By Jim on Sunday, April 24, 2011
Cook Islands Coaching Clinic 2
Getting up early on a Sunday morning is never much fun, the only thing as an athlete I made sure I did was have Sunday off.
So at 6am I set out for Sydney Airport, 3hr flight to New Zealand the 2 hr stop over then 4 hrs onto the Cook Islands.
Anytime you have a long flight it can be tiring.
Whenever you arrive on this beautiful Island the most beautiful people greet you, this time no different.
The objective of this trip was to see if the people I had started off paddling for the first time only 4 months ago had been working on all the small but important parts of their paddling once I left. The thing that I had worked so hard on was to drum into them how important drills are in your paddling. I’m happy to say after just a few days back here it has shown how hard they have been working on those areas.
When I was here the first time the people of the Cook Islands had not only never paddled before they had never even seen a ski or paddle, now they are doing 8-12km paddles in both flat and ocean.
What I did notice the first time I was here is that the people/kids here are just so strong and have a great affiliation with the water.
This combined with their patience in trying to go fast has helped them so much. One thing all new comers to paddling need to realize is that you need to learn how to paddle before you actually can paddle, this way makes such a difference. If nothing else backs this up for me, then you need to see the way the kids of the Cook Islands are paddling.
They started for one week just doing drills, balance exercises and core work combine that with the coaching staff very eager to learn, MAGIC.
Today as a result they all paddle very confidently, strong catch and passion for the sport that brings us all great pleasure.
So what is it that all new paddlers can learn from the work I have done with the Cook Islanders, remember the old saying
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Learn the basics, get you technique right and go forward slowly so you can go fast.
Enjoy the pictures of the Cook Island High Performance team and the bunch of paddlers I have just started off.