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Dragon Boating

Think back to your first day on the dragon boat. Chances are, you were given a paddle, a life vest, and a whole boatload of directions. Do you remember much of what was said to you? Probably not. If you were anything like me, your whole focus was on NOT clanking paddles with the people around you. It’s a wonder I even came back for more. Forget about technique. Just getting my timing down was a bonus. How can you help a new paddler through those times when the pain and desperation of paddling make a person want to

Face it, being an active part of a dragon boat team requires a certain amount of commitment. Practices, gym time, races, committees, recruiting, fund raising. All of these things take time out of our regular lives. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love the sport so much. But at what point did you take vows to love, honor and cherish your team? We might not remember exactly when we got married to our team, but for the love of the sport most of us have said “I do” at one point or

Looking to improve your paddling skills this season? Here is a list of the top ten things that successful paddlers do on a regular basis which make them so outstanding. 1) Set goals Successful paddlers have a path of progress in mind. They set goals in order to determine the best route to achieving those objectives. Goals can be performance- or habit-based. Examples of performance-based goals might be aiming to make your team’s mixed boat, or shaving two seconds off your time trial. Examples of habit-based goals might be going

As many of us know, dragon boat paddling is an amazing sport. If you have been lucky enough to see a Breast Cancer Survivors’ team, you know how impressive the paddlers are. In 2014, I had the opportunity to volunteer for four days at the IBCPC International Breast Cancer Festival in Sarasota, Florida. I met teams from all over the world as I worked on the docks helping load and unload the boats. I even got to steer a practice for an Italian team. The next IBCPC international event will be

Whether you have been a lifelong athlete, or have recently found yourself getting sporty, you have likely discovered that paddling has helped improve your life in countless ways. The most obvious improvements focus on the health benefits. Paddling is great cardio, makes you stronger and more fit and can even help you lose weight. But what about the other benefits? The focus, drive and determination that it requires to advance your paddling skills don’t simply stop when you get off the boat. Being an athlete develops a discipline that transfers to all aspects of your

“Coachability.” It’s a commonly used word in sports. We all seem to have an idea of what it means. Or do we? I decided that I wanted to get specific in what coachability truly is from a coach’s perspective. Paddlers often get labeled as “coachable” or not. “Coachable” means “able to be coached,” but what qualities does a coachable paddler have? What exactly earns someone this title? There are 5 main qualities of a coachable paddler. They are: humility, drive, focus, perseverance, and trust. Humility: Let’s use “Jane” as an example. She thinks that

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

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