Thursday, June 12, 2008

Secret Training & Limiting Mindsets

I've secretly taught 4 friends who to roll in a kayak. I feel like I have to apologize to the first person I've ever tried teaching because he was like a guinea pig to me. It took him quite some time before he successfully managed to roll. Don't think I helped much.
But when I can get Huan Da the jelly belly up and rolling, I know for sure Im getting somewhere. Earlier on, I had a more rigid approach, teaching only the C to C roll. But recently, I showed both the Sweep and C to C letting whoever was trying to learn to have a feel of both.
Although Huan Da's roll isn't perfect, its a start. He has at least a 70% chance of successfully completing the roll. Not bombproof, but an important step nonetheless. This allows him to concentrate more on improving technique rather than trying to get out of the water.
I also taught a "technique" where he floats himself to the surface after a failed rolling attempt to get a breath before attempting to roll again.

Regarding the issue on fiberglass kayaks on sand, I've spoken to a few people and it just seems that some coaches have very rigid mindsets. Since most coaches learn by emulating, it is only natural for them to emulate their instructors or mentors. I guess its a matter of whether they question the methods and filter out the useless stuff.
I am still new to coaching, so I will stick around Water-Venture for a little longer. Gaining experience till the time I feel that Im stagnating.


Bri said...

was i that first guinea pigg?? ghahaha..

Kenneth Chan said...

nah.. that was in 2005. Way before I met you.

Wolfie said...

To improve technique, go back to basics. The only thing that is in common with all rolling 'styles' is the hipflick, and that happens to be the most important thing.

Do the hipflick proper with a boat for support, then a float (PFD, swim board etc), then a paddle blade. Practice a forward leaning recovery, not backward-lying! Head must be the last thing to come up, setup position perpendicular to boat.

After all these, try high support recovery stroke with a proper hip flick (paddle must not be pulled into water much). Then they will be on the way to a C-C roll.

To teach Eskimo roll, sculling for support must be good. Entire upper body move forward-backward with the blade, and not just the bending-straightening of the arms.

Ultimately - no hip flick, nothing happens. with hip flick, you need nothing else.

Kenneth Chan said...

What are the advantages of a forward ending roll? I've only seen forward ending rolls performed as a quick way to roll in whitewater and in greenland storm rolls.

I also thought canoe polo players would do a back ending roll so they are in a good position to throw the ball and score.

I learnt my rolls by watching greenland kayakers on youtube (: Probably why im more inclined to do reverse ending rolls.

Wolfie said...

Yup, you are right to say that the forward-ending roll is advantageous in whitewater, where the water is dynamic and whatever causes the capsize might do it again to you if you are slow to recover.

The main use of it is to build a good hipflick technique. Unlike the back-leaning method, there's no way you can throw your body weight over the other side to force the roll over if your hipflick isn't strong enough. The few of us who started playboating here spent time to make sure our hipflick is good in this way before we move on to other skills like the dry roll.

And yes again, polo players lean back, but mostly because they want to do a functional ball roll, then get on with other aspects of training. No one would want to spend months trying to do a ball roll with a forward recovery! However, if they do manage to do it, it will definitely help them protect the ball after they rolled up. It is actually not that difficult to 'tap' the ball out of someone's hand just after they rolled up, as it is just there exposed with the body stretched out.

Try it! Give yourself the target of doing a one-handed forward recovery handroll on your weaker side (in a hard chine playboat)!