In the Olympic Sport of canoe/kayak sprint racing mastering the forward stroke is learning how to control the "air work", the space between the exit of one stroke and the entry of the next.
Perched in a highly unstable boat this is when the paddler is most vulnerable to tipping, when their blade(s) are in the air.
To become a high performance paddler, this phase of the stroke is as critical to master as the pull phase, the raw full body power that drives the boat forward.
This is the space where the stroke must be controlled, fast, slow or paused: during a slow easy paddle; the intensity of sprinting; choppy water and wind conditions; within the chaos of long distance events.
This is the space where we set up our re-entry of the blade into the water for maximum impact and power.
Mastering this space between requires attention to our:
We accomplish this practice through pause drills for balance and self-awareness to the alignment necessary to connect with the environment around us.
The adjust the speed to re-entry to serve our needs best in the moment.
A tricky feat but without the pause and attention to detail or managing the speed in the space between, we can't master the re-entry.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on what re-entry looks like for you? your business? Paused, slow or fast?
Warmly and with gratitude,
Karen Lukanovich is a certified professional and personal coach, Olympian and sport coach who is passionate about helping women achieve their best performances.