How to Practice Hard Moves on Easy Water - Mind Body Paddle

How to Practice Hard Moves on Easy Water

anna levesque leading a group of whitewater kayakers down the pacuare river in costa rica

How to Practice Hard Moves on Easy Water

Are you feeling nervous or overwhelmed about taking on a new challenge, skill, practice or habit? If so, it’s time for you to practice hard moves on easy water.

This is good advice in the world of whitewater kayak instruction, AND it’s good advice in life too.

Practicing hard moves in easy water means to practice/try something that makes you nervous in an environment where the stakes are low.

When the stakes are low you’re less attached the the outcome. When you’re less attached to the outcome, you free up emotional and mental energy to focus on doing the practice. The more you do the practice, the more confident and skilled you become.

Whether I’m teaching Creek Week or working one-on-one with my private kayak clients, I always start off in easy water practicing foundational skills that translate to harder whitewater.

It’s true for my health coaching clients and groups as well. We always start off with morning routine, and when my clients text me that they’ve gone off track and are starting to feel crappy, I always tell them to go back to cultivating the accessible habits in their morning routine.

Recently I was in a masterclass with Seth Godin, a renowned author and marketing expert. His advice to folks who want to get into public speaking is to start by giving a talk in front of their dog. Then give the talk in front of 1 or 2 people they know. As the talk gets better and the speaker builds confidence, they can give it in front of more and more people. That’s also practicing hard moves in easy water.

How can you practice hard moves in easy water in your life?

  1. Be aware when you feel like you’re simply surviving as you attempt to achieve a goal whether it’s at work, around your health and wellness or on the river.
  2. Exchange your desire to be at a higher level right now for patience and trust in your unique journey. Good things take time.
  3. Set your ego aside and acknowledge that your achievements do not define your self-worth.
  4. Go back to easy water and practice, practice, practice! Consistent practice over time is what produces courage, confidence and skill! You’ll know when you’re ready to step it up.

If this idea of practicing hard moves in easy water resonates with you and you’re a whitewater kayaker looking to step up your game, I invite you to join me on the water this coming July for my in-person Week of Rivers and Yoga (Class II-III). Click here to learn more.

If you prefer customized coaching specific to your goals and the easy water you want to start with, contact me about private one-on-one coaching in paddling or health/wellness.

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