All posts by

Kristin Stickels

Recently, I asked my fellow paddlers what they considered to be some of the best ways to improve one’s paddling ability. Whether you are aiming to make your local team’s boat or earn a spot on the national team, these wise words from some of the top paddlers in the USA are sure to help you up your game! 1. Listen to feedback. Be humble and open to coaching….there is always room for improving. Take your coach’s advice. Feedback is a good thing, ask the coach where you need improvement. Listen to your coach

Physical strength. Mental strength. Attitudinal strength. Behavioral strength. All four strengths are crucial components of a paddling team. To make the boat the strongest it can possibly be, each person should identify (with the help of the coaching group and captains) what their two preferred strengths are and cultivate those in and out of the boat. We tend to focus on physical strength because that seems intuitive to a sport, but strengths are not only physical in nature, they are also mental, attitudinal, and behavioral. Physical strength is measured as “strength-to-weight ratio”. While weight

We all love racing. We wouldn’t be paddlers if we didn’t love the thrill of the race and the joy of the winning. But yes, it happens. There are at least a few on nearly every team; those paddlers who love the glory of racing (and posting the multiple photos to Facebook while posing with the trophies), but they don’t seem to truly understand how important training and team practices are. They show up to training sessions sporadically and when race selections are announced, they don’t understand why they haven’t been

Admit it, we’ve all been there. We’re on the boat, the coach says something completely innocent, and we all giggle just a little under our breath. Why? Paddling is filled with hilariously warped statements and commands that are actually 100% paddle-related. To an outsider, they sound twisted. Downright perverted. And yes, they make us laugh. So, in honor of Friday, and spring, here are a few dragon boat sayings to make you laugh and brighten your day. Enjoy! – Give me 2 more inches – Lower your hand on the shaft

Let’s talk about paddle length. In this situation, size most definitely matters and when you are dealing with too many inches, it can be a major problem. When your paddle is too long, your body does strange things to compensate for it while trying to get the paddle out of the water at the back end of the stroke in order to get the paddle back up to the front end of your stroke. This can result in either shoulder injury (what happened to me when I had a 50″

I came across this graph a few years ago and it stuck with me. Of course, this graph can be applied to anything in life, but I really liked it in the context of paddling. We have all seen new paddlers come out, try the sport, and never come back. Why? Because they got frustrated and didn’t have the perseverance to continue past their first training session. We’ve also seen the paddlers who come out for a month or so, aren’t happy with their progress so they don’t ever really

Dragon Boater’s Core Workout #2 The first core workout was such a hit that I thought I would add a few more exercises to it. Do each of the following exercises for one minute: Crunches: Note that the hands are only resting on the head, not pulling on it. You can just touch your fingertips to the side of your head to be sure. Crunches with knees up: Shins horizontal, bring the knees close to the chest as you come up. Leg raises: Start from 1 inch off the ground and don’t go more

Many fellow paddlers have asked me what I eat to stay fueled AND stay in shape, so I thought I would share some of my own strategies with you here. This is what works for me. I will write another blog soon about general nutrition. One of my first (and probably most important!) rules is to avoid eating food your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize. What do I mean by this? Well, real food like broccoli, apples, chicken, oats, etc. would all be recognizable by someone who was born in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

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