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
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!