“These programmes facilitate an athlete to search within themselves for the answers and resources they require to be limitless and meet their aspirations. Together we pioneer new levels of performance, not just for competitive gains, but for mastery of our sport and discovering its untapped potential”

Dennis Newton, ADP Freestyle Coach.


ADP Freestyle Camps Image 1ADP is world leading programme aimed at moving your freestyle to another level and fulfilling your potential. It’s all about the difference that makes the difference, and will take your freestyle on a journey that looks at Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological aspects of competitive freestyle, providing depth of knowledge and new capability.

The ADP programme is a personalised coaching programme designed for both athletes / teams, and has assisted many athletes (in K1, C1 and SQUIRT) in becoming World Champions.

You’ll work closely with world renowned coach Dennis Newton on a one-to-one basis to get the most from your training, and steer clear of the training pitfalls such as: injury, overtraining, self-doubt and plateaus in training or performance.  Dennis will work with you to formulate your own unique training plan that helps track your training and performance progress. In addition, you’ll have access to the ADP/ASP forum and regular remote coaching via e-communication to help you through the journey to competition readiness.

We work in partnership to assist you in self-directing your own development through three main areas:

  • Self-awareness – having a good awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, values, motivations, emotions and learning preferences.
  • Resilience – managing change and dealing with challenges or adversity and setbacks.
  • Openness to learning – seeking advice and feedback, working on weaknesses and engaging in meaningful practice and learning.

As part of the programme we’ll work together to select competitions / events in the calendar to suit your performance and training needs. Once we have established the competitive schedule the ADP training programme will then be periodised within your annual training plan.

The programme will monitor your progression throughout the year; benchmarking skill and performance levels against normative data to review and adjust the programme to develop and prepare you to ultimately deliver your best competition performance.

The ADP programme content is specifically adapted to the unique needs of each athlete, considering the technical, tactical, physical and psychological elements required to realise their best performance. We’ve included further details on some of the potential areas and competitive insights from some past and present ADP/ASP team athletes. This is by no means exhaustive as the content covered greatly depends on the needs of the individual athlete.

Read more…

The Champion Mindset

Assisting athletes to learn about the mindset of a champion, and bring more discipline and focus to their sport, building on the foundations of skill and love of whitewater and freestyle. By adopting key attributes including goal setting, taking personal responsibility and self discipline, athletes can develop mastery orientated motivation for long term motivation and maximum performance.

“This year I won the double again. This time with a freestyle ride that I am so proud of, that showcases how far I have come as an athlete and how far the sport has come. People have asked “will I continue”? The honest answer is yes. For as long as I feel I can be competitive I will compete and if I win medals along the way that’s a bonus but what I do know is I am proud of where I have come from. I am proud of what I have achieved. I have more drive to be even better. I have more to give.”

– Claire O’Hara, Multiple Freestyle World Champion

Decision Making

By adopting the simple, commonly applied principle of Plan, Do, Review athletes can ensure learnings are adopted as part of a continuous reflective cycle. Great athletes prepare on multiple levels, both short term to make each training session effective, and long term, to progress toward their goals over the season. But it doesn’t stop there. following training/competition, they review and evaluate to maximise learnings; this can be as simple as a training journal to learn from experience and keep improving.

“I would love to go out and just throw down my newer big moves as they are super fun, but that’s a risky strategy as a mistake on these could lead to a flush and losing a lot of time at a stage in the competition where every second counts. So, I’m going to be sensible and tactical and stick to my base routine during the early stages and then add in the big tricks where possible as the competition progresses.”

– Claire O’Hara, on her final preparations for the 2017 World Champs

Delivering Under Pressure

Outstanding, effortless performance happens when an athlete’s attention is ‘in the moment’, completely immersed in the activity – not focusing on distracting thoughts (others expectations, current placing, previous performance). These sessions will help athletes understand ‘flow’, develop in the moment awareness through practice, and better focus by using a mental warm up, to execute their skills when it counts.

“It is difficult to describe the feeling of such a success in words. My goal was to win the title and there was not one minute outside of school that I did not dedicate to training both mentally and physically.”

– Ottilie Robinson Shaw

Achieve More Together

The most successful competitors have learned that they can achieve more together by working as a team. Athletes need to learn how to work together to get the best out of the people around them. By knowing how to balance your own and others needs you can contribute to a supportive team environment.

“Reach out to other athletes that are raising the bar and learn from their experience. This, in turn, will help you improve your own paddling skills. Your friends and teammates are the best ones to help you fulfil your goals and aspirations. This is one of the most crucial components to a successful career.”

– Rush Sturges 

Competing Internationally

Competing internationally brings both challenges and opportunities; travel, different cultures, media interest, and expectations of friends and family. By understanding the characteristics of international competition and the role of a constructive attitude, athletes’ can prepare and transition successfully to international competition.

“I have new tricks this year that I will be putting into my rides for the first time at a Worlds competition and that is really exciting. In the prelim rounds I’ll be playing it a bit safer to make sure I make the cuts, but in the finals it’s going to be time to really play. Part of my preparations is to create a ‘what if’ plan, look at all the potential ‘what if’ situations in the lead up to and during the competition, and then there are less surprises I have to deal with, less added extra pressures on the day.”

– Claire O’Hara, World Championships 2017

Developing a Performance Plan

The most successful athletes have a competition day plan for international events. By understanding the key phases of a major freestyle competition and the associated challenges they must meet athletes are better prepared for competition day.

“I kayak for a few reasons, in the beginning it was because of the pure fun I had doing it, then the joy and satisfaction of learning new tricks and perfecting rides, now I enjoy it most of all because of what I learn about myself through training hard and trying to compete at my best. It forces you to become a better person. When you make some significant progress and learn your lesson fast that’s when I end up winning stuff, when I don’t paddle my best it happens to teach me something. Either way it’s a success. I just love kayaking and being in the outdoors doing what I love and what that brings into my life.”

– James ‘Pringle’ Bebbington

Maintaining Focus during Competition

Athletes need to be fully prepared and focused during competition; by understanding the right state of mind to perform at their best, having mental warm-up routines, and having techniques to refocus if distracted.

“Those feelings of nervousness carried with me right up until I caught the wave for the first time during the competition and then I don’t know what happened, The familiar feeling of dropping in, catching the wave put me at ease and weeks of preparation came to pass as muscle memory took over and I laid down an almost perfect competition ride. I could have made it into the next round just from one ride but instead I put down another almost flawless ride just to be sure and to ease any of my doubts that I had somehow had a lucky ride”.

– Bren Orton, World Championships 2015


The ADP is available to all levels of ability; these tailored training plans offer a development pathway from grassroots to world class.

Duration & Price: 

All prices are determined on individual requirements, locations, duration and frequency of coaching. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and find the best coaching solution for you.


ASP Athlete Image 1ASP, a sponsored version of the ADP programme, is available for selected athletes with international potential. ASP status is not based on previous competition achievements, but rather, it is intended to allow the athlete to enter into a training and competitive schedule which, by design, will lead to consistent improvement with respect to international results.

Click here to meet the ASP Team Athletes.

What are the goals of the ASP programme?

The programme this year has been set out to achieve the following:

  • To assist individuals improving on their personal best in Freestyle and/or Extreme Racing.
  • To assist athletes in gaining selection for national teams and/or international events.
  • To assist national team athletes gain medals in international competitions.

What can the programme provide me?

Sweetwater Coaching will resource athletes through the programme relative to their eligibility level (elite, performance, and development). Coaching resources are allocated based on eligibility level and each athlete’s individual training and performance plan.

What is expected of an Athlete?

ASP athletes are expected to meet the conditions set out in the ASP Carding Standards as well as comply with any coach and athlete mutual agreements. The athlete also commits to participate in a mid-season review of their training and performance plan.

How long does the programme last?

The annual programme cycle is adjusted each year to fit in with the competitive calendar and lasts for one year. The scheme will be awarded for a second consecutive year if performance agreements are achieved. A further two years is then awarded if performance agreements are achieved (during the first 2 years) to complete the programmes 4 year plan.

How do I get involved with the ASP programme?

There are two ways of potentially entering the ASP programme; via application or via partaking in the ADP programme. ASP places are highly contended and limited. Positions are advertised as they arise through our web news and Facebook page.

Click here to see the ASP Selection and Carding process.