TiP Technique: ABC Drills – kayak

Our Friday Techniques series were very well accepted last season and as spring is just around the corner, we will be publishing sprint kayaking technique articles again every Friday.

For most paddlers at the end of the winter period, it is very important to re-establish the basics of paddling technique again. So we thought to start the Friday series with some technique drills you can all use to quickly get those water feelings back: regain a good balance, manage your posture and mobilize the hips, enjoy the glide or feel that crisp grip again.
This time we are bringing you 7 drills we like to call the ABC Drills. It is a group of drills easy to understand and easy to learn. If you have been paddling for a while you have probably seen or even tried all of them. In fact they aren’t anything new and we don’t want to claim they are ours. But the stuff that endures our testing and becomes a staple in our training systems is there for a reason – because it works! So what we did is with these simple drills:
  • we gave them names that are easy to remember
  • we described exactly how they shall be performed (the devil lies in the details!)
  • we wrote down what is the goal for any of those drills – there is always a double value in a drill: it serves to the paddler to polish a particular skill needed for an efficient technique and it serves to the coach as a diagnostic tool to understand how is the paddler doing 
Always remember: drills don’t equal skills! But doing drills with a purpose and with a clear picture of what we want to achieve with them can serve to:
  • teach a beginner the necessary micro-skills needed for a good stroke
  • help an experience paddler regain the feelings she/he may have lost or struggles to find (after a rest day or after the offseason, during a period of low form or when coming back from an injury, after a day of racing when all the frenetic high-intensity paddling made him lose a bit of finesse, etc.)
  • you can use these drills during warm-ups or cooldowns to best use your time on the water, you can use them before a race to keep your mind calm and focus on yourself instead of the outside, you can use them as a recovery session and some of them can be even executed very dynamically and serve as specific power development exercises (especially the One-sided drill).
Download them from our Technical resources page and try them out. We are sure you will love them!
Next time we will show you a group of drills we call the Parameter Drills.
 GBR K4 senior men team training on lake Bled in 2018.

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