Certificate for coaches


Submitted by eckhart diestel on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 8:20am

Interesting concept Eck. What topics would those courses cover and who would teach the course?

Potential topics- boating safety, first aid, CPR, canoe culture, paddling ettiquette, current rules and regulations...current trends in endurance and speed training...

Also- would certified coaches be guaranteed a higher pay scale? My last coaching gig paid about $0.05 per hour.

#1 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 9:25am

I'm certified.

#2 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 9:32am


#3 Fri, 08/20/2010 - 3:08pm

Here's a quick run down of what we do here in Oz...
Each club is encouraged to have a qualified coach. If not, then clubs must have their training programs authorised by a qualified coach from another club. I'm currently in the process of attaining my Level 1 coaching accredation. In order to become a credited coach, you must:

  1. have a minimum 3 years paddling experience
  2. complete an on-line begginning coaching principles course (6 hours - must achieve 100% pass mark)
  3. hold a current Senior First Aid certificate
  4. attend a 2 day Level 1 coaching course run by highly qualified/experienced coaches & paddlers
  5. submit a 12 week training program for assessment

I think every club/organisation should have a similar coaching accreditation structure in place.

#4 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 11:50am

Vote "no" on any new regulations.....enough already! Ciao, Marara

#5 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 12:07pm

@ Eckhart- So we should base our coaching of Hawaiian Canoe Paddlers after the Canadian and Australian models?

@ Eckfart- sure you've been certified, probably more than once...

@ hasto- most coaches in Hawaii are volunteers, recruited to coach a crew or division by a head coach. Usually a club paddler with some experience, though coaching experience is not always a prerequisite.

@ Marara- if we go with unregulated canoes, coaches need regulations.

In my previous sporting life I was a swimmer; Certified coaches were able to get higher paying jobs and were, "Qualified" for coaching at higher levels, ie- Head Coach, national team coach, collegiate coach, etc. Training and certification were administered by American Swimming Coaches Association- independent of US Swimming, FINA, NCAA, and NAIA; it was not a free course, and was in addition to having Lifesaving, First Aid, and CPR certifications. I am not aware of any independent coaches association for paddling-

Therefore, I nominate the OCP Mafia as the International Governing Body for said certification process. Certificates and training provided- for a nominal fee, of course. Maybe even a T-Shirt and Hat...

Mafia Certified

#6 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 2:14pm


#7 Fri, 08/20/2010 - 3:09pm

The coaches i see dedicate so much of their personal time/life to their unselfish efforts. HAts off to these people. What do they think about being certified? Safety is #1 but I haven't seen any coaches in my experience of 12 years of paddling who didn't take safety as their priority. Coaching is a tough job.

#8 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:04pm

i think most of the best coaches would fail the above criteria.

#9 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:06pm

Certification has nothing to do w/ proficiency. This is a non-issue. The other paddle sports have it, and it's just as meaningless in those applications.

#10 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:09pm


#11 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:48pm

I think it is a good idea. If all the coaches in Hawaii went through some certification course about technique, training methodology, biomechanics and ect., then all our outrigger programs would be on the same page. If there is a general idea of how to train and paddle, I believe that Hawaii would benefit greatly.

At Lanikai Canoe Club, no matter your age, the basic technique ideas are the same ( big bottom shoulder, ect.) The club also helps with training programs so everyone is on the same path. For example: did anyone notice that Lanikai didn't win the two regattas before states? But then at States, all our crews were going fast. Sounds like Lanikai peaked for State regatta.

What did your club do? Did your club coaches think about how to peak or about resting up for states? All this makes it easier to form crews that go fast because everyone paddles similar and is doing the same training. If we could do this on a bigger scale, Hawaiians could paddle well together no matter what club they are from.

Some training programs that clubs are doing around the islands are so out dated- Cave man style! We are living in the age of sports science. There is so much to learn about how to develop the body systems correctly for optimal/peak performance. Why not become smarter at what we do?

This could be good with the right certification that is detailed, but general enough for all of our clubs to agree upon. We could make Hawaii paddlers stronger as a whole. Who is against making our coaches more knowledgable? I vote yes!

#12 Mon, 08/09/2010 - 10:51pm

How about a program that includes the formentioned and make it available to those who want to be certified. I believe poguesports had/has something like a coach workshop. Maybe a series of workshops for paddlers or coaches regurlarly to facilitate a change, a movement in increasing performance and to increase for the sport. I think making it mandatory would alieanate and initially make people feel like it is forced on them. (big brother)

Lastly, to anyone intrested in creating such a program and to pogue can you guys make you programs/workshops that aligns to the state's school calendar? I'm a teacher and I cannot attend any of the workshops currently avail. Not to mention all the parents who'd like to enroll their children in theses programs/wkshpos. The youth is our future and we have to invest in them.

#13 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 4:35am

Just make the programs, people will come IMO. No need to make any affiliations with associations, all they will try to do is control things. The programs can exist outside of any of the governing bodies of the sport. The workshops/ programs cannot hurt the sport; it will only make things better. More clubs can be more competitive and join the usual suspects.

#14 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 4:43am

Certifiction is a double edged sword. It sets some basic criteria for a job which is a good thing, but ultimately does little to ensure proficiency as Jim points out. A good coach will be a good coach regardless of certifications while a bad coach is not necessarily going to improve because they are certified.

Still, I'm in favor of you guys setting it up, because ultimately it's going to make more information available to everyone and that's a good thing. Try searching for paddling specific training advice and there's really not much out there whereas there are literally dozens of books on training for other sports.

Will the OCP Mafia certification be available online or should we start saving money for room and board on Oahu?

#15 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 6:19am

isn't this basically what this is?:


*I would attend these, the times jus don't work out for me :(

#16 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 6:32am

A real coach’s success will speak for itself through his team’s achievements. Besides his achievements in the sport wether coach or paddler he/she doesn’t need any other qualifications...period. If a coach is lacking he will not find any paddlers to coach as they will find a different venue. A piece of paper that states you are a certified "coach" is just the same as a toilet paper. Ciao, Marara

#17 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 7:45am


#18 Fri, 08/20/2010 - 3:09pm

@ anowara - so are you basically saying a bad coach can not get better with more knowledge? A good paddler will improve with great coaching. So wouldn't it be suffice to say a bad coach has more of an opportunity to become better with more knowledge.

My only quarrel with this would be who is passing on the knowledge and who dictates what is the right way to do things. Looking at other models is a great way to set up a foundation that will work, but I think it would eventually benefit paddling as a whole.

#19 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 8:32am

I have to disagree Marara.
In all sports there are examples of great athletes who make poor showings as a coach.
Maradona - Argentina, recent world cup. Wayne Gretzky NHL Hockey Phoenix.....

Some great coaches have never done well in their respective sport. That is very long list....

New athletes need to know that coaches are up to speed on training and techniques for their athletes. Yes Results help but having the knowledge, structure and resources as a coach trying to train a wide skill and age variety of athletes is very important.
Many non-certified coaches do very well but that does not mean they would not be better with more training for themselves.

I do agree that poor coaches certified or not will not be coaching for long....... Unless they become better coaches through training and coaching courses.

Just another view...

#20 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 8:38am

Certification which standardizes coaching is too far fetched- having everyone certified to the same coaching methodology, paddling technique, biomechanics, etc would be unnecessary regulation of coaches. Would there be consequences for those who are not certified or do not follow the criteria?

To have it run by HCRA? Like they don't have enough on their plate...again- Mafia Certified- online certification, pre test on Keizo's paddling game...must be in top 15% of high scores.

What's the end game here?

toilet paper already has a use, and I didn't need to get certified to use it.

#21 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 8:40am

O.K! Get certified if you want to! But don't try regulate va'a coaches due to the simple fact that it pushes out lowly type men who are perhaps great watermen or great coaches but don’t have the reading or technical skills of others. I can think several coaches in my club to apply this logic to. Can you imagine all the excellent coaches of your club going through a process along with running their coaching affairs and then adding more burden to their already heavy load. Just say "no" to unnecessary regulations. Marara

#22 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 9:06am

@Tpoppler01, No, I'm saying certification doesn't guarantee a good coach (which Jim said more clearly "certification has nothing to do with proficiency.")

I have no doubt someone who wants to improve as a paddler or a coach or a hot dog eater can improve through study and hard work and will do so regardless of a certification program existing. Just because someone went through a certification doesn't mean they are competent or good. For instance, how many bad drivers do you think are out there and how many of those do you think have a valid driver's license?

If having a certification program for coaches makes knowledge more easily available then that is a good thing. We all unfortunately don't have easy access to experienced paddlers and watermen and women to learn from.

#23 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 10:39am


#24 Fri, 08/20/2010 - 3:09pm

@ anowara - hahahaha, totally agree with you on the drivers license argument, but think about it this way. If you have kids that paddle, wouldn't you feel more comfortable knowing that you were leaving them in qualified hands.

What if there was a certification course, that was easy to access and had experienced waterman and women to teach. What if there was a system available that taught coaches these things, that had no affiliated ties with a race organization, but was recommended to aid in teaching by all of them. That didn't give you one way of paddling but discussed different ways to paddle and train to achieve those goals. That used the latest sports science knowledge to improve peak performance.

Would you say no to that?

#25 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 11:08am

i think part of the issue is that coaches never want to admit they aren't sure what they are doing or that they don't know something. ego is a pretty big driving force behind some people's motivation.

i can admit after coaching for 12 years or so that i'm still pretty clueless. so here is my open invitation. to anyone who wants to help educate me on being a better coach, i'll gladly listen to you and take notes. please learn me on the art of training programs and biomechanics. i'll will buy you beer and food.

to the Dolanses, Evslins, Puakeas, Woodses, and any other elite level people. This is my invitation. certification not needed for me. just knowledge. thank you.

#26 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 1:58pm

Can I get in on that, knowledge is precious and I want to learn more. Ill sit down and buy in on that beer.

#27 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 2:22pm

I'm all for continuing education for coaches, especially if its catered by jc9_0. I'll chip in with more beer and more food- been told that my quinoa dish is pretty tasty.

@ jc- my $0.02- Rule #1 as a coach is to never let them know you were ever wrong. Nor will you ever be wrong. Or unknowledgeable. Ever. YOU are the source of all their knowledge about paddling and fitness. Paddlers need to be put into their place, never let them think they are right and they will always look to you for help. Keep them off balance and guessing at what you are getting at to fuel their desire to learn and be what they think you want them to be, then change it up. Rule #2- Never ever let them know that they made crew until the absolute last minute so they either work harder or give up.

Seriously- there should be coaches training available, but let's not go so far as to say that you can't be a coach unless you have a certain piece of paper that says you attended a coaching clinic. At minimum there should be someone at each club that is trained and "certified" in advanced lifesaving, CPR, firstaid, boating safety, and have some knowledge of exercise physiology/athletic conditioning.

#28 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 2:40pm

but how do we make the knowledge avail to ALL. That's the bottom line. Jus by being in a club does not ensure that you get all the knowledge. It's interesting to see what people are saying that do not support a program (sans certification, or a diploma etc..) All I am saying is make the sport grow, put it out there so all have access to it. HOW DO WE FACILITATE GROWTH? gotta organize. no governing bodies to be in control, somebody jus put one together. get some elite coaches and have a way to disseminate the info on a forum where all levels of ability and knowledge can learn. Paddler's camp?

#29 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 2:50pm

OK. So everyone is talking about it. Here's HVA's answer. We are currently putting together a coaching seminar that would be geared 100% toward outrigger paddling. The seminar would be geared towards youth paddling but the principles discussed can easily be applied to adult paddling. Speakers would include a world class coach/trainer/PhD speaking on Periodization Training, a world class outrigger technique coach, elite outrigger paddlers from Hawai'i, and physician who would speak on sports medicine and pediatrics with an emphasis on nutrition.

There would certainly be some cost involved as we would be bringing in speakers from out of town, would have to rent a space to host the event, get audio/video equipment, and supply food. Email us if interested and let us know what you would be willing to pay for such an event. hawaiivaa@gmail.com We are tentatively thinking this would take place on or around the weekend of the Moloka'i Hoe so as many people as possible would be in town.

No certifications would be awarded at the end of the seminar, this would strictly be a sharing and exchange of outrigger based knowledge.

#30 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 3:46pm

put it together and they will come. money wise? I pay 150$ to 250$ for teaching conferences in and out of state that involve specialist, venue and food.That being said, you folks need to get the word out much earlier so people can make time (adjust schedules/take time off of work etc.)a nd get money together.

BUT cheaper would certainly be appreciated.

#31 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 3:54pm


#32 Fri, 08/20/2010 - 3:09pm


#33 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 9:23pm

There's been a huge amount of conversation on this topic (so much I haven't been able to read everyone's posts). As a point of reference, I've taught downhill skiing for 18 yrs before moving to Hong Kong and still maintain my PSIA certification. Here's my take on some of the questions and comments above (take them for what they're worth):

1) Does certification mean you're a good coach? No. What it does mean is you have a basic level of understanding and knowledge.
2) Is certification necessary to coach? Shouldn't be but allows clubs to know a new coach is serious and has a basic level of understanding.
3) Should current coaches be forced to be certified? Of course not! If you're already a coach you're proving yourself through your team's results. That said, if you enjoy coaching and can find the time, I don't know any coaches who wouldn't jump at a chance to learn more.

I would think a certification standard would be voluntary (let's not legislate requirements!) and a great certification organization is one that provides useful information to all of its members regardless of how experienced they are. In my experience with PSIA ("Profesional Ski Instructors of America"), the most value I've gotten over the years is the ability to meet with other coaches and share training techniques and constantly increase my "bag of tricks" for achieving a specific performance.

Although I'm in Hong Kong, I'd highly encourage HVA to continue down the path they're heading and everyone to support them. I'd love to come and take the courses and learn more!

#34 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 8:41pm

strong opinions are great. to have some honesty. I love how a good coach has an impact on there team and makes them feel safe like everything is taken care of. as a coach I love taking courses and learning more about the sport I love. and spending time with other people that do the same things as me at there perspective clubs. they can teach you allot that otherwise would take you years to learn. And any good course would be recommended for a coach . I have always been interested in the chemistry of wining, how its like making a cake. when you get all the right ingredient and then to get it to work. dont forget the mane one is fun in the sun.

#35 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 9:27pm

in regards to the hva post, why is it necessary to bring in speakers from out of town? hawaii has no shortage of elite, world-class paddlers. rent a venue for such an event? why? i.m sure this could take place at one of the many beach pavilions around the island. maybe at one of the club's canoe hale? nutrition and training? i'm sure there are many sports nutitionist who paddle and would gladly speak on that subject. training methods/technique? how about the dolans, jr., manny, austin and fotis. not to leave anybody out but hawaii get choke world class paddlers and coaches. olympic caliber athletes like the dolans could shed some light on training and nutrition to get to that level. everything and everyone we need to stage such a clinic is right here in hawaii.

#36 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 10:14pm


#37 Tue, 08/10/2010 - 10:58pm

If you check the previous post you will see that Hawai'i's elite athletes would be included in the program.

It seemed an indoor seminar might make it easier for speakers to not only be heard but to also provide multimedia presentations.

The HVA was simply attempting to bring together several individuals who are very knowledgeable about the subjects of youth coaching, training, and nutrition. All things that are somewhat different than the requirements of a world class adult paddler. If it seems we are going about this in the wrong manner than the HVA is happy to step aside and help someone else get an event like this up and going.

Yes there are probably several experts available in Hawai'i to speak on the above mentioned subjects. If you could please forward us their contact info we would be happy to contact them. We were only attempting to bring in individuals which HVA has previously worked with. Thanks for the tips!

#38 Wed, 08/11/2010 - 12:35am

I think this is a good concept, yet I am not sure it would be realistic for it to come to fruition here at this time. When I was in high school I was a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons at a pool. Of course, I needed several certifications in order to do so. On that level, it would make sense for any paddling coach to have similar certifications. The culture of paddling and teaching paddling in Hawaii is very different from the culture of most other sports. As was mentioned earlier in this thread, most paddling coaches are volunteers that are recruited by other more experienced coaches in their club. When I taught swimming lessons in high school, I got paid about $10/hr. Paddling coaches often get paid much less. While most coaches are always in learning mode, most won't be able to afford certification courses that may cost significant amounts of money that they won't see returned by an increased coaching salary.

Slightly off-topic, but related to several other posts here... If were were to "certify" coaches, would we settle on a single technique that should be taught across the board? As it is now, every different club has a slightly different technique that they teach. It is very obvious when people go from one club to another and cannot blend. Are we ready as a paddling community to concede to the concept that one technique is better than another? We love to pretend that we all have different paddling styles, but are essentially the same otherwise. I would argue that there are certain aspects of the technique that should be taught consistently across the board. Some techniques are more efficient than others.

I went to the "paddling excellence" clinic hosted by HCKT a couple weeks ago. It consisted of a program that is not all that different from what HVA is describing here. It was a very interesting clinic and I felt like I got a lot out of it in terms of general concepts. Each of the elite paddling experts expressed the technique slightly differently, which got us talking about specific technique points. I couldn't quite get them to say specifically what the body mechanics should be. While talking to them, I could feel my own bias in play since the coaches I have had are very specific about technique, which led me to wonder whether we as a community are willing to identify which technique is "right."

#39 Wed, 08/11/2010 - 2:19pm

Many techniques can be "right". It's the basic principles of paddling: the connection between paddler-canoe, canoe-water, and paddle-water that will be the same in efficient paddlers. Kayak and canoe strokes are very different, but the principles between the two aren't. Technique differences exist because there's more than one way to apply your power to move your canoe.

Movement, body-position, and mechanics are only a part of paddling efficiently, and they won't get you anywhere fast without an understanding beyond just technique.

#40 Wed, 08/11/2010 - 2:46pm

Have coaches that have built winning programs get together and come up with one technique. Have have them certify a few coaches and see if they win or do better. I imagine they will continue to do better. Other coaches and teams will see that and send their coaches to be certified. This will start off small, I bet only handful of coaches will opt to be certified in the beginning. But after results are attained maybe those coaches can start requesting to get paid for their services.

For the most part I don't think coaches have the detailed eye to make sure everyone is doing the same technique. Just about every crew I see out there half the guys have different technique. Slightly different but different.

I think it is more important to have everone in the boat perfectly doing the wrong stroke the same than have everyone doing a different version of the perfect stroke.

#41 Wed, 08/11/2010 - 2:48pm

forget for a second worrying about technique. what if as a coach you could teach your paddlers to fuel better, train smarter, recover better, peak at the right time, and work better as a team? would you want to do this?

certifications or not, i'd like to learn how to do this. i never expect to get paid more for knowing more. my satisfaction comes from seeing the kids i coach excel in life and secondarily in canoe races. oddly enough the two seem to be very tightly linked.

#42 Wed, 08/11/2010 - 3:02pm


#43 Fri, 08/20/2010 - 3:10pm

jc9- wow you offer an opportunity to learn and immediately get shot down, sounds to me like you should do it. It's almost like some people are offended by the possibility that they can improve upon there coaching. That they might not know everything under the sun, and they might not be correct in there way of teaching. "If you build it, they will come"

I'm all about learning more. I'd go, and it would be sweet if it was around the Molokai Hoe, cause people would be in town for the race anyways.

#44 Thu, 08/12/2010 - 4:38am

No one's ever gonna really listen, any way.

#45 Thu, 08/12/2010 - 7:45pm

I often coaches worry about their ego when an "expert" is brought in. Its actually pretty funny to see. Its really about learning from each other.

#46 Thu, 08/12/2010 - 8:28pm

well said^ clearly, its about learning, sharing and getting better together.

#47 Thu, 08/12/2010 - 10:55pm

Hasto, where did the word encourage come from. Unless you are a new club you MUST have a qualified coach. The option of using a qualified coach from another club was only available to new clubs until they get their coach accredited. All established clubs must have a accredited coach as part of the re-affiliation process. Good on you for putting your hand up for the job.

So if you follow the Australian model your club can be delisted from its association if your coach doesn't keep up all the elements including current first aid etc. No sure you want to go down that road, maybe just passing a course should be enough.

#48 Fri, 08/13/2010 - 1:29am

Now we won't have to go far to see World Class Athletes and Coaches in Hawaii. Looks like we got ourselves a pair of certified Aussies right here- and they use that periodization thingy that jc9_0 is so fond of.

Who would have thought the Ala Wai would ever become the mecca for anything other than staph and tilapia?


#49 Fri, 08/13/2010 - 7:58am

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