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Dragon Boating

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

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

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