This year I have been super stoked to of had the opportunity to train with Dennis Newton(Sweetwater Coaching) on ADP and ASP coaching programs. Denis’s knowledge of coaching freestyle is exceptional due to his many years of experience, his enthusiasm and pure joy for being on the water makes being coached by him a totally awesome experience.
This year my main goals have being focused around the freestyle World championships in November. We have spent a lot of time focused on training for competition. We have covered: Technique on specific moves, planning your competition ride, Adaptive paddling as well as off the water exercises to increase desired physical properties
Technique on specific moves:
During ASP and ADP sessions; you receive feedback while paddling from Dennis, including quick tips on how to nail the move you have been dreaming about! Another important part of working on freestyle tricks is using video analysis. After most sessions we will look at video footage. Being able to slowdown, pause and re-watch certain clips makes it much easier to see where you are going wrong, or pick out good parts of your paddling! When using video feedback I like to watch clips multiple times, each time focusing on something slightly different. For example you can focus on the: Boat, body position, head or paddle.
Planning your competition ride:
When going into a competition it is pretty important to have a bit of a plan. A competition ride is very personal; it can take a bit of time to get right. Its also pretty exciting to have a chat about all the awesome links and combos that could potentially be done in a competition! The most important part about planning a competition ride is to enjoy it, and let your imagination run wild!
Adaption is an important part to making progress in kayaking. During training we try to be as flexible as possible with the techniques we are using. When something does not work, recognise it and then adjust it. If you do this in your training you will progress quicker than you can imagine. Check out Dennis’ s article on contrasting paddling: Contrasting Practices – Addressing a stubborn incorrect technique
Of the water:
Training of the water is an essential part of freestyle paddling. One important part of paddling is doing regular stretches, you will have much more enjoyable freestyle sessions if you are not struggling with back pain… We have looked at using equipment such as foam rollers to aid flexibility as well as some nice stretches that can be done daily. Recently I have also been doing some plyometric training to aid explosivity and speed while paddling.