Committed2thecore’s 2012 sea kayaking schedule will have lots of great new ideas, many of them inspired by my BCU Level 5 training.
I recently spent an incredible week in Ireland with 11 other eager paddlers and two of the world’s best sea kayaking instructors, Oisin Hallisay and Mike McClure, as part of the intensive British Canoe Union Level 5 training program.
In most programs I have taken or delivered, the first meeting is all about who you are, what you want to get out of the program, and getting to know your fellow paddlers. Well the instructors turned that idea on its ear. They told us that there was a mini bus with a trailer loaded with boats, and we were to pack up our stuff because we were heading out to an island to spend the night. That was just the start of some unexpected, and pleasant, surprises.
Our group was made up of 8 sea kayakers and 4 white water kayakers. During the 7-day program we were exposed to many different classroom based sessions: visualization exercise, learning styles, learning types, personality profiling, and how to work with all types of people in groups. Once the classroom-based sessions were done, we moved onto the water. Oisin brought in Howard Jeffs, Gordon Brown, Kevin Mansell, Andy Stamp and Nigel Robinson for two days of practical coaching. I had the pleasure of two days of on water coaching with Nigel Robinson (a fellow P&H team member).
I am now planning the 2012 Committed2theCore sea kayaking programs. Some of the innovations I plan to introduce as a result of the BCU training include:
- Having a wide range of exercise for different types of learning in different conditions (flat water, current, waves and wind)
- Taking the time to obverse the students at the start of a program to get a clear understanding of where they are, and what they need to work on.
- After an on water session, have 2 or 3 tips and tricks to pass along to the student.
My BCU training will conclude in November 2012, when I return to the UK with 6 sea kayaking students. I will develop a customized training plan for each of the six and work with them to attain their goals. They will take part in an assessment, in which I will be observed by two other level 5 instructors to see if my training plan worked. I will also be assessed on my ability to develop practical teaching situations.
I hope to see many of you on the water in 2012. If you want to brush up on your skills, and learn some new ones, register now for the Atlantic Paddle Symposium, May 11 to 14, at Liscombe Lodge on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. (www.atlanticpaddlesymposium.com) If you are in Ireland and are looking for a great place to paddle and learn, check out the Tollymore Outdoor Centre (www.tollymore.com), the base for the BCU training.
Special thanks to Jim and all the crew at P&H kayaks for all the support.
Yours in Adventure,