A few of you recently asked us if we thought clinics from pros were worth the money. That is a hard question but a lot of it depends on you and who the pro is, some of it depends on where it is and how many people will be in the clinic. Also if you are not open to try new techniques or take advice and you know that just don’t do it.
Smaller clinics are better; a few of us did a clinic down at the Carolina cup a few years back by one of the top pros. It was a $250 clinic and advertised as a max of 10 people with video breakdown from the pro. As we were getting started they added people at the last minute which took it to 20 + people. We get that 98% of pro’s are dead broke and need the money but when you advertise something it should stay that way. As the clinic went on a camera never came out, they had so many people in the clinic that there was no time for it. So each person got one or two tips as they paddled by the pro and that was it. Cool experience but we all said we would not do it again for that amount of money.
At the same time a few other MD people we know we’re taking a clinic by another pro that has a background in coaching. They said they LOVED it, it was long but they did video breakdowns of each paddler and spent a lot of time in a class room style setting going over it. The prices were just about the same and it was a smaller group.
Some of the people in our group felt a few minutes with a pro, getting one or two things to work on did not stick. By that afternoon they were paddling back their normal way.
Even some in the more detailed group said spending 4 hours in a really detail clinic right before a race was a challenge as they had no time to work on what they learned and put it to use.
So when taking a clinic just be careful on whom you choose, ask around get feedback from other paddlers who have taken clinics with certain people. Make sure the minimums are kept and if they say video analysis confirm beforehand that it will be done. Also if at all possible try to do a clinic any day but the day before a race, you have zero time to work on what you just learned and can forget quick.
Clinics are VERY expensive so you should make sure it’s worth it before you spend your hard earned money. They can really help or they can be a total waste of time.
And lastly have fun and really try to take what you learn and put it into use. It may feel awkward or weird at first but the more you do it the easier it becomes.