In your paddling life, you’d meet different kinds of people with different personalities and from different backgrounds, too. Some you’d easily get along with, some you just wouldn’t. And that’s okay because, first and foremost, you joined the team to paddle and there’s a lot more reasons for you to still be able to eat, sleep, and breathe the sport of paddling.
To be truly part of the team is to play your part: to be full of hope, to be willing to learn and work hard, and, most importantly, to be kind towards your teammates. What kind of a paddler are you?
1. The Motivator
He’s the one who pushes you to do your best–to paddle harder and to train more often. While he does his best to embolden and encourage you to put more effort in learning the techniques, he shows you how it’s done and he makes sure that you dig your paddle deep with your soul and might.
2. The Whiner
This paddler does more whining rather than paddling. It can be about the training program, the new coach, or anything that’s not paddling-related even. It’s just non-stop and it drains everyone’s energy and patience. If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly by anyone from the team, try to open up a dialogue but be pleasant and treat it with utmost professionalism.
3. The Ball of Fire
He gives his all. He shows up in all scheduled practices and he performs his best. He believes that putting effort in training will make him a better paddler, a better teammate. For when the races come, he is ready and his mindset would be like: It’s just one of those regular trainings, only with Umpires and Judges.
4. The Unenthusiastic
He may show up at practices but with such low energy and the performance is half-baked. It’s better to get your focus back, re-fuel, and then go back to practice. The paddler’s power and performance, or lack of it, during the training period will determine the team’s performance on actual race days.
5. The Keeper
He values the team’s unity, in and out of the boat. He keeps them excited to go to training and he persuades teammates who have not been training to come back and paddle. He’s everyone’s friend and you want to paddle alongside him always. He’s the team’s positive energy and the watchdog of whiners.
6. The Boat Wrecker
Quite obviously, this person is unhappy, therefore he does things that demoralises a teammate or the entire team—and so the boat becomes so much heavier. Every so often, they’re the ones who’s not performing at practices and fails at fitness tests. That’s why it’s important to be goal-oriented yourself and then align it with the team’s objectives and aspirations.
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Photo credit: Christine Pezzulo; GIFs via Giphy
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