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Dragon Boating

Being part of a dragon boat team is so much more than simply showing up to practices and races, yet far too many paddlers don’t recognize the various facets involved in improving the team and being a good teammate. Chris Edwards, a Canadian National Team coach, gave a talk about the three pillars of a successful teammate which he credits to an NCAA hockey coach. Here are the three pillars that each teammate needs to exemplify: Builder Each member of the team must be willing to help build the team. Your club might be well-established, but if you do not work

Whether you are new to paddling or a veteran on the boat, if you are serious about the sport of dragon boating you are continuously seeking out ways to elevate your paddling ability. Approach your training as a learning opportunity and focus on each practice session as a chance to develop your skills. Here are three elements of training that every paddler should embrace: Progress Your training is a continuous journey towards a goal (or multiple goals).  Depending on your individual progression, you will inevitably have peaks and valleys in your training. But

Coaches are a vital part of every team. The team’s trainer, teacher, mentor, negotiator, problem solver, motivation provider, facilitator, and organizer; a coach is a vital part of the team. Sometimes coaches can be a bit intimidating, especially when you are new to the team. We look up to our coaches, not only because they are selecting the race crew, but also because they hold such in-depth knowledge of the sport. Having a conversation with the coach might not always be easy, but open communication with your coach is essential to your

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

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