Coaches Corner

Following the recent announcement of the postponement of the 2021 National Championship, CRNZ coach Tim Brabants puts the spotlight on peaking for specific competitions.

There will be a lot of paddlers who are “race ready” and may feel concerned after tapering for what would be their biggest competition of the season, that they may not achieve the same level again at the re-scheduled event. 

Peaking for a competition is a skill that requires timing, planning and confidence in execution. In most sports, athletes may have to peak for several key events at different times of the year. There will usually be a pinnacle event that you want to be at your very best for. 

I would recommend using the opportunity of athletes being in a well tapered condition right now to still do some race distance time trials. Practice how you will perform your warm up, race plan, cool down and nutrition. Go through the same processes as you would when competing at any event so you can fine tune preparation. The athletes I coach will be doing the same thing over this weekend in place of the postponed Nationals. 

The key is to remain confident, reset and refocus for the next event. Review the timeline between now and the next event, what areas do you need to work on to improve? Don’t be afraid to experiment with a shortened block of increased training load before a smaller taper into the next event. As coaches, if you remain calm, positive and clear in your plans, it is more likely your athletes and supporters will benefit too.