Depression, Me, and You

I’ve suffered from depression all of my adult life.  A few days ago, I felt sadness, pain, and worthlessness unlike anything in recent memory.  I wanted to end my life and was the closest I’ve been to ever following through.  Fortunately, I did not.

Depression is a serious and rising global problem with 264 million people of all ages suffering from it and 800,000 people dying from suicide each year (World Health Organization, 2020).  To me, 264 million people out of the world’s 7.8 billion seems insignificant, but we should realize that the statistics will only count actual diagnosed cases (those created through an organized, reporting health care system) and not people who remain undiagnosed or who take their lives before being diagnosed.

Regardless of what the statistics say, my point in writing this is to spread awareness for a mental health disorder that is often mischaracterized, misunderstood, and often invisible to everybody except the person suffering from it.  As dragon boat is a team sport involving relatively large groups of people, chances are extremely high that multiple members of YOUR team suffer from depression and that fellow paddlers may not even be aware.

“How are you?”
“Good and you?”

How many of you bust out this script multiple times on a daily basis?  I know I will say these words as automatically as smiling, shaking a hand or giving a friendly hug whenever seeing friends, acquaintances, or even family.  Even if I’m hurting on the inside, I hate the idea of sharing that pain with others who appear so…normal on the outside.  Even if they are also hiding depressive symptoms, it hurts me to think about pushing the weight of my sorrows upon them.  This is, as I’ve come to realize, a common challenge with depression.  That being said, this realization doesn’t help my ability to overcome my reservations with casually sharing my true feelings at any given time.

The same phenomenon would happen all the time when I was a paddler.  I’d be surrounded by 19+ other people I loved and cared for.  I knew they ALL cared for me but through all the meals, jokes, blood, sweat, and tears we shared, I never once let on that I could be feeling symptoms of depression.  Conversely, I never saw anybody else showing signs of depression and felt like I must be the only person on the team grappling with those feelings.

When I was coaching, things become so much worse for me internally.  I felt like the role of “coach” required me to insulate myself somewhat from the rest of the team; as if I was a leader who needed a level of inaccessibility from those I lead in order to maintain authority, impartiality, respect, and an air of professionalism.  Stress was a daily opponent.  Stress over meeting weekly performance goals, recruitment strategies, moderating team dynamics, creating workouts, race day planning, and the self-doubt and frustration that came with any perceived shortcomings or apparent failures ate away at my soul without anybody (I think) ever seeing it.  I wore a good mask, a good smile, and used an encouraging voice every practice and race that I attended.  When I finally gave up the coaching role and simply paddled for a season, I was almost happy to hear and see my replacement’s stress and frustration with the new role.  To think of somebody suddenly be acutely aware of my own struggles was oddly fulfilling (sorry Huy).

Dragon boat is a sport that is accessible to all sorts of people at every level of fitness.  It can offer incredible amounts of camaraderie, love, and support between all members and all teams.  To be a dragon boat paddler is to be part of a global community.  One of the greatest strengths of dragon boat is also its greatest weakness.  Teams are just SO large with gatherings so loud, boisterous, action-packed, and “happy” that they often don’t provide a comfortable way for people to connect and share personal challenges.

Call to Action

As a dragon boat paddler, I challenge you to take the time this week to connect with a fellow teammate you don’t often talk with and offer the time and space to get past the usual pleasantries of the usual “Wassup.”  You don’t have to pry, try to “fix” them, or give feedback, just actively listen.

For team leaders, I challenge you to plan a team event this month to break into small groups of 3-4 and give 5 minutes per person to voice their replies to general prompts like, “this week I struggled with…”, “something I felt good about today was…”, or “something I feel inside that nobody knows about is…”.  Make rules that anything that is spoken about stays confidential, does not leave the small group it’s shared with, and isn’t brought up outside the event unless by the person who shared it.  I think such an opportunity can provide teammates a safe space to relate to each other in ways not generally seen with team events and can really strengthen the bonds between everybody; helping team cohesion and maybe, just maybe, saving lives.

If you are considering suicide and reside in the US, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always ready to listen.  Call them at 1-800-273-8255.

I want to live and I know you do too.  You are not alone.  I also want to hear from you directly, even though we may not have ever met in person.  My number is 1-415-987-6328.

Turn On Your Off Season

Right now in the Bay Area, most adult recreational dragon boat teams are winding down for their “off-season” due to local races stopping until around April.  Many paddlers will decrease the frequency of water training (if not cutting it out entirely) over the next few months.  If you are a recreational paddler who has practiced and raced from April to September this year, you may be excited to have all this free time to go on a week long vacation for once or sleep in on weekends without the guilt of missing water time with the team.  Don’t get me wrong, the long gap between local races is a perfect time to enjoy yourself away from dragon boat, but consider how your time spent will affect your return to the next season.

Don’t be a couch potato this off-season!

I read a great article by a cycling coach detailing his views on this very subject.  You can read it here.

Essentially, all Bay Area paddlers should recognize that we are not professional paddlers in any shape or form.  It is highly unlikely you are overtraining for dragon boat specifically and, as such, don’t need the time to recover from the sport like pro athletes can.  Realize also that if you decide to take a break from dragon boat this winter, will you inadvertently be taking a break from exercise in general?  Doing this can mean that you will come back next season weaker and more prone to injury than you are right now.

With this understanding, I recommend that everyone enjoy their time outside of a dragon boat but still challenge yourselves to enhancing your fitness in ways you could/did not while during the dragon boat season.  After all, being a recreational dragon boat paddler may mean you struggled to allocate a few hours per week for paddling alone, never mind time to cross train.  Work on enhancing your core stability, losing weight, stretch your tight paddling muscles, cross train in another sport entirely!  The possibilities are endless but all beneficial to keeping good fitness while paving the way to a better and healthier start of the next season.


It’s that great feeling when you set out to accomplish something and through a combination of blood, sweat, and tears that you see that goal met.  Being a coach is being a leader.  This is somebody who formulates a strong plan and sets goals and methods to lead the team to success by the season’s end.  I previously wrote this article on goal setting and, over my later years of coaching, have found several key points that I’ve found essential to include.

1.  Know what the team wants

I came to a point in my coaching career where I thought I knew myself and where I wanted to be, but that place was not necessarily where the team wanted to go.  As a leader, I made the mistake of assuming that the goals I set were shared among everybody.  Of course, those goals failed and it’s no mystery why!  The saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” sums up the need for a coach to fit themselves into the team’s unified goal.  In elite sports, what team plans to NOT make it to the championship?  None.  On recreational teams, such as with dragon boat, the team’s vision of meeting a goal may not be to win, but merely to participate and spend time with other teammates.  Trying to push a recreational team towards a singular goal of winning a championship is as inappropriate as setting a competitive team towards a specific goal of finishing last.  A coach can suggest goals but cannot force a team to adopt them.

2.  Know what to do

After a team accepts the goals a coach suggests, a plan must be established.  Imagine an olympic weight lifter whose training for the games was decided randomly by rolling a die of random activities.  One day, the athlete lifts heavy weights and the next day lifts weights as quickly as possible.  The next day the athlete tries to lift half the weight, twice as many times and then doubles the weight to lift half the reps, etc.  Without a logical progression in specific training or a rationale as to why to choose certain activities, there can be no consistent progress towards any goal.  Random practice results in random results and is not a good way to meet a specific goal.  I recommend writing out a specific plan to get your team from where it starts the season to where it needs to be.

3.  Know what you want

As a coach, you are a person with a certain background and certain biases.  You have feelings and desires, strengths and weaknesses.  Ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish for yourself as a coach and why are you coaching in the first place?  Knowing yourself and understanding your reasons for making decisions is essential for your personal longevity as coach and success in leading the team effectively.

4.  Know how you are doing

The ability to test and re-test is a critical skill to use mid-season.  As you follow your plan, you need to know one thing: is it working?  What lets you know you are headed in the right direction?  Finding a reliable test, be it team fitness challenges, time trials, mid-season race results, etc, provides you with a compass throughout the season that can guide you to sticking to the plan or modifying it along the way.

5.  Put it all together

A team is a collection of individuals.  Get each individual to accept the goal and the path to meeting that goal.  Have them commit to what you say it will take to meet that goal.  Follow the plan to get where you need to be.  Adapt your plan as needed to address unforeseen challenges.  Make sure YOU are not contributing to the team falling short of its goal.  Don’t forget, have fun!

Sacrifice for Success

Best motivation I heard all month

is an excerpt from the video “How Bad Do You Want It.”  Here it is below:

And I’m here to tell you, number one, is that most of you say you want to be successful, but you don’t want it bad.  You just kinda want it.  You don’t want it badder than you want to party.  You don’t want it as much as you want to be cool.  Most of you don’t want success as much as you want to sleep.  Some of you love sleep more than you love success and I’m here to tell you that if you’re going to be successful  you’ve gotta be willing to give up sleep…Don’t call it quits.  You’re already in pain, you’re already hurt.  Get a reward from it.  Don’t go to sleep until you succeed.

So go get some!  Don’t sit around waiting for something to happen.  Good things happening to you starts with just you.


The 10th Campaign: 2013 Season Trailer

Join the resistance and our team for the 2013 season

United We Stand

Congratulations to all paddlers for a fantastic race at Treasure Island this past weekend.  Huge thanks goes to those who helped us steer our heats so smoothly and precisely.

With this race concluding the season for our mixed crew, several things come to my mind.  First, we just completed what I believe to be our most challenging season ever.  From the strength and commitment of just a few paddlers at every practice, we’ve managed to pull together a solid crew for every race this season.  Though every team at some point faces the same challenges in keeping practices productive and seats filled, SFL has always seemingly managed to do more with less.  It’s a team trait that has made us great when rosters were full and kept us in competitive lanes this season.

Second, 2013 will mark SFL’s 10th anniversary.  With 2 paddlers remaining from this crew, SFL has clearly been through its fair share of member turnover through the years.  Be it for 1 race or 1 year on the team, every former member of SFL who has graced our boat is sorely missed.  I do find it satisfying to see that many former SFL paddlers become coaches and leaders on other Bay Area teams and valued members wherever they choose to find themselves in dragon boat.  As familiar faces leave the team, new faces present themselves every year; adding to the rich tapestry that is SFL.

As volatile as the roster has been over the years, the strength of the team comes from its strong bonds among teammates.  Our members don’t paddle for the flag we wave, the jersey colors we wear, or the medals to be won.  I would paddle my hands raw to get the team over the finish line because I know everybody on this team works just as hard alongside me.  We are eclectic in our backgrounds but united in our fighting spirit towards a common goal — doing our absolute best as SFL paddlers regardless of finishing place.

The end of this 2012 season will, undoubtedly, see some of our members to other teams or to time away from the sport in general.  As 2013 draws near, I am eager to greet new faces and meet new challenges as one team: united.

Until then, team.  10 years strong.  You make it happen.  We make it happen together.

Long Beach 2012

We love you long time Long Beach!

Sprint Race 2012

Stay strong
Stay true
Stay passionate
Stay together.

Congratulations to a race well run, paddlers of SFL.  This is why I coach.


The Suen Feng Loong (SFL) Dragon Boat Team has returned and it’s time to hit the water for an exciting 2012 paddling season. Start shedding those holiday pounds, get a good workout, and meet some crazy people.

New to the sport? Experience the fun and excitement of the sport first hand as our experienced paddlers and coaches show you how to paddle safely and efficiently.

Already a paddling god? Come realize your paddling potential and value as a team member on a individual-oriented team that emphasizes both performance and fun. Learn what makes our team different than all the rest.

FREE to try. Paddle and PFD (life jacket) provided.

See you on the water!


Your performance as an athlete stems from the very basic principle of practice.  If you practice hard and wisely, your physical performance will follow.  The question becomes, how do you stay motivated?  In steps the mental component of performance.  They say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  All athletes have been there, trying hard and hitting that damn “wall.”  When I hit my wall, hesitations pop up in my mind like “why bother pushing this hard?”  Sometimes that question wins me over and I (in retrospect) sadly give up.  Other times I end up thinking briefly about what I actually want to accomplish and how much it means to me, rather, how much it means about me.  I think of the things that inspire me and that gives me great strength to push forward.

We’ve all felt like this I’m sure.

I recently just happened to watch a few scenes from a documentary about Joe Namath.  A little bit about me, I don’t know but perhaps 5 things about football as a game and certainly don’t know my history of the sport but this documentary painted this man in a way that I found inspirational.  The way they portrayed him was a man of great personal confidence and resolve, honor as a sportsman, and humility as a person.  Whether that is actually accurate is always up for debate, but those qualities are things that I strongly value in myself.

Thinking of those values really fires me up and when I’m on, I am ON.  Have you ever had that feeling that you were invincible or couldn’t get tired now matter how painful or grueling the event was?  Thinking about things that inspire me puts me in that state of mind.

So, if you are hitting that wall or about to start an event, take a moment to think about something that really drives you to succeed.  I’m sure you’ll be amazed by just how little can phase you in your pursuits.

Girl Power

Women and men comprise very close to a 50/50 split in our global population.  Beyond sex ratios, women and men are subject to engendering influences throughout life.  Gender brings a variety of factors into a person’s development and behaviors, many of which are still being studied and understood.

In the local Bay Area dragon boat community, there exists a difference in how women and men are emphasized in the sport.  I’m going to go out on a limb to say that although dragon boat makes itself to be a very accessible co-ed sport, it falls way short of being gender neutral.

The 12/8 Rule

Here in SF, mixed co-ed teams must adhere to the “12/8 Rule” requiring that at least 8 of the 20 paddlers on board must be female to compete.  Sure enough, most coaches will keep to this ratio in hopes for better performance the thought being, “men are stronger than women and having more men in the boat vs women maximizes performance.”  Of course, we don’t live in such a black and white world of sporting performance, but there is a clear mismatch between how men and women are accounted for in a mixed-gender crew.

I’ll go out on another limb to say that with regs such as the 12/8 Rule, men are put in a position to dominate the sport, which changes the dynamics of dragon boat and, unfortunately, reflects the notion that “it’s a man’s man’s world.”  In my short time paddling, I’ve seen the “Men’s Division” turn into the “Open Division,” the title suggesting that it is acceptable for a woman to be aboard but not necessarily required.  Beyond the new name, not much has changed in the Open race itself…most crews are stacked with 100% male paddlers.  Make no mistake, I’m not writing this article to suggest gender races be done away with, just pointing out some key differences in gender emphasis.  It’s a topic rich with debate.

What You May Not Have Realized

Dragon boat is providing hundreds of young paddlers in the Bay Area with an athletic opportunity that also helps build leadership, responsibility, and teamwork skills.  While these are great skills to foster, the masculine nature of dragon boat can present a barrier to young women being able to develop these skills with equal opportunity as their male teammates.  These differences may present a significant disadvantage to young female paddlers as they mature.  Studies have found that if a female has not participated in a sport by age of 10, there is a 10% chance she will participate by age 25.  Additionally, 80% of women identified as key leaders in Fortune 500 companies participated in sports when younger and self-identified as “tomboys” growing up for having played sports.  The importance of participation and building a long-lasting athletic lifestyle plays many key roles in a woman’s development, future health, and success.

Studies have shown females to value sports for their social and team aspects with athletic/skill development holding lesser value.  76.3% of girls have been cited to put “fun” as their primary reason to be active while males tend to take the opposite viewpoint, putting skill acquisition first and “having fun” second.

The Goal

Obviously, the difference in how gender plays a role in sports suggests that a difference should also be observed in effective coaching strategies for female vs male athletes.  Some key strategies are based on these studies of gender in sport:

  • Avoid the “star” label for individuals, praise the group effort
  • Challenge each team member to assist other teammates in improving, don’t pit paddlers against each other
  • Don’t shame, chastise, or otherwise “chew out” paddlers in front of the group
  • Forget about challenging paddler “manly-hood” with taunts etc, keep feedback gender-neutral, motivational, positive and constructive
  • Validate and acknowledge feelings, concerns, and feedback from paddlers so everybody feels heard and respected

In Closing

Dragon boat rules and regulations are not evenly matched to genders involved, yet the sport continues to thrive for good reason.  Dragon boat is a wonderful opportunity for everybody involved to feel stronger both in terms of their athletic ability and passion for fitness.  While not every division is written fairly, there are avenues for every type of paddler to participate fully.  At the individual team level, the methods employed by the team coach should always help foster equal paddler opportunities for the betterment of the sport.  This all starts with knowing your paddlers and their different needs.

Information about psychological differences between female and male athletes from presentation by Jen Kautz, MSPT.

Huy Train Hard

We live in a world where form and function are both purely relative terms.  Everybody has a different perspective on how they look, how they perform, and how they’d LIKE to look and perform.  The media machine does a great job of highlighting the extremes of both.  From shows like The Biggest Loser, movies like 300, or magazines like Cosmopolitan, we are constantly bombarded with the concept of archetypal body types.  Low body fat percentage, rippling muscles, slim waistlines, hour-glass silhouettes are the resulting cornerstones of the fitness and diet industry.  Everybody asks, “how can I look as fit as that guy/girl?”  Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that the way we look reflects what we do and in doing so, we almost never say, “how can I be more fit in general?”

Ultimately, our bodies don’t care how we look (never mind what our brain says).  At the end of the day, our bodies are designed to keep us alive and to just get the job done.  If you give your body the job of sitting at a desk all day, it slowly prepares itself to be sedentary by muscle atrophy, increasing fat storage, decreasing metabolism, and so forth as you sit there over months/years.  If you give your body the job of finishing an Ironman Triathlon, it slowly starts building muscle, burning more fat, increasing metabolism, and so forth as you train.  Given enough time, your body sees to it that your physical form matches your function.

I’ve known Huy a long time and he’s always been an inspirational athlete.  Most guys who see him want arms like his.  Most women don’t want arms like his, they want him.  He doesn’t run in events, he walks to work.  He doesn’t sit during the work day, he’s moving around at work all day long.  He doesn’t go to a gym, he works out at home.  He paddles 1-2x/wk and is the strongest paddler we have right now (one day Huy, I swear).  You might say that you can’t realistically live your life like he does.  You’d probably be right.  What you can do is understand and share his values for being fit and using that fitness for everyday function.  You may be able to enjoy walking up those flights of stairs at work without losing your breath or learn how to push your body through the hardest of exercises to meet goals you never knew you could.

I’m happy to introduce Huy Luong as the team’s newest Assistant Coach and Fitness Leader.  In the near future, you can look forward to new posts in our Health & Fitness section.

Feelin’ SUPER?

Amazing performance at May Race 2011

No medals or trophies but at this point, SFL is almost beyond the need for material rewards IMO (reference to the May Day Race from earlier post).

From a team that has not managed to practice with more than perhaps 14 people in the past 2 months, to scrounging adequate numbers to fill the roster, to placing 4th place in Division A, is an unbelievable accomplishment.  SFL placed 4th behind BAD 1, Cal, and Lowell while eeking ahead of DW 1 and Ripple Effect essentially closing a 2 month gap in performance within a total of 1500m and 7.5 some-odd minutes of water time today.  If that doesn’t say true athletic potential and perseverance, then I don’t know what does.

Special thanks to those teammates who went above and beyond to help the team today: Jeff Ma, Lia Yuen, Alex Ha.  SFL could not have done as well today without you.  Also I’d like to give special recognition to….everybody (credit where credit’s due, ha).  The Timing Box for being everything a coach could want in a group of paddlers who can, within seconds, adjust stroke length and timing w/ the conditions and race goals; The Engine Room for demonstrating great control of effort while conserving your strength and power for when the team needed it most; The Afterburners/Rear/Backhalf (still need a good name for y’all) for staying focused on timing and making the best of turbulent waters to push us onward.

Despite the changing faces amongst our team, the story remains the same.  You accomplish more with less.  You race smarter, not harder.  Your commitment to the team proves to be SFL’s greatest strength.

Thank you for making my day as Head Coach.

That Mental Switch

As good athletes, you are in touch with the effort required to race, the determination needed to stay strong, and the line where your body says “enough is enough.”  During a race, you will struggle to keep those things in balance.

There’s a saying that “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  When you hear that little voice inside your head telling you to give up, you press onward.  As your body says it’s getting tired, you dig deep and find energy you didn’t feel before.  It’s easy to lose that fighting spirit and let the race, the competition, and your bad habits take over.  So now’s your chance.  Don your imagination caps and put yourself in the race.


You’re feeling fresh and jittery at the start line.  The race marshall shouts a bunch of stuff through his megaphone but you only half-hear it.  You are focused on the commands of your steersperson only.  You are leaned forward and still as a statue, mentally waiting for those magic words “paddlers are you ready.”  The moment you hear “paddlers” you jump to life and set up for that first stroke.  There’s a split second of total silence and right as you hear that airhorn, you take that first solid stroke.

The rate steadily climbs as you accelerate, the water becomes so light that you almost don’t feel it against your paddle anymore.  You run through the count and give the ready and reach your full stroke.  Your focus is completely on the paddle in front of you; matching the exit and entry exactly.  You have to tell yourself to relax and flow w/ the boat, completely in time.  You take a couple deep breaths and then you pump yourself up for the first Power 10.  You keep your head up, still locked onto the paddle in front of you and take your best strokes.  You reach it out and maintain, ready to repeat as the call comes across the boat.

Your lungs burn, the water is in your face, you taste metal, and your paddle starts feeling heavy.  You can see the finish buoys in your peripherals and you can’t help but notice other boats are louder than they should be as they are close by.  You feel a panic take the boat, people start yelling about timing.  You feel powerless to stop what’s happening.  The team is falling apart.

That very moment when everything seems on the brink of collapse, you feel as though somebody pulled your blindfold off.  You feel like you just woke up from a crazy dream.  In a split second, you feel just as strong as you were at the starting line.  You hear the finish call through the chaos and you can feel everybody join you in building the boat back to peak velocity.  You barely hear the call to Let It Ride and know that something incredible happened.

You found something inside yourself that you didn’t know about before and it wasn’t luck.  You found a mental switch, a special tank of reserve kick-ass that only you could tap when 100% focused and determined.  It’s something that will always be there, race after race.  It’s the reason you belong on this team of people with the same reserve.

You know you paddle with SFL.

Great recruit story!

Just sharing an entertaining and positive dragon boat recruitment story found on the Oakland Renegades website.  Kudos to anybody with this level of adventure in them.

The Extra 2%

Here’s a link to a preview for The Extra 2%, a book that chronicles the extraordinary efforts of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and their remarkable success in the AL East against the biggest of big market baseball teams: the New York Yankees.  Just to give you guys an idea of the huge difference between the two teams, here’s the numbers from their 2010 payrolls:

  • Yankess: $206,333,389
  • Rays: $71,923,471

For those who don’t know much about baseball — granted, that’s probably most of you — the Rays have won the AL East twice in the past three years, despite the significant financial disadvantage. Prior to that, they finished dead last, and were a laughingstock in the league.

Then they began to look for every possible advantage they could get, anything that could make them a better team. Their new “R&D Department” began to think analytically and critically, focusing on all the minor improvements — from strategical defensive shifts to improving baserunning — to help augment the team:

The extra 2 percent referenced in the title isn’t part of a new sabermetric formula. It’s actually Sternberg’s way of quantifying the small advantage, the 52-48 edge, the organization can find by approaching everything smarter and more creatively than their opponents. They have to do everything 2 percent better than everyone else. Given the huge disparity in cash flow between the Rays and their division rivals, those little advantages all have to add up in order to level the playing field.

(via Baseball America)

Now, the thing about SFL is that we haven’t been around as long as many other teams, nor are we nearly as big, but we’ve been pretty successful in the past few years. Much of this success is owed to Geoff’s coaching style; even though he doesn’t have as much experience as other coaches from other teams, the thing that pushes us ahead is how every unique and novel concept he comes up with — from our starts to our stroking style — adds up to give us any kind of advantage we can possibly get.

From there, our continued success depends on all of us: how we implement these ideas and, most of all, how much time and effort we’re willing to devote to the team. Because in a sport such as dragon boat, with mere seconds separating the first place and last place team in the final race, every little bit counts. Whether that means working out or running a little more, or showing up to more practices, or asking the coaches for some more advice on technique — the cumulative whole depends on the sum of our individual efforts.

Believe in This Team

Get tough SFL, we need that more than ever.

TI 2010 De-Brief

There’s a saying that you’re only as fast as the slowest person on the team.  If that’s true, then we’re all pretty damn fast.

We set our sights on running a 2:15 and entering Comp Division B.  We exceeded those goals by placing into Consolation A.  Although there are no medals, trophies, or award ceremony stage time for our 4th place, we have proven ourselves once again to be a Top 10 team.  That is Top 10 out of 70+ teams.  Practically every team we raced in our heats had paddlers who were older, more experienced, had more expensive equipment, practiced more days per week, were physically larger/stronger/taller than we are.  I hope that realization alone means more to you than any shiny piece of metal.  As a team that practices 1-2 times/wk with an average of 14 people, we have proven ourselves to be some of the toughest paddlers on the field in my opinion.

So paddle onward SFL.  Paddle strong and get ready for 2011…because somebody has to be the wildcard…

It’s time again

Time to wrap up this season with our greatest amount of determination and fighting spirit.  The team is always changing, but it’s up to all of us to make that a change for the better.  Hope you’re all ready!

Slug Taper

Yet another uncredited resource from collegiate-level swimming.  Here are excerpts from a document on taper training.  Again, if this is your verifiable intellectual property and you would like this removed, please contact us.

Slug Taper

Things to remember:
The work is not over.  You still have some training to do.  Some heart rate work to maintain aerobic capacity, sprints, and some power racks.

Watch your eating habits.  Your workloads are decreasing and your intake does not need to be the same.

Sleep as much as possible, but not in the morning.  Continue to get up fairly early and take a nap during the day if possible.  Go to bed early.

When asked to go fast in practice – go fast.  Don’t hold back.  Don’t wait to feel great before you go hard.  There is no special magic.

Reward the positive and ignore the negative, focus on where you’re going.

Taper works because:
You have your back up against the wall.  There is not a second chance.

Mentally you prepare for the big push.

You are part of a team and the team deserves your best.  The team is also there to support you.

Keep in mind:

This is a swim meet.  Nothing more/nothing less.  Take each race one at a time.  Don’t let one race affect the other.


Good or Bad, learn from the experience!  What will you change for your next race, day, season?  



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Words of Wisdom

Alas, not from myself, but from paddlers and coaches that have my top respect.

LARD’s perspective on the team concept.

Clip from In The Same Boat (also found from LARD’s blog)


The race is never over SFL and don’t you forget it.

Supreme Confidence

When I come out, I have supreme confidence but I’m scared to death.
I’m totally afraid…afraid of losing, I’m afraid of being humiliated.
But I’m totally confident.
The closer I get to the ring, the more confident I get.
The closer, the more confidence I get.  The closer, the more confident I get.

All during my training I’ve been afraid of this man.
I thought this man might be capable of beatin’ me.
I’ve dreamed of him beatin’ me.
But by that I’ve always stayed afraid of him.

The closer I get to the ring, the more confident.
Once I’m in the ring…
I’m a god.
No one can beat me.