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Olympian Horace Holden Coaches High School

Horace Holden recently joined Huge Experiences’ New River Academy on the banks of the Rio Trancura of Pucon, Chile. Holden visited as part of the program’s parent invitational trip and is the father of 9th grade student Isaac Holden.

Holden with C-2 partner Wayne Dickert of NOC was a member of the 1996 US Slalom Team competing in the ’96 Olympics on the Ocoee River.

Strokes and what they mean-
Holden taught the value in proper posture, torso rotation, and blade placement. With an erect posture Holden explained the increased range of motion and power potential. Additionally, he explained most paddlers have poor paddle placement. Thus, there is less power. Holden illustrated the difference between a 100% vertical paddle placement position versus a paddle placement off to the side. If the paddler places blade vertically then momentum continues forward. Although, many paddlers place their blade less than vertical causing an excess in side to side motion.

Holden led the eager youth through a series of warm-up strokes drills that will certainly improve their individual and the entire program’s on the water success. Here are a few examples of strokes taught and practiced: forward stroke with paddle placement, forward stroke in a circle with boat edge control, back stroke in a circle with boat edge control. Holden demonstrated getting the paddle under the boat during turns in order to maximize power efficiency.

After the instructional students eagerly played in the Rio Trancura Bridge playhole executing: loops, cartwheels, helii, mcnasties, godzillas, and of course vertical forward strokes. It was great to see the senior Holden hit a loop of his own while his son Isaac hung with the upper-classmen executing loops, backstabs, and cartwheels.

Thank you Horace Holden.

“And that has made all the difference.”

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Horace teaches