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Fueling Your Team Properly | Good Food for Race Days

Fueling Your Team Properly | Good Food for Race Days

Posted by Kristin Stickels on

People are always asking me about what I eat and what kind of food I encourage my teams to eat on race days. So, I thought I’d write a post about it. First off, let me say that I am not a nutritionist. I use information gathered from other reliable sources and make decisions based on how various foods make me feel after I eat them. For example, a bowl of Heath Bar Crunch ice cream (my favorite!) makes me feel tired and weak. A piece of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli makes me feel strong and energized. On race day,...

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Newbies: One of Your Most Important Assets | How to Work With and Retain Your Rookies

Newbies: One of Your Most Important Assets | How to Work With and Retain Your Rookies

Posted by Kristin Stickels on

As a former teacher and a current coach, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the learning process of individuals. Whether it is academic material or athletic movements, learning new things is a difficult endeavor which can be frustrating. When newbies come out to paddle for the first time, it is important for coaches and teammates to remember that for most people paddling involves completely new body movements. We grow up kicking or throwing a ball, running, jumping, etc. Not many of us were lucky enough to grow up with a paddle in our hands. So, in the beginning, nothing about paddling feels...

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Why Not Me, Coach? | The Coach’s Process of Selecting a Race Boat

Why Not Me, Coach? | The Coach’s Process of Selecting a Race Boat

Posted by Kristin Stickels on

As a coach, hands down one of the most difficult things is selecting the race boat. On competitive teams, coaches spend countless hours reviewing data from fitness tests and time trials, as well as video, in order to determine what they consider to be the strongest boat. The coach’s goal is to win while creating a cohesive team that will function as one unit. If you aren’t selected for the race boat, it can be extremely disappointing and frustrating. As a coach, I have been the brunt of such frustrations. I once had a paddler go so far as to accuse...

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The Importance of Reserve Paddlers | Why Your Team Needs Subs

The Importance of Reserve Paddlers | Why Your Team Needs Subs

Posted by Kristin Stickels on

No one likes to sit on the bench while the rest of the team competes. Everyone wants to be in the race. So, should a racing team only consist of 20 paddlers in order to avoid having paddlers sit out? That doesn’t really make sense. Every team has some paddlers who sit out more often than they compete in races, but does this make them any less of a teammate than the race crew? Definitely not. The role of the reserve paddlers (often called subs or spares) is simply different from the role of those on the boat, but no less important....

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Every Seat Counts | The Importance of Your Position in a Dragon Boat

Every Seat Counts | The Importance of Your Position in a Dragon Boat

Posted by Kristin Stickels on

Admit it, at times you have wondered how in the heck your coach created the latest boat layout. You wonder what put you in that particular seat. Good question! A good coach takes many things into consideration when creating the lineup. It isn’t just about boat balance. When setting the distribution in a boat, a coach must account for the combination of all four strengths mentioned in a previous blog: physical, mental, attitudinal, and behavioral. A powerful (physically strong) paddler with low attitudinal strength (highly negative) must be balanced, even if it means by a paddler with weaker bodily strength but...

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