Dragon Boat US

Training Ideas

Paddling in Tens It’s not easy to take 20 people, stick them in a long skinny boat, and have them paddle together. It’s hard on them to paddle seemingly forever and hard for you not to fall off. Have the crew do sets of ten. This gets the Drummer involved, lets the crew know the end is in sight, uses the commands Paddles Up, Take it Away, and Let it Run, and, if you balanced your boat well, lets the rocking stop before you fall in.

Paddling for Minutes When a crew can paddle several sets of ten have them paddle for a minute, or two. See when they break down and start clacking paddles. This also helps you determine a pace they can sustain. Its gets the Drummer and Captain to know it too.

Sectional Drills  Two sets of ten for the whole boat, then two by the front six, two by the middle eight, two by the back six, and two by the boat. This lets you and the crew identify where problems are. The transitions help everyone practice the transitions of a start without even thinking about it. This is also a safe way to rest when you can’t sit and drift.

Paddle Pause Drill  Paddle 1, 2, 3, and rock forward on four without paddling. Gives crew a chance to tune their rhythm and practice transitions.

Start Set One Have the crew in position for a racing start and have them paddle one stroke on Go. Have them Hold the Boat and repeat. Do this until they gel and then add strokes until you reach ten. At this point you can discuss when the crew feels the boat was up and out. This becomes your first number for the Start Count.

Start Set Two With the boat moving have the crew go to Paddles Up and paddle ten quick strokes. Explain to them first how ugly it will be and that it’s OK. Repeat until a rhythm is established. Discuss when the crew thinks full speed is attained. This is your second number for the Start Count.

Starts Put one and two together. Run this several times and then add a set of ten for the Racing Stroke. Then add two sets of ten.

Sprints Pick a destination about 50 or 60 yards away and an imaginary starting line. Steer the team into position, come to a complete stop, set up for a racing start, and go. Full out race.

Time a Race Pick a distance that approximates a race. Set up for it, and Go. Announce the time to the team. You may be asked if that time is good. All times are good. Tell them the winning and slowest time from the last event you know about. A 200 meter winning time is about a minute ten. Other times go to a minute forty.

Power Up Drill Have the crew paddle for 3 minutes at a relaxed pace. Every 20 seconds announce Power Up in 3, 2, 1, and have them hit it hard for ten strokes. This will be easy after practicing the Second Set of the start and leads to a Finish technique they can use on race-day.

Race This is everybody’s favorite. Race one of the other teams practicing.

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