We’ve trained all season, we’ve worked hard, we’ve won (and sometimes lost) medals. Everyone sees the work that happens on the water or in the gym. We get rewarded for that work with the medals we earn at races. But what about all the other things that help make a good team the smooth, well-oiled machine that it is? It’s important to recognize those who make a positive difference in our sport! Tweet it! For many of us in the northern hemisphere our season has come to a close or is
We’ve all got teammates who aren’t even close to being on our list of “cool people we want to hang out with.” Some drive us crazy, some we can’t stand, and some we just wish would quit the team. What do you do about these teammates? I’m sure you are wishing that I would say to kick them out of the club, right? Sorry. You aren’t going to hear that. A team, like a family, involves all kinds of members with various personalities. And as much as these people might drive
If your team has recently become competitive, you are likely still working to grow and expand. On a relatively small team the pool of paddlers is not very deep and therefore can make it difficult to properly fill a race boat. Smaller teams are often faced with a dilemma. Should they use the top 20-22 paddlers available from the team, no matter what their ability? Or should they set the bar to ensure that paddlers on the race boat will have a certain amount of paddling proficiency? Which is best for your team?
Now that your team has made the decision to become more competitive, it is important to begin some type of testing in order to track the progress of paddlers and to determine the stronger paddlers who are able to compete at this new level. The former method of allowing all paddlers to participate on the race boat regardless of experience or ability will no longer work. You cannot place inexperienced or lower-level paddlers on a competitive race boat and expect to compete with the big dogs. So, how do you determine who is ready?
The decision to transition a team from a recreational, social one to a more competitive team is often a difficult one which might be met with some resistance. Paddlers who are accustomed to showing up to an occasional practice and yet still racing with the team will perhaps struggle with the idea of being asked participate in fitness testing and to commit to a more rigorous training schedule. However, paddlers who are eager to take it up a notch will be happily challenged by the new rigors. So, how does a team go about
Have you ever wondered what role attitude plays on a dragon boat? How a paddler’s attitude can contribute to or impede the success of a team? When the team is in a stressful situation, such as heading into the final heat of a race, paddlers need to have their wits about them. One bad attitude can seriously disrupt that focus. A paddler could be the most amazing athlete in the entire world, yet with a bad attitude, he or she becomes one of the most toxic parts of the team. Tweet it! Attitude is
Whether you plan to try out for your country’s national team, or you simply want to feel stronger on the boat, training sessions are essential for your paddling development. I recently had a paddler tell me, “I feel like I’m not getting any better.” I asked, “Well, how often do you practice?” She sheepishly smiled and said, “Not that often.” I see the problem. Don’t neglect the training time off the water There is a reason we have the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Paddling, like most things in life, doesn’t improve without
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
Balancing a boat is essential for a race, but many teams overlook exactly how crucial it can be to their success. Having a properly balanced boat not only makes it easier on the steersman, it also allows the boat to glide through the water evenly. But balance doesn’t only apply to the left and right sides of the boat. Your race boat needs to be balanced front to back as well. Recreational teams will often encourage paddlers to find a “partner paddler” who is more or less the same weight. This