. Arkansas NICA will provide the content and expertise to get the community excited about starting a team and answer any questions the community has. (Generally happening in the winter but it's never too late!)

  • 3

    Step 3

    Recruit coaches, get coaches to training events. Parents are the best people to recruit. You can assure them that they don't need to be an expert biker - Arkansas NICA will teach them how to teach bike skills to kids. (And teach bike skills to them in the process!).

  • 4

    Step 4

    Host a Try-It-Out. Coordinate with Terry to schedule. We most often do a coach training in the morning with a two hour try-it-out event for students in the afternoon. Arkansas NICA brings the bikes and instructors, You bring the kids!

  • 5

    Step 5

    Plan and begin preseason events and practices! You're ready to go!

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 General Volunteer License, but the Team Director does need to take steps toward obtaining a NICA Head Coach License.  Please email btufford@arkansasmtb.org if you have more questions.

NICA National Team Starter Kit: