CRNZ Coach Tim Brabants offers his thoughts in our latest Coaches Corner column.
Midway through the year, it is a great natural opportunity to stop and think about your athletes in a little more detail.
It can be anything from a formal review process, generating a hardcopy of a performance plan review to a more informal detailed discussion and check in.
Think about how the year has gone so far, have goals been reached, do you need to set new targets to train towards. What worked well and what could have been done better. What are the key areas for development and what are the key sessions that you can build on to achieve these goals.
Every high performance coach I know will go through these cycles of review, reflection and improvement.
Never fully satisfied with the status quo and searching for how to make further gains. It is important to involve your athletes and for some, their parents/responsible person too in the process.
Communication and collaboration is key to athletes engagement and enjoyment of our fantastic sport, no matter what level they are at.
During the review process, it is also worth doing an equipment check too.
It is a good idea to do this with your athlete together, so that simple things aren’t overlooked and you both learn from the process.
Remove the seat and footrest, check for wear and tear to the rudder cables and ensure all the connections on the tiller bar are clean and appropriately tight.
Check all nuts and bolts on the footrest and seat are secure and no signs of damage to any of the components.
The same process applies to the rudder. Consider general boat and paddle set up, particularly with growing athletes.
Are seat and footrest positions optimal, is the trim correct, is the volume/size of the boat still appropriate.
There are an increasing range of valuable resources on the Paddler.nz website under the learn – resources tab. You can also ask fellow coaches or experienced athletes for their view.
In my opinion, as coaches we are all working together to achieve a common goal; to guide our athletes to achieve their best potential through quality support and adding value to their journey, whatever level and however high their aspirations are.