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Dragon Boating

As a former teacher and a current coach, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the learning process of individuals. Whether it is academic material or athletic movements, learning new things is a difficult endeavor which can be frustrating. When newbies come out to paddle for the first time, it is important for coaches and teammates to remember that for most people paddling involves completely new body movements. We grow up kicking or throwing a ball, running, jumping, etc. Not many of us were lucky enough to grow up with a paddle in

As competitive adults in a competitive sport, we see paddlers of varying talents either develop into top-notch athletes or hamper their own progress. How is that an athlete with mediocre ability can develop into an excellent paddler, yet a paddler with incredible talent can stall their own achievement? First, let’s take a look at why athletes with average talent can do so well in their sport: 1) They work hard. This is worth repeating. They work HARD. Have you ever noticed that when things are simply handed to people, they do not tend to value

I came across this photo recently and couldn’t stop laughing because it is so true. I wish I knew who to really give credit for this creativity (there are many who seem to want credit for it): But, what does this really mean? It’s easy to laugh at, but not as easy to articulate, nor as easy to convey to your fellow paddlers. I have been at training camp for the US National Team for the past week and was recently out on the OC2 with Holly, an awesome fellow paddler from

Admit it, at times you have wondered how in the heck your coach created the latest boat layout. You wonder what put you in that particular seat. Good question! A good coach takes many things into consideration when creating the lineup. It isn’t just about boat balance. When setting the distribution in a boat, a coach must account for the combination of all four strengths mentioned in a previous blog: physical, mental, attitudinal, and behavioral. A powerful (physically strong) paddler with low attitudinal strength (highly negative) must be balanced, even if

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

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