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2020 Competitive Season Practices Began Sat Jan 4th ...
Check Practice Poll for actual practice dates.

Feb 5, 2020

Reposting an oldie, but a goodie. Below is the 2020 Boat Selection Criteria.  While similar to years past, we have updated the criteria to exclude paddle ERG testing due to logistical inefficiencies. Happy hump day!


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How do the coaches determine who paddles on which boat? It's no black magic. The coaches make the decisions balancing what we believe is best for each individual as well as what we believe is best for Space Dragons as a whole.  The tricky part is that not everyone agrees on where that balance lies and what is "best for Space Dragons," not even all the coaches.  It is impossible to make everyone happy, but with seven coaches bringing different perspectives, we hope to get as close as possible.  The following set of criteria is used in the decision making process:

1. Practice Attendance - Quantity and Quality

Coming to practice makes you a better paddler. Only at practice do you get the opportunity to sit in a dragon boat and get coaching on your technique.  You work on starts, finishes, pacing, timing, blending, paddling-specific conditioning. How do you become a more effective paddler? Paddle more! BUT, just showing up isn't enough. In order to become a better paddler, you need to take advantage of the time on the boat by staying focused and determined, and by seeing every single stroke as an opportunity to make our team better.

2. OC-2 Water Testing

The OC-2 time trials are the easiest way for both you and the coaches to measure your individual contribution in getting the dragon boat past the finish line. Even in a dragon boat race, each paddler pulls some dead weight (the weight of the boat, plus the caller and steersperson). Similarly, in an OC-2 each paddler pulls the boat weight plus a coach who is steering. Water testing isn't everything - it doesn't show how well your technique blends with the rest of the paddlers, and it doesn't show how good your timing is, both of which are essential to being a good dragon boat paddler. What it does show is your fitness level, strength and how effectively you connect with the water to propel a boat forward.  How do we use this data?  Refer to the FAQ.  If you cannot make it to either the primary or make-up test dates with an excuse cleared with the coaches, your previous test time from the same season can be used.  People tend to get faster as the season goes on, so it's in your best interest to test before every tournament.  OC-2 testing is required to be considered for Red and strongly encouraged for Open.

3. Coaches Discretion
There are many unquantifiable qualities that make a good dragon boat paddler, things like timing, experience, technique, focus and a team-oriented, positive attitude. These are some of the things that the coaches watch out for when we stand at the bow during practice. A boat of the twenty "strongest" paddlers is not our fastest crew if they can't work together and motivate each other.  If any one of these traits is missing, that can be a deal breaker!  So be sure to pay attention to these unquantifiable details when working toward being a better paddler.

As always, if you have any questions about the selection criteria, any of the decisions that are made, or what you personally can do to make yourself a better paddler, don't hesitate to ask! We want each and every one of you to finish off this season with NO RAGERTS!

Jan 30, 2020

Support Space via Amazon Smile =D



Dragon boat is arguably the purest team sport around. To have a number of paddlers all paddling at once to drive a boat forward for a few fleeting moments in time, it takes a multitude of things to come together in order to have that boat cross the line in good order. 

Imagine the logistics that it takes to run the operational aspects of our team across multiple boats between Mixed and Genders crews and to place that load across multiple tournament competitions, all scheduled throughout the year at various local and international locations.

As a member-operated, non-profit team we depend on each other to keep this team running, progressing, and growing with your time, along with your relentless spirit and energy. And, "greatness" in any team is only as great as its individual sum parts and its dedicated members like you to support the vision, intention, planning, preparation, and execution of it all.  To that end, you can continue to lend your support in probably one of the easiest ways possible and if you're already a consumer on Amazon, you're already halfway there!

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice! Can you guess which one I'd suggest?

Try following the steps below to pick your favorite organization!

1. Navigate to <smile.amazon.com>, enter "space dragons" in the search field.

2. Select "Space Dragons" as your charity of choice.

3. Voila! You're supporting the coolest "Physical Sciences/Earth Sciences Research and Promotion" organization in Placentia, CA!


Nov 27, 2019

Starting a New Chapter

Congrats everyone on a great 2019 season! As usual, we've gone through a lot throughout the year as a team, and we've come out the other side learning more about ourselves and the team. On behalf of the coaching staff, thank you everyone who's been a part of that journey. Whether you've been on the team for a month or over 10 years, your presence on the team has definitely impacted us coaches in one way or another.

Now...with the 2019 Season over and the 2020 Season coming up fast, we'd like to make an announcement about some changes to the 2020 Coaching Staff! Unfortunately, life happens and not all the coaches can stay coaches. This year we have a pretty significant change with 5 coaches retiring from coaching (not necessarily from paddling, but stepping down from the coaching position). And I want to thank and acknowledge these coaches for doing an amazing job. The time and effort they've put in has made a difference with Space Dragons and I couldn't thank them enough for their hard work.


So the coaches that are stepping down are:

AJ Chan
Jan Redondo
Michiko Sanrindo
Rod Muramoto
Chris Espino



Coaching has definitely a rewarding job, and I couldn't imagine how my life would've been without it. It's been a surreal experience and I've definitely learned a lot (as I'm sure the other coaches would agree). And as coaches, we wouldn't step down without having a plan in place to have capable, willing people step up to fill in the role.



So introducing the 2020 coaching staff...*drumroll*
Devant Xoai as your new Head Coach!
Esmer Dizon
Robert Clark
Curtis Guinn
Sally Gee
James Cabrera
Janet Gonzales


The entire coaching staff is ready to roll and make 2020 an even better season! So show them your support and keep working hard to see what this team and family can achieve!




Feb 1, 2019

Practice Cancellation ... Feb 2nd-3rd

Oh Dear!  The Rain is Coming ... Due to volume and high winds and cold, Coaches have agreed to cancel practice due to possible unsafe conditions.


Sep 19, 2018

2018 Regular Practices are complete as of Sun Sep 9th

Enjoy the break =)

Off/Pre Season to start up in Oct/Nov, Notifications and Practice Poll will be updated accordingly when coaches decide on actual dates.

Aug 13, 2018

Calling all Space Masters!


Attention all Space Masters! Our time is quickly approaching…



With the 2018 Race Season quickly winding down it’s time to start thinking about 2019 and what lies ahead as a team.  It’s been several years since we have been able to field a Masters crew and I am hoping that we can once again bring back our Mighty Masters boat. With the help of our current list of masters and recruitment of our former Masters/New paddlers, together we can once again have a Space Dragons Masters Boat!  So if you haven’t been out lately, dust off your paddle and pfd, stock up on some Ensure and start coming out to practice. I hope to be seeing you soon!

Mar 7, 2018

2018 Boat Selection Criteria

Below is the 2018 Red/Blue/White Selection Criteria.  It's very similar to years past, but please review it and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How do the coaches determine who paddles on which boat? It's no black magic. The coaches make the decisions balancing what we believe is best for each individual as well as what we believe is best for Space Dragons as a whole.  The tricky part is that not everyone agrees on where that balance lies and what is "best for Space Dragons," not even all the coaches.  It is impossible to make everyone happy, but with seven coaches bringing different perspectives, we hope to get as close as possible.  The following set of criteria is used in the decision making process:

1. Practice Attendance - Quantity and Quality


Coming to practice makes you a better paddler. Only at practice do you get the opportunity to sit in a dragon boat and get coaching on your technique.  You work on starts, finishes, pacing, timing, blending, paddling-specific conditioning. How do you become a more effective paddler? Paddle more! BUT, just showing up isn't enough. In order to become a better paddler, you need to take advantage of the time on the boat by staying focused and determined, and by seeing every single stroke as an opportunity to make our team better.

2. OC-2 Water Testing



The OC-2 time trials are the easiest way for both you and the coaches to measure your individual contribution in getting the dragon boat past the finish line. Even in a dragon boat race, each paddler pulls some dead weight (the weight of the boat, plus the caller and steersperson). Similarly, in an OC-2 each paddler pulls the boat weight plus a coach who is steering. Water testing isn't everything - it doesn't show how well your technique blends with the rest of the paddlers, and it doesn't show how good your timing is, both of which are essential to being a good dragon boat paddler. What it does show is your fitness level, strength and how effectively you connect with the water to propel a boat forward.  How do we use this data?  Refer to the FAQ.  If you cannot make it to either the primary or make-up test dates with an excuse cleared with the coaches, your previous test time from the same season can be used.  People tend to get faster as the season goes on, so it's in your best interest to test before every tournament.  OC-2 testing is required to be considered for Red and strongly encouraged for Open.

3. Paddle ERG Testing
Dragon boat races are athletic competitions, so physical fitness and strength play an important role in how quickly we cross the finish line. We're incorporating the paddle erg this year to not only test that physical fitness and strength, but also to help the coaches have a consistent metric to help compare time trials over the year. Since our current location has varying conditions, the paddle erg scores will help give us those data points. 

4. Coaches Discretion

There are many unquantifiable qualities that make a good dragon boat paddler, things like timing, experience, technique, focus and a team-oriented, positive attitude. These are some of the things that the coaches watch out for when we stand at the bow during practice. A boat of the twenty "strongest" paddlers is not our fastest crew if they can't work together and motivate each other.  If any one of these traits is missing, that can be a deal breaker!  So be sure to pay attention to these unquantifiable details when working toward being a better paddler.

As always, if you have any questions about the selection criteria, any of the decisions that are made, or what you personally can do to make yourself a better paddler, don't hesitate to ask! We want each and every one of you to finish off this season with NO REGRETS!

Jan 22, 2018

New Season, New Goals

What is Your Why?
With the new season here, it's the perfect time to think about why we paddle. Whether it's for fitness reasons, social reasons, or simply because we love the sport, everyone has their own reason for being out on the water. Whatever it may be, it's a good opportunity to attach a goal to your "why". The coaches have goals set for the team for each year, but it's also beneficial to have personal goals as well.

Goals
Space Dragons has always been a diverse team, and with that, there will always be different individual goals with our paddlers. Whether that goal is a faster time trial, cleaner technique, or even simply feeling healthier and more active at the end of the day, remember that the coaches and team are always here to support that goal. It's always easier to have your friends and family backing you up 100% when it comes to approaching these challenges, so feel free to write out your goals or share them with teammates!



No automatic alt text available.Time TrialsTime trials have always been a great resource to test yourself throughout the course of the season. It's a great opportunity to see how you can move a boat on your own, as well as get some individual coaching and video feedback!



Here's the list of dates for this year's time trials! Remember that make up days aren't guaranteed so do your best to make it out to the primary dates!

Tempe: 2/25
Baby Long Beach: 3/31
Vancouver: Sun 5/27 (was 5/26)
Big Long Beach: Sat 6/30
Portland: Sat 8/11