Friday, April 04, 2008

Long Term Student Development - Day 4

Location: Menai Straits (Swellies), Anglesey - Original plan was Porth Dafarch. However, very high winds forecast and evident on the day

Students: Richard Janes, Paul Williams

Student Goals: Address fundamental paddle skills

Coaching Points:

Warm up - Ensured that PW & RJ engaged in a gentle paddle then explored boat based PNF stretching of hamstrings, trunk, neck and forearm (which can be useful to prevent tendonitis).

Technique - Previously identified weakness in RJ's draw stroke method so used sheltered area for practice before application in open water.

Practice structured so as to encourage : 1) Deep paddle 2) Trunk rotation to face direction of travel 3) Upper arm high (at forehead, higher than “normal”). Paddle angle steep.4) Finesse rather than brawn!

Exercises to practice ‘feel’ of paddle. Loosen tight clothing, swing paddle from stern rudder position forward (cf recovery of paddle in open canoe ‘indian’ stroke). Also, glide canoe backwards, controlling direction using lateral rotation rudder RJ's performance certainly improved. PW understood the stroke better and without the previous feeling of instability as the paddle tried to dive under the hull.

Navigation - over the lunch break we took the opportunity to look at the use of vectors to find a course to steer.

Leadership Exercise - circumnavigate island SH 545713. Use of CLAPS principles and practical application. Balance between autocratic and democratic style …. But be ready to take control and make clear decisions. Always and in every situation keep an eye on your mates! …. Even the best have tired times.

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