If you haven't already heard, early specialization in sport leads to a greater risk of long-term sport-related injury, and early mental burnout. Multi-sport training leads to happier healthier athletes with greater critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In canoe kayak, we get this concept. Due to the nature of our sport (in Canada) it is virtually impossible to early specialize. Our "specialized training" is limited to 7 months of the year which leaves about half the year to develop multi-sport strength and conditioning.
Specialized training in canoe kayak is actually; canoe, kayak, polo, running, yoga, calisthenics, and swimming so even in the 7 months of specialized training we are still very much multi-sport. Throughout the rest of the year we incorporate; specific strength training, spin, cross fit, skating, as well as ski and snowboard trips.
Training in a specified canoe or kayak takes up less than half our total training time.
If early specialization is a bad thing almost ironically youth sport is critical to developing; self-esteem, regular exercise, leadership skills, teamwork, stronger relationships, better communication, teaches respect, and time management.
Year-round training at Sackawa Canoe Club will set your young athlete off in the direction of lifelong multi-sport in a socially healthy environment. As one of Canada's leading Olympic sports, sprint canoe kayak is heavily funded and there is plenty of scholarships and training funding as athletes reach the national team level. Reaching the elite level in our sport comes with years of training but is very achievable as Nova Scotia is among the largest paddling communities in the world.
At Sackawa Canoe Club, we believe in athlete-directed progress. Not all athletes develop on the same trajectory. The early years are focused on showing up, having fun with friends, and challenging physical limits on a daily basis. When an athlete is ready to go to the elite1 level we adapt their training and still stress the importance of community and enjoying the training process.
How much does it cost?
Simply, year-round (summer included) training ranges from $1320/yr to $1920/yr ($110/month to $160/month) and is inclusive of all fees (racing, fundraising, insurance, etc). There are various options for beginners or athletes already in multiple sports (3-5 training sessions per week) and older, more experienced athletes (upto 10 sessions per week, including the exclusive pro-athlete morning sessions).
The first monthly payment is taken for September and then arrangements of autopayments or eTransfers can be setup montly. Your committment is limit to the months you paid and you are free to cancel anytime during the year without any further obligations.
What is the commitment/schedule?
In the fall and spring, the club is open Monday-Friday at 4 pm on water practice starts at 4:30 and continues until 6 pm. From 4:00-4:30, there is a warm-up run. Although the warm-up run is part of the training program it is ok to use that as an extended window to make it to the paddling practice. The athletes are welcome to join in practice at 4:30.
Friday at 4:30 pm is usually Soccer at Cavalier drive school, the club is open at 4:00 pm to change and warm up.
Weekends are off! Unless there is a regatta we’ll often meet unofficially for skiing or snowboarding at Martock.
Early morning practice is for athletes 14 and older it's 2-5 times per week depending on targeted volume. Our philosophy is that proper sleep (10 hours) is more beneficial than early morning practice. As time goes on athletes learn to time manage to make the morning practices work with their schedule and realize the added benefit.
My expected commitment is that the athletes show up ready to work with their appropriate equipment. A time commitment is not necessary for the early years but we expect that athletes will follow the schedule they commit to. If an athlete is missing practice for other commitments or sports we support that but the practices should not be seen as showing up when I feel like it. If we are doing our job right the athletes will want to be here anyway!
What is an appropriate training load?
U-12 - FUNdamentals and Foundation, 3-6 sessions per week. Focus on technical and learning proper training practices. Heavy emphasis on social aspects of the sport.
U-14 - Training to Train, 4-8 sessions per week. Focus on intermediate paddling skills and conditioning. Emphasis on Coach/athlete feedback.
U-18 - Learn to Compete, 8-12 sessions per week. Focus on sport-specific strength endurance and speed. Emphasis on goal setting and competition visualization.
U-23 - Train to Compete, 9-12 sessions per week. Focus on sport-specific strength endurance and speed. Emphasis on race planning and tactics.
23+ - Train to Win, sessions per week - Individualized. Focus on technical and endurance maintenance. Emphasis on the mentoring and elite competition.
Mature - Active for life, sessions per week 2-12 sessions per week. Focus on being active. Emphasis on lifelong activity.
First off, we weight train. All groups will experience some weight room training but it is age and developmentally appropriate. There has been, in the past misinformation about weight training and stunting growth. What the science tells us is that teens are ready to do targeted strength training during peak height velocity. This is the time when they are growing the fastest and not when they have reached their maximum height. All that said, we take a very conservative approach to weight training and the load on any of our U14 athletes would not be more than push-ups or chin-ups. The strength training in the U14 age group is based on calisthenics, Cross fit, and Yoga training. They would only be in the weight room learning proper technique and using low weight high repetition. The U-16 and U-23 do more targeted weight training focusing on building mass, power, and strength endurance. The strength training is still heavily focused on cross-fit and yoga training.
Spring training camp in Florida?
The spring Florida training camp this year will most likely be from March 11th to April 7th and is open to approved athletes in grade 8 or older. Acceptance into the camp is not guaranteed it is based on the maturity of the athletes and the likelihood they will contribute to the positive training environment at the camp. Some athletes are not ready or do not have the ability to endure the camp.
Boats and paddles?
We have plenty. All you need is running shoes a life jacket and weather-appropriate clothing. With time you will want to start investing in equipment used equipment can be quite affordable. The typical chain of events goes; Year-round Training, Paddle, Florida then boat not always in the same year and not always in that order.
Click HERE to take you to the registration (which takes your first month payment - September)