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Friday, May 28, 2010

Sweet spot

Rolling, almost upright

If you've ever played golf or baseball or tennis you'll be familiar with the term "sweet spot". Its when the club, bat or racket hits the ball in just the right spot and it flies away effortlessly on its intended track. I find rolling like that also.

Last year I lost my roll for a short period. It was unnerving. Back to basics to rebuild it and I had it back. But there were times when I felt like I relied too much on power. While I got the end result I wanted, it didn't feel effortless. It didn't always feel like I had hit the sweet spot.

Last evening I was so there and it was a sweet feeling.

Rolling is as much a mind game as it is technical. Try this. Get out and tip the kayak over. Bet you can flip it back upright with just a couple of fingers on the bow and the up-sweep of the keel. Realizing that makes forming a positive mental image of rolling easier.

6 comments:

  1. Ill go one further. It is almost all mental, and just a little technique. My blog is about to move into rolling, as I am completing strokes in the next week or so, and moving on to rescues.

    PO

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  2. I don't know if I'd go quite that far. Certainly both go hand in glove. For example, lifting the head too early usually results in a failed roll. Question - is that poor technique or the mind demanding a breath?

    Tony :-)

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  3. As a neophyte who only started rolling in October 2009, I'd say that the physical part of it is very small. The actual physical effort required to roll is next to nil - or at least it should be. Mental is a huge part of it. I'd venture a guess Tony, that you're loss of the roll last year was mental. Something "happened" that threw you off - whether you know what it is or not. And, I think, once you miss a few rolls, then you lose your confidence and it's a downward spiral from there. I think your technique and your mental "state" are directly linked. Good mental = good technique and vice versa. Not sure if that makes sense but there is one thing I do know:

    Rolling, while it may not be the most practical skill in sea kayaking (bracing is more useful), it has the greatest impact on paddling ability and allows you to explore other skills with confidence!!

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  4. To continue on with my last point. I did the Level 1 course last fall and my instructor, Richard Alexander, who wrote on my evaluation that if I learned to roll my other skills would just take off. He was right!!

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  5. Sean, the reason I think I lost my roll last year as because of the trouble I had getting the paddle set-up right during the re-entry and roll. I missed and missed and that screwed with my head.

    Tony :-)

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