Gung Haggis Dragon Boat practice review for Sunday June 12

Hi everybody...

just to let you know...
my body is real sore today, after practice
My left thigh is charley horsed - this is most likely to
1) paddling on the right side and pushing off the
inside left leg and/or
2) paddling on the left side and pushing off the left leg to initiate my power
stroke.

cure: eat bananas for potassium to avoid muscle spasms
/ cramps - drink more water... lots more water

Tough practice today.
Bob was working us hard to:
1) build strength
2) provide interval training to develop lactic acid
release efficiency
3) show us what we are capable of

We started off the practice with a fun exercise...
sorry we didn't get to the one-finger lift. We will
do this Saturday morning of the race.

The race visualization will be part of our race
preparation that we will do before every race. Bob is
telling us that we are not producing our potential
until 30 to 40 minutes of practice on the water. But
we don't have that luxury. But we can visualize what
we do on the water to get to that level of
performance. We can visualize and imagine how we feel
in the middle of our practice.

Sports Psychology works. I studied at SFU, and I used the same
techniques for mental training during my recovery from
cancer, 16 years ago. Please read the visualization
exercise that I sent out yesterday.

GEMINI BOATS
Very good for us to be in the Gemini for practice
today. It gave us the experience we need for our
races next week, and allowed us to try different
seating and leg positions.
Gemini boats are the developing standard for Dragon
Boat Sport Racing, and are recognized by the
International Dragon Boat Federation. The boats were
brought to Vancouver last year, a few weeks before
ADBF, and provide the least amount of variables
between boats.

I found the following worked for me.

1) Brace your inside leg under your seat with your
outside leg forward - braced under the wooden gunwale
of the boat. Push against your inside leg to "almost"
raise your bum off your seat - this initiates your hip
movement to provide the power in your stroke.

2) Really lean outside the boat... Make sure your top
hand is outside the boat so you can keep your paddle
vertical and pull the boat up to your solidly planted
paddle.

3) Drop your outside shoulder, and lean slightly
forward. You will get 3 more inches reach.

4) for timing... you should be able to look right
upside the outside of the boat - because you are
leaning so far out the boat.

The Gemini Boat is very sensitive to movement. Make
sure you brace yourself before the start of the race.
If you shift around during a race, it can upset the
balance of the boat, causing everybody else in the
boat to shift in reaction.

We have to really emphasize every aspect of proper
paddling technique training that Bob and I have given
you.
It will really make the difference in a Gemini. The
6-16 boats have 2 1/2 more inches between the seats
and are much more forgiving than the Geminis.

STARTS:
1) Remember to push off your inside leg, so you can
get your bum off your seat....
2) Get your paddle deep... I can still see some
paddles that are not buried to the shaft.
3) GRUNT! You will feel the sound resonate in your
body and inspire you! Consider this to be "Sound
Therapy" It also helps if you are visualizing your
"power animal"

FEEDBACK EXERCISE
Great exercise with alternate "zig-zag" seats.
Very good to give your seat buddy encouragement and
constructive feedback. I was working with Carl, and
he made great improvement with the feedback that gave
him more awareness of what he does with his paddle.
Pretty tough for Carl then to critique me... but I
asked him what he liked, and he said I was very smooth
and efficient. He could see how I dropped my outside
shoulder and rotated - "very subtle and smooth" he
said. 12 years of paddling experience, and we are
trying to give it to all of you in 2 months. You are
all better paddlers than I was when I first started
paddling, over my first 3 years!

Good practice all around - Thanks to Bob for leading
us.
He is giving us good feedback on our performance and
improvement.

The hamburgers and drinks were a good treat. Remember
to eat right away after any intense workout.

Wednesday's practice will be focussed on race
strategies and technique foundations. We will not be
doing an intense workout as we are now in the tapering
phase to allow the body to rest and recover and be
ready for lots of racing on Saturday and Sunday!

Good work everybody!
Remember dinner at 7pm on Friday - details to follow.
Come and recieve your team shirt, and your race pass,
if I did not give it to you today.

Todd

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