When three days disappear in a blink, you know it’s fun. We had a solid group of eleven made up of eight candidates and three Instructors. The real kicker for this weekend is that every single person brought something to the course, most notably their fun personalities and willingness to learn and contribute.
It’s difficult to measure the outcome of these courses. You can’t just say he or she got certified. The certification shouldn’t be and isn’t the most valuable piece of these workshops. It’s really about improving skill, learning new teaching methods and becoming better instructors for our future students. Candidates dial-in their personal skills as much as possible. They practice with coaching models, they learn and review safety & leadership. They gain awareness and become safer, stronger paddlers. Hopefully they leave the course inspired and stoked for more.
I get better at delivering these courses each time, but I still ask myself ‘were we safe?’ ‘Did we improve our measurable performance?’ ‘Did we have fun?’ ‘Was it valuable to the candidates?’ ‘What could I have done better?’ Yes, yes, yes & hmmm. That’s the question – what could I have done better? After every course I run, lesson I give or trip I lead, I’m immediately reflecting on the experience and taking notes on what worked, what didn’t work, what will I change next time, what could I have done better.
We have a new group of ACA certified SUP Instructors in the US and I’m pretty certain everyone left the course with new paddling friends and a renewed appreciation for the SUP community. That makes me feel pretty good, even though there are lots of things I’ll do better next time.
|Chris, Alex, Matt, Paul, Erin, Tara, Dylan, Mitch, Tim & Wendy. photo by Erin O’Malley.|