I love this drill but I’m not sure the paddlers do. It is very challenging as we implement a pause before extending into the catch. And then we add on by to the pause by closing our eyes.
Theres 3 reasons this drill is super effective
Reason 1: When the paddlers close their eyes they are using their senses to “feel” timing. Closed eye paddling is difficult without a pause but adding the pause gives paddlers a way to “catch up” to the stroke rate without hanging out in the water or rushing the person in front of them.
Reason 2: The pause is the time in the stroke when we breathe. Being the pause follows the exit, it is when we are our tallest in the stroke. Our chest is open, our head is up and we can catch a full unencumbered breath.
Reason 3: The pause allows paddlers the time to build the extension and drop onto their catch. The pause gives them a split second in a position thats easier to hold than extension and provides the opportunity to prepare the body and mind. If we rotate into extension and then to the catch without this pause we can miss the opportunity to get that dynamic catch where the paddle is solid in the water and fully buried.
Give this a try with your crew. Make sure they are ok with clanking paddles. And prepare them to feel disorientated, it’s all just learning!