By Jim on Monday, December 19, 2011
After 4 weeks travelling and racing in Europe, looking for new techniques with the stroke of paddling, the same thing is happening that has happened for years.
You must have a good catch and trunk rotation; more important is what sort of effort you put in.
The thing that is a must with paddling is how much effort you put in every time you go out on the water. A common thought by most paddlers is if they don't get off the water exhausted they haven't accomplished any thing.
You must every time you go on the water work on a part of your paddling that needs the most help, stroke, fitness and mental outlook. You don't need to get off red faced and exhausted, but you need to have accomplished something.
When you work on your stroke you must work at a pace that allows you to feel like you are getting boat run, I often see people paddling very slow, so I ask them, "what are you doing out there", then they say "I'm working on my technique". Ok.
Why work on your technique at snails pace then go into a race and try and paddle flat-out, you will just go back to your own bad paddle stroke with in 1 minute.
You must work on your training tip at a strong pace, this way you are training your new movement (muscle memory) at a pace that is getting close to race pace.
What I meant before about not always being exhausted was how many sessions have you done when you have gone onto the water for a 1hr and just worked on your balance.
Where you have just done drills, dropped your paddle in the water and put your hands on your head and so many other drills like it.
The answer more often then not is never "I don’t have time for that", I only get to do 3-4 sessions a week.
Push the clock forward some time to race day, then I ask "how did you go in the race",Oceanski paddles " OK but fell off a few times",OK but the side chop made me uncomfortable, Kayakers "OK but lost my balance at the start and had to play catch up the whole way".
So if you are making these excuses to then why can't you also spend some time working on your balance?
It's the little things that make the most difference.
Off Season Tips.
Get your stroke in order.
Look at the part of your paddling you are struggling with the most.
Balance drills, once a week whilst off-season, once every fortnight on season.
Get your goals sorted out, doesn't matter what they are as long as they are personal to you.
Get a mate to join you.
Here is a video of some people who made their first Australian Team, people who have worked on the small things to reach there goal, competing for their country.