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Dragon Boat Technique Developing Your Team’s Style. 2010 DBC Summit Kamini Jain Right Angle Performance & FCRCC. Success is:. What Does My Team Need to Be Successful?. Attendance at an event Team retention Team morale A race time A race result A level of technical proficiency Others?.

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dragon boat technique developing your team s style

Dragon Boat TechniqueDeveloping Your Team’s Style

2010 DBC Summit

Kamini Jain

Right Angle Performance


what does my team need to be successful
Success is:What Does My Team Need to Be Successful?
  • Attendance at an event
  • Team retention
  • Team morale
  • A race time
  • A race result
  • A level of technical proficiency
  • Others?
setting the goal of a level of technical proficiency
Setting The Goal of A Level of Technical Proficiency
  • What Factors Do I Need to Consider
  • Current level and diversity of technical expertise of team
  • Level and diversity of fitness of team
  • Motivation level*
  • Reason they paddle
  • Equipment access
  • Time they have to train
  • Age/Injuries/Special Needs
  • The kind of athlete you have*
  • How much I know*
streamlining your approach
Streamlining Your Approach

You’re the Coach. You have to know.

What do you have to know?

Your Technical Model

Your Training Philosophy

core technical beliefs kj
Core Technical Beliefs: KJ

The herd is stronger if it sticks together: Everyone on the team must buy into the same technical model

The finished product must be known to plan the steps to get there

Nothing is without consequence.

“Acceptable” has to incorporate a range of actions

The technical model for an experienced team is more detailed than for a beginning team but the foundation is the same

Technique learning takes time and perfection is not a goal

Improvement comes from an athlete/coach partnership

Different people need different solutions

I can’t fix everyone’s technical imperfections

premises of my technical model
Premises of My Technical Model

Dragon Boat is a whole body sport

Range of motion (ROM) is a combination of coordination, strength and flexibility

Increased torso ROM = more boat speed if executed under certain parameters

Movement through the joints of the spine in any direction should be minimized, but not decreased to nil

The torso, including the pelvis, must move together

Stability is required for effective power transfer

Weight should be transferred to the blade immediately on the catch, stay on blade through the pull and be released on the exit

The mechanics of the exit is at least as important as the catch

Half the stroke is spent in the air

Momentum is everything!!!!!!!!!!

Training must address the needs of technical development

different styles
Different Styles
  • At the top level, differences in style are due more to different focuses than different fundamentals
  • Example of my technical model:
    • Canadian Premier Mixed: 2009 World Champions, 500m
my technical model
My Technical Model
  • Paddle in time
    • In together, out together, air-work together, water-work together
how do i get them to stay in time
How do I get them to stay in time?
  • Reminders
  • Practice
  • Drills
  • Similar technical components
    • Same motion for initiation of catch and exit: Bottom hand, Top arm
    • Stable and similar sitting position
    • Similar posture
    • Where to look?
sitting position
Sitting Position

My Choices:

Key Aims:

Body Positions:

  • Stability
  • Posture
  • Weight transfer
  • Hips face forward at neutral position
  • Outside thigh as parallel to the side of boat as possible
  • Feet secure
  • Inside hip can move
  • Outside hip is stable (seat pad)
sitting positions

My Choices:

Sitting Positions


  • Stability
  • Posture
  • Weight transfer

Good Good Not so good


My Choices:

  • Spine
    • Minimal forward flexion
    • No lateral flexion. Soft spot.
    • Some rotational ROM, but: refer back to point 1 & 2
  • Pelvis: Source of mobility

My Choices:


Create length

Create strength

Create weight transfer

Facilitate top hand over water


Through hips.


My Choices:

  • Why:
  • Create length
  • Create stability through center of gravity being over thigh
  • Create effective paddle angle
  • Create weight transfer

Create rhythm





My Choices:

  • 1-5 degree body position to as far forward as can be posture can be held
  • No lateral flexion
  • Forward lean comes from joint of pelvis with femur
putting the blade in
Putting the Blade In

My Choices:

  • Define motion
    • Body with hands directing
  • Finesse, purposeful, with intent
  • Forward motion
pulling the boat forward
Pulling the boat forward

My Choices:

  • Simplify:
    • Body, body, body
  • Accelerate
taking the blade out
Taking the Blade Out

My Choices:

  • Top arm dominance, bottom hand facilitation – opposite of catch
    • Top arm can effect the blade quicker
  • Avoid a stall
    • Railroad: stall by stagnation
    • Growing to remove blade: stall be decreasing pressure
    • Momentum is everything!!!
moving the blade forward
Moving the Blade Forward

My Choices:

Stay tight through inter core, loose through outer torso, shoulders and arms

Stay stable

“extend” rather than “reach”

Lead with body motion



My Choices:

Simple analogy that works.

  • Know your Technical Model and back it up with premises and core beliefs
  • Do not make this complicated:

Simplify your internal and external language and approach

Look for ways to strengthen your model, not diversify

  • Have an effective Training Philosophy
five key fundamentals in my mind 1 5
Five Key Fundamentals In My Mind: 1/5

Stronger muscles and skeleton of the torso generates power, arms control paddle position

dynamic body, patient hands

together this creates boat speed

(forced paddling)

five key fundamentals 2 5
Five key Fundamentals: 2/5

If hinging is a chosen element, sequencing of body motion in the pull can have a significant effect on the efficiency of the paddle angle and power of the movement

five key fundamentals 3 5
Five key Fundamentals: 3/5

Hips, torso, hands and paddle are aligned to generate optimal linear force, thus straight fast boat movement

five key fundamentals 4 5
Five key Fundamentals: 4/5

Body moves forward and hands move forward and up (or in) to release paddle from the water to maximize subsequent glide

No static moment

five key fundamentals 5 5
Five key Fundamentals: 5/5

The fundamentals of the air work are similar to the pull – what generates power, sustains glide:

As with the pull, the recovery requires a dynamic body and patient hands. Recovery speed similar to boat speed.

As with the pull, the recovery requires the hips, torso, hands and paddle to be aligned to maximize glide and maintain effective starting point for subsequent pull