Alec Bloyd-Peshkin is the wrangler of all the Gales coaches — including himself.

Coaching thought: This past year I’ve been thinking the role independent practice plays in a person’s development as a paddler and how to model different forms of practice into my coaching sessions. I think that if practice can be done as a game, a challenge or a what-if question (as opposed to rote repetition of a skill), then it is more fun, making it into something we want to do, and more varied, which is how we actually need to use our skills.

Paddling thought: This past June, I did a paddle with Sharon and some friends from Rhode Island out to Fishers Island in Long Island Sound. It is an area with strong currents and tidal races that can easily overpower a kayaker. The ferry glide from the mainland to Fishers Island is magical. Using ranges, you can see the current take hold of your boat and that you are slipping down toward the end of the island (your target for a landing). There is a bit of fear about miscalculating and you know it is not possible to paddle hard enough to overcome the current. You watch, check the ranges and then the current slows as you get into an eddy created by the island. It is the aggregation of boat handling, tidal skills and observation that allow me to get there and I love it!

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