Water

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN LEARNING TO COACH OR STEER!

As an all-volunteer organization, we encourage experienced paddlers to get involved in giving back to our shared community by taking leadership roles.

Video Credit Miki King 502 Dragon Boat Community Member

COACHING:

An effective dragon boat coach is someone who can lead paddlers to achieve their dragon boat goals within predetermined timelines and without injury. A good coach is a teacher, motivator, and communicator. S/he helps paddlers set attainable goals and offers correction in a way folks can hear and act on. S/he also must be safety-oriented, knowledgeable, and a competent paddler. We recommend you have at least two seasons of paddling and/or feel confident in your own dragon boat paddling stroke before learning to coach others.

 

What you can expect if you want to become a coach: a combination of in-person pointers plus time practicing coaching (with feedback from experienced coaches to help you grow as a coach). We will also alert you to opportunities to become a USDBF certified coach and, if needed, help you cover the cost of that certification.

 

Next steps if you’d like to learn more or start the path to coaching paddlers:

  1. Email coachbill@502dragons.org and let us know you’re interested!

  2. Review our Safety Plan and indicate that you’ve read it by signing the acknowledgment form contained in that plan

  3. RECOMMENDED: Take a First Aid course. We encourage coaches to be certified in First Aid/CPR/AED as they are in charge of the boat if the steer is incapacitated. You can do this online at NSC.org or at RedCross.org 

  4. If an “Intro to Coaching” session is planned, we’ll invite you to the next session. If no session is planned, we will ask you to meet individually with one or two existing coaches.

 

During this time, we’ll:

  • Review the basic stroke and how to teach it

  • Share a list of drills we find helpful

  • Give pointers on how to give feedback in an encouraging way and work with paddlers on incremental improvements and goals

  • Review the 502 Dragons’ Code of Conduct and discuss what is expected of coaches

  • Discuss how to sign up to be a coach at practice sessions

  • Encourage you to look for feedback on your coaching sessions

  • Discuss how to become a certified coach

  • Answer your questions!

 

Thank you again for your support!

Water

STEERING:

An experienced steer is responsible for crew safety on the water. S/he must not only assume control of the boat, but also have a clear communication plan with the coach, drummer, and paddlers. A good steer will have knowledge of boat commands, effects of wind and water conditions, navigation, and rules of racing. With practice, s/he will learn boat balancing and creating an environment of trust and confidence within the boat. 


What you can expect if you want to become a steer: a combination of “book learning” (video or in-person training by a certified trainer) and about 32 hours of “on water” learning and steering time to become a certified steer. We will alert you to opportunities to become a formally certified ADBA or USDBF steer and, if needed, help you cover the cost of that certification.

 

Next steps if you’d like to learn more or start the path to steering a dragon boat:

  1. Email coachbill@502dragons.org and let us know you’re interested!

  2. Review our Safety Plan and indicate that you’ve read it by signing the acknowledgment form contained in that plan

  3. REQUIRED: Take a First Aid course. All steers must be certified in First Aid/CPR/AED. You can do this online at NSC.org or at RedCross.org 

  4. Review the 502 Dragons’ Code of Conduct, especially the sections relating to coaches and steers

  5. We will work with you to design an apprenticeship with an experienced Steer or Steers 

  6. You will sign up to be a secondary Steer

  7. Working with an experienced steer, you’ll learn to steer during practice sessions in increments that are comfortable for you

  8. We will also help you find and register for a certification course

  9. Certification requires approximately 32 hours of on water steering time and the ability to complete certain maneuvers