Special training days and away camps feature frequently for our young paddlers, but this time it was a chance for slightly older ‘athletes’ to grab some attention.
Paddlers from Southampton, Devizes and Banbury were invited to join us for the RCC Master’s Training day, which offered team paddling, technical coaching and the promise of cake! First order of the day involved coffee whilst paddlers were given an overview of what to expect by lead coach Nigel Frankland.
Paddlers were then organised into teams of six with an equal combined Hasler ranking for a 5km team race against the clock, with the watch stopping once the last team boat crossed the line. This meant each team had to work at staying together on the wash. Teams could choose to paddle in any combination of K1s and K2s.
After a brief discussion on team performance a 6 x 200m relay race followed which set everyone up for lunch, which was kindly provided by Jo serving hot food, cake and more coffee. Lunch was more than just refuelling – paddlers had the opportunity to make new friends whilst Nigel held a discussion on what makes a good crew boat relative to the class it races in. Crews should be faster than the sum of their parts by taking into consideration stability, strength, technique, wash hanging and acceleration.
The afternoon provided an opportunity to put this theme into practice as K4s and K2s were taken out with some Masters experiencing their first K4. We were also joined in the afternoon by lead technical coach Andy Rawson. After a group presentation, he provided 1:1 critique in K1, giving paddlers an immediate gain in their performance.
We closed the day with a summary and paddlers left with new ideas to consider and actionable tips to put into practise.
Thank you to the coaches Nigel & Andy for their commitment to preparing the day’s events and their delivery on the day, plus Jo for providing a cooked meal for everyone.