Working and paddling

By Jim on Monday, December 19, 2011

As we take up the sport of paddling it is not hard to see why we fall in love with it so quickly.

If its paddling around a lake with snow capped mountains, around a sensational city, or Harbour or out in the ocean catching swells that feel like you could pass a racing car, it is all part of the sport we love.  The hardest thing is how do we get better at it quickly,whilst going to work.  One thing is for sure we would all love to paddle and paddle only, sadly we have to go to work.

The one thing that separates the best paddles from the ones who just love to paddle, is the amount of time they get to spend at working on their skills.   The thing is when all you do is paddle you get more time to work on the little things, like drills.  I love drills because they help you get the movement of the paddle stroke whilst in a controlled environment.
The thing with people who go to work is that they agree that drills work, they want to do them, but they just don't have time.
The thing I hear back from paddlers is, I love your drills and I can see how they work, I'd love to do them, but with work, family and wanting to race I just don't have time. I get to paddle 3 times a week and every now and again 4. So you can see I don't have time to spend on a day of drills.

The thinking is if I go out on the water and come back exhausted every time then I have got better.  No because all you are doing is working your bad habit harder and harder, if you do your bad habit for long enough,you will get good at the bad habit. You should spend time doing the drills and working on the small things, shouldn't you

So how do I incorporate drills into my week with only having 3 sessions a week?

If you spend 10 minutes of your warm up doing drills, like in the videos below.

Then 5-10 minutes in the warm down doing the same drills with some balance work as well, then you have added an hour a week to working on your areas that need improving without changing anything.  All this with out adding an extra session.

So if the best paddlers do this why can't you?

You now have no excuse as its not eating into your training time, your not adding an extra session and you will improve over time as your stroke will be strong and better boat run.

The little things often make the biggest improvements, everyone is training, it by doing what they are not doing is what helps you get the edge.