A few weeks ago I had one of those really great days of paddling on the ocean with coach Tom, and I thought others might be interested in my experience. Tom is gifted with a great combination of personality, knowledge, and incredible kayak skills, AND he is an outstanding educator. His enthusiasm for being in a sea kayak on the ocean is infectious. Tom doesn’t say too much when coaching, but when he does you get it right away. I immediately felt that he was working for me to reach full potential.
Throughout the day Tom passed on a clear understanding of what was going on in the surf as we were seeing it. I got it right away, information that I could use. When paddling the surf he would demonstrate what he was asking me to do, and stay right there with me as I did it, watching. Occasionally he’d break in on my internal struggle with the boat and the wave with a comment that solved for the very problem that I was struggling with! At some point I was actually hearing his input and acting on it while on the same wave! Cool stuff! It seems simple when you experience it, but it’s the trademark of a great coach. Nothing like getting it right away, and immediately feeling the improvement. Needless to say it was a great day, and the skills I picked up carried over to my next trip to the ocean. Then few day later, Tom topped it off when he sent an assessment of the day, along with some homework! Outstanding experience all round.