I was surprised when I read the email: Coach Gordon Brown will be visiting New York Kayak Company Saturday afternoon.
The best advice I’ve gotten is to work with as many coaches as possible, take what I like and leave the rest. That said, Gordon’s pretty well known and highly regarded, running a shop on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. He coached a couple of my coaches, and has an excellent book and DVD series. If you’re into sea kayaking, you’ve probably heard the name.
Update: I paddled with Gordon in Scotland in the final months before he moved to Canada, where he continues coaching at Ocean River Sports.
Several people showed up and we settled in to hear the great wisdom of this world-renowned instructor. The first thing we did was learn a little eskimo song and dance:
We gathered in a circle.
We learned the words, presumably in Inuit.
We hunched over and passed our hands from our knees, to our neighbor’s, then back, then our other neighbor’s.
Then we learned more words, repeated the motions, grabbing our nostrils and alternating left and right earlobes.
Then we did it all again, adding some folding arm motions.
At the end, we jumped at the ceiling.
Wisdom received, we watched a slideshow about paddling in Scotland, and had some Q&A.
One bit I was happy to hear about: how to encourage a student who has hit a plateau. This is an actual challenge I’ve been working on for about a month now. Gordon gave me something to try – more tools for my toolkit, as they say. We’ll see how it works out.
It was great fun, and the first time I’ve seen some of my paddling friends in a while. As the winter months creep in, I’ll be thinking of Scotland and, perhaps, one day paddling around some stacks and muirs myself.