TiP Technique: The Parameter Drills

We continue today with the Friday Technique series offering you a list of sprint kayak technique drills we call the Parameter drills. Compared to the ABC drills we showed you last Friday, these ones are a little bit more advanced for the coach (to understand and implement) and for the athlete (to execute). We believe they will serve well the intermediate and the advanced paddler in focusing on those details that help an athlete grow and sharpen their water feel.

By coaching the ‘parameter drills’, we teach the paddler to scale a given technical parameter between its maximum and minimum values. The maximum value of any stroke parameter is often too much to use in racing performance and we might train it only to create some ability margins. When the minimum value of a stroke parameter appears in a paddler’s stroke though, it usually represents a technical mistake or shows the inability of the athlete to use or adjust the given parameter. By varying the execution between the two extremes in practice, we hope to develop the athlete’s ability to always instinctively choose the most efficient option during racing.

There are various ways you can practice them:

  • contrast
  • progression
  • varying the intensity
  • varying external conditions
  • combining multiple parameters into one exercise focus

The list of the drills:

  • Grip
  • Posture
  • R2 length
  • Connection
  • Hips leading rotation
  • Top hand
  • R1 length
  • Rotation and Inertia forward
  • Squeezing the hips (or ‘energy bank’)

For a complete list with exercise description, purposes and explanation please see The Parameter Drills document on our Technical Resources page.

Photo source: Canoe & Kayak

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