With 2020 underway and a new year of Coaching , Leading groups and passing on my passion for all things kayaking and the outdoors to all that visit me and H2oadventures . I’ve spent time looking over all of my trips and sessions from 2019 looking for ways to improve my coaching and how I can pass on new skills to my clients in a way that suits their learning the best .
Sitting down and replaying your previous year can be an amazing way to remember your successes , the successes of my clients and the joy they went through getting far and above their expectations when they joined H2oadventures for a trip or course. It’s all to easy to focus on what hasn’t happened , What didn’t go to plan and what others are doing . With social media its all to easy to be blinded by the world racing around us instead of focusing on whats happening directly to us .
Last year I created my own River to sea kayak coaching course over 6 weeks in Dorset. With such great venues close by it gave me the opportunity to offer progression in relaxed environment. With many of my clients they would have loved to head out along the Jurassic coast in a kayak but just didn’t have the knowledge or the confidence . Over a 6 week period you could instantly see the progression of the individuals trusting the new skills they had learnt and being able to work as a team on the water which is paramount when heading out further into the sea.
My course brought people together from all walks of life with lots of different reasons for coming and learning a new skill or improving their skills already learnt. Friends have been made within the groups that will last for a lifetime heading off on adventures together.
What constituted success ??? Success is down to the individual and is very personal . You can set your own gauge, your own goals and never to use others as your bar. Some weeks I feel I’m not successful because I don’t have more kayaks, more trips running or for all the hard work and effort I put in I’m not a millionaire :). However, then being there when a new client has come to me, who has never been in a kayak before and spending 6 weeks together and heading off sea kayaking around Portland, gives me a great feeling of success for my client, seeing them exceed their own goals and for the skills I have passed on.
This year you may be looking to start kayaking for the first time or you may be looking to paddle further. You may be looking to gain more knowledge on navigation, Kit , Rescues and much more. Whatever your reason H2oadventures are ready to help you reach your goals. Please read below a selection of 3 personal success stories written by some of my recent paddlers.
Personal achievements and successes
Rachel Kelly :
I am a 52 year old Grandmother who was looking for something new to do to keep fit when I saw an advert on facebook for a six week river to sea kayaking course.I have never sat in a kayak and thought that if I hate it it is only 6 weeks so signed up.I am not a confident person in water so was terrified, but Steven was very good at instilling confidence and giving encouraging instructions to develop my non existent skills.
Our first trip out on sea water was yet another massive challenge for me as open water terrifies me, but at the end of our trip to Brownsea Island I felt that I was getting the hang of the kayak. Steven at all times was very patient and encouraging with all the different levels within our group so that all of us had a great experience.
After being out on open water I realized that my personal journey may take a little longer than others to get to a level were I would feel confident enough not to be a burden to others, so joined the next course as at the end of the day I was really enjoying kayaking and seeing the shoreline from a totally different perspective.
So after 10 weeks of kayaking once a week Steven invited me to join a paddle out with 2 star and above kayakers over at Portland Bill. After accepting he then tells me it is a 10 mile paddle to circumnavigate Portland Headland!I rock up totally naive of quite how far that is by kayak even though I had checked the tides and winds as Steven had taught us.
Our trip Started with a seal launch from Chesil Beach, rock hopping, cave exploring and watching the sea birds including Puffins, just about made it all the way round with the wonderful group that looked after me. Such a massive achievement and I am so pleased that I have done that even though I had to be towed for the last 1.5 miles. As I said, the group were amazing at looking after me and offering tips and advise throughout our journey.Thank you Steven for your encouragement and great teaching as I am now a kayaker looking to improve my skills and learn so much more.
Bring on the next season.
Sam and Adrian : Sam and Adrian came to H2oadventures in July 2019 . With some previous experience in Kayaking and members of their local canoe club . Sam and Adrian had already started on the British canoeing Personal performance awards passing the Discovery award in July . They joined my 6 week course because of the progressive coaching and the trips in both Poole harbour and out to Old Harry rocks.
From the start I could see they had already a good foundation in kayaking skills and top tips where needed to add a little finesse to their strokes. We progressed nicely through the first 3 sessions in Wareham . Our 4th session was in Swanage bay for a series of rescue practices in both self rescue and rescuing others.
Adrian got to experience how much harder it was to self rescue in a kayak in the sea which some what shocked him. Could you rescue yourself if you capsized in a kayak? We worked together to identify techniques to give Adrian the confidence and ability to self rescue. This might not come to you instantly, but practice makes permanent . What we did; firstly we spent a session working on relaxation techniques whilst submerged under water, giving Adrian time to think and remain calm whilst upside down in the water. Here was that moment when Adrian started to piece together his own personal puzzle that changed how he learnt from then on . It was a great moment and Adrian went from strength to Strength with his new found confidence.
This Year Sam and Adrian have passed their British Canoeing Explorer award, British Canoeing Sea kayak award, bought their own sea kayaks and joined me in Anglesey for a weekend sea kayaking . It has been a great pleasure working with them and I look forward to heading out on future adventures together.
So there it is….I found my success! This is where my passion lies within coaching my paddlers to be the best that they can and help them overcome anything that is standing in the way of their future paddling success. I have realized that a Coach is much more than just a business transaction. I become part of my customer’s water based lives and get great satisfaction from seeing them develop both personally and aquatically! This year I have lots of great fun courses to help you achieve your goals. I look forward to showing you many more successes from 2019 and new goals being made in 2020.