Competition Day

1) Know exact times of all matches.
2) Discuss game tactics before player get changed 30 minutes before the match.
3) Have players ready and in their kayaks one full game before the match. ( 20-30 minutes).
4) Warm up if possible paddling, passing in a circle, goalie practice.
5) Last 2 minutes gather the team together- reiterate tactics and give encouragement and positive motivation.
6) Position behind your own goal.
7) Keep verbal directions simple and clear- use numbers of the opposition ie mark no 6 on your right.
8) Keep a pad and pen and write in note from/of things to talk about after the game.
9) Half time- stress the good plays or actions by team members. do not criticise for lack of ability – Give a positive thing for them to think about to improve poor play. ie. Don”t say ‘ You are dropping the ball too much’. Do say ‘ Use your thumbs more to catch the ball’ or ‘ Try to move your arms with the ball to absorb the impact’.
10) Full time- Congratulate if winners, Stress the good points if losers. Allow players time to think over their own game. Before coming down heavily with things to improve on:
a) Say 5 mins after the game when players are changed, look at your notes and give positive suggestions.
b) Remember to train on the weak points during the next training session.
c) Listen to players requests/ thoughts on the game/ tactics etc.. Try to get all players to input into the post mortem.
d) Only pick on one or two maximum negative points even if there are 10 or 20. Work on improving one or two points at a time and be certain to let players know when you notice improvement and or perfection of a skill.
e) Learn to observe when players have had enough listening to you, the coach. Look for wandering eyes, slouching, bored sounding replies of yeaaah!, mono syllabic answers.
f) Do not tell lies ‘you were passing OK’ when every pass was a bad one. The player will know you are trying to pick them up but this will have the opposite effect and make them think you are patronising.
g) All people are different, so you must approach them in different ways.
h) Some people thrive on being shouted at to this or do that. Some will merely tell you to shut up and you may lose them completely if you continue to be aggressive towards them.

The coach can be more aggressive.
Players are generally more committed and motivated to win at all cost.

Some women can be as motivated and as aggressive as the men but there are others who would like a softer approach.
Do not be condescending.
Be aware of specific needs/ problems/ medical needs.

Involve all juniors in the same practise, if ability is widespread.
Give some advanced players, new things to try.
Stress the fun aspects of the game.
Promote friendships between your players.

Try to understand their personal life on a small scale to understand problem in the game.
Learn about medical problems, restrictions, injuries.
Observe personality and try to mould your coaching to their personality.
Know each persons goals -Polo is for fun
– Polo is for winning
– Polo is for fitness
– Polo is for friendship.
Make sure training is not boring
Introduce new skills and new methods of training old skills.


Basically- a) Increase carbohydrates
b) Decrease fats
A Sporting diet is a healthy diet.
Competition Day- Complex carbohydrates such as bananas, fruit
Don’t eat too close to the game -less than 1 hour.
Drink plenty of water in training sessions and games.


Plenty of warm up.
Don’t play if injured.
Know medications.


Players must be able to swim.
Must be confident of exiting a boat if capsized
Demonstrate- Safe entry to the kayak.
Deep water rescue.
Emptying of the kayak
1 PERSON- Turn boat on side and allow as much water as possible to flow out.
Turn kayak upside down and push down on one end.
The water will run to this end and then lift up the end of the kayak. Repeat from the same end.
2 PERSONS Lift kayak out of the pool sideways allowing water to flow out.

Wear suitable clothing-
Thermals- Polypropylene/ chlorofibre garments that remains warm when wet.
Cags- Windproof top to prevent chill factor.
Helmets- Foam lined- 70% of body heat is lost out of the head.
Wearing a helmet with the fecemask in place tunes the eyes to disregard the facemask and concentrate on play.


You must know all the rules to enable the correct tactics to be used. Talk to the chief referee to clear up rule/ interpretation problems.
Do not take advice from local referees unless you are confident of their knowledge and understandings of the rules.
Do not criticise referees- try to help them by pointing out possible mistakes.
When talking to referees do not say ‘ You did this wrong or that wrong’ as all referees will make mistakes. Ask them for their understanding of the rules/ interpretations to see if it is the same as yours.
If it is the same then there is not much more that can be done except to voice your opinions on the particular referee to the highest relevant authority not just to your friends.
If the referee has different rule/ interpretations understanding, then check your own understanding from the relevant rule book and then approach the referee with positive information. This will help the referee to improve and should help your team, as the referee will be sensitive to the particular point you have brought up, rather than being negative if you approach in an accusing/condescending manner.

The coach should tell players to play to the rules NOT to the referee.
If a referee is not doing their job properly, do not turn your play into illegal play. You may learn bad habits that will be penalised when a better referee is available.

All coaching sessions must be self refereed. Ensure all players stop play for illegal play. Skills cannot be learnt properly if someone continually plays illegally or dangerously eg. paddle too close to the opponent. The opponent cannot practise passing properly and the player using the paddle illegally will be penalised in future games which could affect the result of the game.

When a player is doing illegal play make sure they know the ruling by stopping play and having a quick discussion.

Always ensure that the captain calls ‘ Three cheers for ………….’ This is good sporting behaviour and gives a good example to other teams.
Remember enemies on the water can and should be friends off the water.
Recognise the referees efforts by adding ‘ and one for the refs’ or thank the referee at a later date. Remember they are helping you have an enjoyable game.


Techniques- paddling, throwing, turning, catching.
Game analysis- defence, offence, one on one, tackling hand/kayak, play under pressure, shooting, goalkeeping, cycling.

Coach must be an analyser and observer.
Coach must be able to suggest correct changes to improve players.