When we’re learning to kayak we like to focus on important techniques like torso rotation, edge control, angle, speed and so on. As we focus on these kayaking skills, we often find ourselves staring at our kayaks.
I know that kayaks are really pretty, colorful and shiny, but they really don’t deserve that much attention! This habit of staring straight at our kayaks can really hold us back from becoming great paddlers because it’s contrary to one of the most important rules of kayaking: looking at where we want to go.
There’s been a lot of talk about motivational the book and film “The Secret” in the past year because it talks about the “Law of Attraction” and how you manifest in your life what you focus most on and what you put your energy into. Any decent kayaker understands the “Law of Attraction” because we’ve all experienced messing up a line and maybe getting trashed because we kept starring at the big rock or hole we wanted to avoid!
It’s so important in kayaking to focus on the positive and focus on where you do want to go, on what stroke you want to take and on what move you want to make. In river running finesse has a lot to do with where you’re looking and lifting your vision to see what’s coming so you can anticipate. In playboating the direction of your gaze determines whether you’re going to stay in the feature or get flushed off. Looking at where you want to be will help you get there. If you take this tip to heart you’ll usually end up right on line 98% of the time.
I believe that we can relate a lot about our kayaking experiences to our daily lives and looking at where we want to go is a great technique for meeting our goals in all aspects of our lives. Sometimes it’s tough to lift our vision and see the big picture and we get stuck in currents that may lead us down an undesirable path, or make it seem like we have no control over our path. If we lift our vision, look at where we want to go and focus on getting there we can accomplish amazing things including running challenging whitewater or sticking cool play moves!
About the Author
Anna Levesque was the 2001 Freestyle Kayaking World Championship Bronze Medalist and is a motivational keynote speaker. Her company Girls At Play, LLC offers white water kayaking tours, trips and classes for women.