Tuesday, June 26, 2012


 "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments."  Jim Rohn

Our students often share with us how much they value our instruction and appreciate our patience. (Jeff is patient.  I am stubborn).

Paddlers come to us to become better paddlers.  We have the easy job - coaching them.

They have the hard part - making it happen. 

In our classes and lessons this weekend, we had some seasoned paddlers working on rolling and surf zone skills.  Sometimes the hard part is learning a skill that is counter intuitive to our natural instincts - like keeping our head down on the roll.

Or dropping a stern rudder on the shore side of a wave.

For many adults it is difficult to turn the brain off and let the body do what it needs to do.  We encourage students to use tools like positive self-talk, visualization, kinesthetic cues, and lots of perfect practice to retrain the brain and develop muscle memory.

Even more difficult is finding the self-discipline to go out and practice - especially skills that some find cumbersome like swimming with a sea kayak.

We often want to spend our recreational paddling time touring with friends, wildlife watching, running whitewater, surfing or rock gardening.  For many paddlers there is seemingly no glory in flat water perfection skill sessions or surfing knee high waves, but this is where skills are built and committed to muscle memory so that in rough water they are automatic and effective.

Our recommendation to out students is to get out and paddle!!! Each time you are on the water commit 10 minutes to perfecting one of your skills.  Whether it is the draw stroke or the roll, commit to mindful practice.  Talk yourself through the key components of the skill and practice them.

Even better yet, get your friends to practice too so that you all become more skilled paddlers together.

Please comment and share any strategies that you have found helpful.

"Without self-discipline, success is impossible - period."  Lou Holtz

1 comment:

  1. This post made me think. I am very disciplined. But when I ask myself why, and how I motivate myself, I don't come up with an answer. With regard to my sports, jujitsu and kayaking, I just do them. You just keep showing up and you get results. And I've learned that in times of crisis or when things get tough, that's when you really need to show up and that's when you gain the most benefit. Knowing that, I commit myself to practice (and for me, everything can be related to kayaking and martial arts) no matter what's going on in my life. Maybe it's the commitment that matters. Without being committed to a goal, there's no need for discipline. But then what makes one committed... Desire to succeed? To excel? Interesting question.