Socialize and Succeed: The Benefits of Group Training
Why Group Training
Training alone, while it can work for some, is a challenging prospect. Top athletes across athletic disciplines all rely on coaches to help improve and refine their skills in order to enable them to achieve their desired results during competition. Stand Up Paddleboarding is no different and while paddlers compete under their own power as individuals, SUP naturally lends itself as a group training activity.
When training with a group, you will typically push yourself harder and train with greater intensity than you would if on your own. Group training infuses a competitive atmosphere to your workouts that cannot otherwise be achieved. It just has a way of bringing out the inner competitor in all of us.
The Fun Factor
Training with a group is fun, pure and simple. You can replicate race conditions and practice buoy turns and starts in a competitive atmosphere while building strong friendships through your shared on the water experiences. Group training also gives you the opportunity to compare your skills against those of other paddlers outside of a race. Imagine the tips can you learn from one of your friends who always shoots out to a seemingly perfect beach start or consistently executes flawless buoy turns no matter what the conditions. Training as a group is also a great way to make new friends and meet like-minded paddlers seeking to improve – just like you.
It is widely recognized that paddlers naturally up their game and tend to perform better when training alongside advanced paddlers. The Infinity SUP Team, known by their devilish moniker Speed Freaks, comes together for a weekly group training session each week. Doing so fosters a team spirit among the paddlers – an important factor in establishing a team’s identity. In the case of Infinity, they have the added benefit of the fitness and coaching expertise of Brody Welte, founder of Paddle Fit, however you do not have to be a member of an elite paddling team to tap into the advantages of group training.
SUP Paddle Clubs
Southern California paddlers have the unique opportunity to receive group coaching from not just one, but two of stand up paddling’s most highly accomplished and respected athletes. Launched earlier this year, Anthony Vela and Candice Appleby have expanded the options available through their coaching business, Performance Paddling, and established the Performance Paddling SUP Training Club. Based at Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor, the Performance Paddling SUP Training Club offers paddlers a range of meet up dates and times for a flat rate monthly fee.
SUP Examiner joined a group of enthusiastic paddlers at the Performance Paddling SUP Training Club last Wednesday evening and was impressed with not only the quality of the training, but also the overflowing stoke from participants. “It is such a privilege to learn from them,” said one of the paddlers. “It is the equivalent of learning how to play basketball from Michael Jordan.”
Paddlers gather for the camera after a Performance Paddling session. GoPro shot provided by Giannisa Vecco.
Each Performance Paddling SUP Club session lasts for approximately one and a quarter hours and begins with an extensive on the beach warm up prior to getting on the water. New drills are incorporated during each session as the coaches focus on the development of specific skills to enhance the overall performance of paddlers.
Outside of North America, SUP Clubs are a popular way to get involved in stand up paddling in the United Kingdom. One of our favorites is Central SUP in the UK’s Midlands. Central SUP offers a variety of training programs, alongside the opportunity to take part in the UK SUP Club’s annual race series.
We’re sure there are a number of other great SUP paddle clubs out there all around the globe. Write in and tell us about your favorites. If there isn’t an organized club near you, grab your friends and create your own group training program. As our friend Jim Terrell at Quickblade Paddles likes to say, “Train Hard, Go Fast, Have Fun!”
See you on the water!