The Silent Instructor.
So every one an a while you get a novel idea that makes sense. Wanted to share one such example with you. During our last Super Fun Roll Clinic we arrived at our third day and some folks were still struggling with paddle placement. The common issue was not having the paddle close enough to the surface to make it effective providing a brace during the last phase of the C to C. This could be attributed to a lack to flexibility in our participants, which is to be expected with folks using muscles that they have not used in quite some time. So rather than have these folks burn themselves out I brought in a friend, The Silent Instructor. So who is this righter of rolling wrongs?.......none other than the lowly paddle float. The paddle float forced folks to keep their paddles on the surface during their sweep out to T-Position from Home base.
It also allowed them to correct their overall body position which for most was facing too far to the stern. More importantly it showed when folks where pulling up their heads ahead of the boat and body. The paddle float allowed for them to then focus on tracking the paddle with their heads and set up for the right body position that would maximize the hip snap. It was a truly satisfying experiencing seeing them get up one by one with the float providing a positional assist, providing immediate feedback. Additionally as I explained the paddle float gives the student the ability to practice rolling with confidence knowing that can fall back on a brace if necessary. I had them demo this for themselves one by one to prove that they could just lay back on the water in a brace infinitely and relax the paddle shaft "death grip", pushing themselves up if necessary. I likened the paddle float to training wheels on a bike, something that all could related to. Eventually the brace provided by the float will become less and less as the snap becomes more pronounced and reliable.
Sometimes its the simple things that truly make a big difference in instruction. Cheers.