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Feb 2, 2012

Part 2 of the Coaches' Farewell Series -- WE MISS CEEZ!

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” ~Theodor Seuss Geisel

Aloha Space Dragons!!  Welcome to the 2012 Dragon Boat season.  If you haven’t already heard, I have relinquished my coaching duties with the Space Dragons.  I would love to continue coaching but I have to honor my other obligations that I have at work, with my family and unfinished chores at home.  Also, I need to have some quality time with my sweetie… Deej.    But being together at practice IS quality time isn’t it??  : )

Being a coach made me really appreciate what coaches do for the team.  I’ll have you guys know that the coaches make great sacrifices to achieve our goals.  More often than not, they sacrifice their time and go beyond the call of duty more than the average paddler.  They have to be your friend, your teacher, a psychiatrist and they try to be fair.  They have to do all that and still try to make a winning team. When Joe asked me about 5 years ago that I should coach I asked him, “doesn’t one have to know how to paddle before one can teach someone to paddle?”  He said I was more than ready.  Ooookay, I thought the big lug must have lost his mind suggesting that I coach on the team.  I tried to model myself after them.  I took all their great coaching traits and added my own Poi Pounder (softball team) spice to the formula. 

I’d like to say, nothing pleases me more than to see a boatful of newbies leave the beach paddling like crap only to return to the beach somewhat looking like seasoned vets.   I also like to see people grow as a paddler and making big contributions when they get the call to perform on the elite boats. I would like to thank you all for the wonderful memories and putting up with me and my bad jokes during my tenure as a coach.  I would like to apologize for all the cursing and (unintentional) innuendos I may have said while coaching on the bow.  If you thought what I said was sexual, racial or of bathroom humor nature, shame on you for thinking such thoughts!! 

I would also like to thank Joe, Wade, Rick, recently departed Yackie, the captains and the current coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to coach on a team with such great people.    Special thanks go out to Deej for being patient with me and my coaching duties.  I forced her out of bed to go to practice many times because “I have to be there!!”  Also, she had to go to bed alone many nights while I stayed up late to review and edit seating charts. Over the years, I have seen the Space Dragons rise to prominence!!  We have reached new heights and experienced things we haven’t before.  Year after year, the bar is set higher for the Space Dragons.  We have exceeded expectations because of your dedication and hard work.

I would like to leave behind a few simple tips behind to help keep our success(es) going:
  • Trust your coaches.  The Space Dragons have access to some of the best dragon boat coaches on the beach.  They are trying their best to do what’s best for the team.  Don’t be afraid to approach them.  It is their job to help you with your technique or any other problems you may have. 
  • Keep up with your training.   Of course there is more to this sport than just being fit, but your fitness will carry you a lot and benefit your team if you are a fit son-of-a-gun. 
  • Be honest with your workouts and at practices.  Dragon Boating is a team sport.  Everyone relies on their teammates giving their best and to trying their best. 
  • Be a student of the sport.  Learn all you can from the coaches, your teammates, paddlers from other teams and the internet to become a better paddler. 
  • Have the right attitude.  Have the will to succeed and have the insatiable desire to be a winner.  Do I need to say more I have always preached to make your dragon boat experience fun.  If you are not enjoying yourself, you will not want to come out.  If you are not there physically and mentally, you are definitely no good to the team.   Of course we are not there to goof off…we are in the business of racing for goodness sake!!  
  • Do all you can to make your Space Dragon experience worth it.  You’ll want to be a Space Dragon for a very long time! 
  • And last but not least, and possibly the most important tip to all of dragon boating….please wear deodorant when you come to practice!!  It is bad enough the person behind you has to bend over and stare down the Kracken you may have released during practice starts.  Be considerate.  Your teammates will enjoy their workouts, with no distractions, if you smell of Irish Spring or Febreze.
Know what this illustrates? -- Years of SD love and commitment 
If you follow some of these tips, the Space Dragons legacy as winners will never die!! SPACE DRAGON HARD…SPACE DRAGON STRONG!! Miss you guys.  See you guys on the water soon…then we FEAST!!!