Adding Value To The Technique Toolbox

Delivering coaching clinics is a unique skill that gets better with practise, the same way training for a paddling event does. Paddling is a constant learning process which means the way we teach is forever changing too. It’s that dynamic that I find myself learning as I’m teaching, learning better ways to get my information across or finding better ways to drill a person into improving their technique. My latest theme of teaching has been, rather than showing someone the ‘correct’ technique, I am instead adding to their tool box or weapon accessory of techniques which they can draw upon during the ever changing conditions of paddling in complex water. My clinics start with technique, detailing the different strokes used in six man and single craft canoes and the dynamic variation of strokes that are used to navigate flat, headwind, surf and other water conditions. Technique is followed up by on water technique analysis and practical application. One of the most frequently asked questions would include: Where should I exit during the stroke? I believe there are multiple exit points depending on what you are trying to achieve with that stroke at that point in time. The more tools in your toolbox the more adaptable you are as a paddler. Benefits of outside coaching is that it gives you an outside perspective. Ideally, the coach is there to facilitate you and offer additional information that you can take home and add to your inventory rather than change you completely. Everyone has their uniqueness when it comes to technique, as long as any major deficiencies are addressed.

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