The Top 3 Reasons Paddlers Get Stuck

The Top 3 Reasons Paddlers Get Stuck

In this article I want to explain the very common mindset of investment attitudes as it encompasses a few of the others. This mindset is created from real life experiences such as illness, physical limitation, and life circumstances. In this mindset paddlers tend to convince themselves and anybody who will listen why they cannot do something. They wear their validation like a badge of honor with statements like:

“I can’t do the stroke the way coach wants because of my _____”

“My body doesn’t move that way because of my _____”

“I don’t have full mobility due to my ____”

“I cant make those practices because I ____”

“I don’t paddle well on the left side because ___”

When reasons become excuses … 

Now, if you are a paddler reading this and feel you make those statement for a valid reason, I am asking you to take a step into that reason and see if it has become an excuse. Reasons become excuses when we don’t find a way to work around it. 

If coach knows you have a limitation, I can bet they can offer another area of your stroke, fitness or mobility to focus on while you work through the limitation. Not being open to work around an issue keeps us stuck in a pattern that does not serve us physically in our sport.

I am not saying issues don’t exist and they should be glossed over with a positive attitude or rose-colored glasses, I’m just saying that if we perceive a limitation as a roadblock that needs going around rather than stopping us in our tracks we can begin to move forward!

How do these mindsets show up in our sport?

When I can physically correct a posture in a paddlers stroke, and they can take a stroke in the corrected form I know change is possible. It is when the previous form creeps back in just a few strokes or by the end of practice it becomes clear that a mindset is holding this paddler back. 

Here are the top 3 reasons paddlers get stuck:

  1. Previous injury – favoring a shoulder, back or hip issue is a habitual pattern the body falls into even after an injury is healed, especially if it was lingering for several months, or even years!
  2. Experience – paddlers who have had a negative experience racing, with a coach or even with peers will often “hold back” to avoid being in a painful experience once again.
  3. Disbelief – paddler may not believe the technique being taught is correct, they may not believe they are capable of making a change or they may not believe in the goals and aspirations of the team. All forms of disbelief hold us back.

So why do coaches need to deal with these mindsets?

Left undealt with these mindsets have a way of permeating other paddlers, especially in closer circles. Before you know it there is a division amongst the team. I am not suggesting we council paddlers, but it is important we make ourselves aware of these mindsets and be willing to implement strategies into each and every practice that can help shift perspectives.

In Module 4 of Build Team Cultures Of Healthy Competition, I give coaches some concrete tools to shift the mindsets that hold paddlers and teams back. This module is dedicated to the NEW SCIENCE of energy training where coaches and paddlers begin to use their capacities of energy to power performance.

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