Teaching

Leadership
Thursday, 01 March 2007

"One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you're perceived to be by others." --Edward L. Flom, CEO of Florida Steel Thanks for the quote Michael!

A Couple of Tim's Tips
Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Got the recent newsletter from Tim Dyer over at White Squall Paddling Centre. I always jump right to Tim's Tips as it is usually practical. Not always as one time there was advice on how to run a gas powered post hole digger. I'm sure somebody out there found the advice practical... Sign yourself up at the White Squall website at whitesquall.com. Tim's Tips: Tip #1 Tune Your Stroke - When paddling along, get a favorite song going in your head - and maybe even sing it out loud (depending on who's listening!) You'll be pleasantly surprised as your stroke becomes more relaxed, fluid and efficient. The goal is to relax and let the paddle do its work. My Dad always taught me in carpentry to let the hammer swing free, instead of forcing it...the same applies to a kayak paddle, which is really your watery tool. I'm partial to Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers - but different strokes for different folks and to each his own. Tip #2 Loose Hips and Lips - In the war, they used to say that "Loose Lips Sink Ships" Apparently a little alcohol in a warm pub with a sweet-talking lady could squeeze all sorts of secrets from a soldier on leave. Well, the latter day kayaking version of this is "Loose Hips Save Ships" so often I've seen otherwise good paddlers tense up as the waves build. That tension is automatically transferred to the hull with a stiff upper/lower body and the boat and padder start bobbing like a buoy. The end game of this is usually a dump. But if you loosen up and imagine a hinge between your upper and lower body - the stress evaporates and you realize your kayak really doesn't want to tip over. I think of it as letting the boat do what it was meant to do. ie- float upright! Thanks Tim!

Classic Sesame Street
Saturday, 06 January 2007

I recently came upon some classic Sesame Street kayaking footage tonight on YouTube. It's fantastic and really shows how much things have come along in both paddling skills and boat/gear technology. The funny thing is that I think I was using the same helmet until just last year when I replaced it with a new fangled one. Want to relive your childhood? Check out this collection. I also added a new category to our video collection. We are now showing whitewater videos so throw some popcorn into the microwave and sit back and enjoy.
I am always on the lookout for resources for people who are teaching adaptive paddling. I recently came upon a training video from the Easter Seals Camp ASCCA that was posted on Google Video. It is a nice little video that demonstrates a quick an easy way to get people into canoes. There is also some discussion about low cost/maintenance gear adaptations for people who have trouble sitting up in a canoe. If you know of other resources, please feel free to contact me or post them below. UPDATE: I found the camp that made this video. I should have linked to them back when I posted it. Visit Camp ASCCA. {google}4264876146065562279{/google}  
So, I just got home from a kayak rolling pool clinic that I was teaching. It was a whole lot of fun (at least for me). On the way home, I was thinking that it is probably the hardest thing that I teach as an instructor and the one teaching item that nobody talks about. Here is where I need your help. I want to start to create a list of teaching tips and resources specifically for teaching sea kayak rolling. What works for you? How do you help your students? What props/games do you use to get your idea across? Send me your comments and I will try to put them in a giant list of tips and ideas. You can also post your tip in the comments below. Oh, yeah. Just found a cool lesson plan that the American Canoe Association developed. It is a really cool lesson plan specifically on teaching rolling. You can find it here.
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