You’ve educated yourself about racing. You’ve explored other teams across the nation and world and now, it’s time to start a team of your own. But who? In this blog, we address finding paddlers for a race team.
Where and how do you find paddlers for racing? Who should you ask to be a part of your team?
- anyone who sticks around, they’re keepers
- But really, people that want to train, work in a team environment and enjoy outdoor activities – having river/water knowledge is helpful, but not always mandatory. If river knowledge is limited, be sure to sign up for a swiftwater class and continue to learn about hydrology.
- The best advice? get people that you want to hang around with whether you win or lose, that want to train with you, that like the challenge of teamwork
How do you ask?
- Put it out in the universe! Connect through facebook groups, ask co-workers, ask someone who is at your gym or in your yoga class, or that you went on the Grand Canyon with. You never know what gem you’ll uncover just by making connections.
Ok, so you’ve got 3 or 4 people interested, now what?
1)Make a meet time and date
- Set up a goal for your team. Are you going to race at Nationals? are you racing just for fun?
- Even if just a couple show up for the first meeting, keep the team alive. Set a time/date for next meeting or a first practice-
2)Where should you go for your first practice and what should you do?*
The easiest place to go for a first practice is flat water. Medium size ponds or small lakes are ideal.(You’ll need a raft and paddles and all of your safety equipment-especially if you go on the river) Start with basic foundations of teamwork, paddling and boat control in a controlled environment without the dynamics of a moving river or technical whitewater. This allows teams to create a strong foundation for the dynamics whitewater presents.
- practice paddle technique
- practice paddling together
- practice paddling for repeats (extended periods of time) Go (here) for a sample workouts on water
3) Set your next practice date and what you want to do
4) Don’t let others dropping out be discouraging. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep moving forward with the steps above.
*flat water practices are the grind of your training. Whitewater experience is necessary (and often is more fun for new paddlers on the team). A suggestion is to build your training so that you alternate between moving water practices and flatwater. There’s a time to grind and a time to have fun. And the best outcome is to figure out how to combine those two Flatwater builds strength, stamina, communication and paddling techniques in a controlled environment. The dynamics of whitewater further develops communication and expands river reading awareness and knowledge.