Riding mountain bikes is great fun. It is a huge escape too - it calms busy minds, makes you focus on the here and now, and is a good exercise for your body. Making progress as a rider is equally important though. To plateau and never improve ever again should not be your aim. So how can you improve your mountain bike technique?
You can start by doing 3 things:
ride with more skilled riders;
have a purpose for each ride;
take a coaching session.
1. Follow a more skilled rider
You can learn a lot by following a more skilled rider. Try to pay attention to their body position: do they lean the bike and twist the upper body on a twist? How do they shift the bodyweight? Where are they braking? Have a chat about the trail, before and after. What were the trickier sections; how did you approach them? What can you do differently to tackle those trickier sections?
2. Have a purpose for each ride
Every time you ride your bike you should have at least one thing you want to work on. You may want to focus on your climbing technique: making sure you are putting your body closer to the front, making the rear lighter and the front heavier; or you may start including pedal kicks in the appropriate sections of the trail.
3. Take a coaching session
You'll be able to benefit even more from 1 and 2 above if you first go on a coaching session. These sessions are usually tailored to your needs, each technique will be broken down to its key movements, you will get new and essential vocabulary, and have the opportunity to get feedback on your technique and ways to improve it. If you want to improve your fitness you may also want to get a training plan.
If you follow these tips you will improve your mountain bike technique, start developing the skills to implement these techniques, and become a better and happier mountain biker.