Text by Tina:
Again a special SUP training camp is over and Tanja Ecker and I, Tina Funke, agree: That was wonderful again! With the now fourth event just for women, a format has been established that is felt both by the participants and for us as organizers something unique.
The men should not misunderstand this. We love paddling and training with them and it will stay that way. However, it is the new participants who tell us that they would not necessarily have dared to sign up for a “mixed” camp because they have doubts about whether they can meet the performance requirements. This usually comes from experiences we women have often already had in school sports or even sports in general. In SUPing, lack of strength and the often new element of water, especially with wind and waves, are then added to the mix. This makes one or the other woman feel insecure.
The sense of community and the social component of such camps means that many of the participants come back again and again. They look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new, interesting women who all have one thing in common: paddling. Our tasks as trainers are, among other things, to encourage, to try out new things “accompanied” and to respond to the individual characteristics with an open ear and new ideas. The certainty that someone is there to look after you encourages the participants to take on new conditions and tasks.
Both of us also place particular emphasis on a high quality course with the teaching of training science content in theory and a varied and diverse practice. Thus we are on the water with different training methods. Training of technique and posture, stroke variations and board control are on the program as well as the conditional skills speed, strength and endurance. On land, the focus is on improving agility, strength and coordination. We take a closer look at problems in technique. For example, why do we use the paddle too far back? How do I mobilize the thoracic spine for a wider reach? Why do I have neck tension after long sessions and how do I avoid it? How can I stabilize my hips to make the power transfer from the paddle blade to the board more effective? The combination of a lot of practice and theory with presentations and explanations makes each training camp unique. The main topics vary so each camp is different, so it’s never boring.
We both come from sports science backgrounds, but have very different backgrounds. Tanja is particularly active in training practice as a successful athlete and coach of junior youth and adult racers. She brings her experience from competitive sports into teaching and planning. Last year she won the ultra long distance race SUP 11-City Tour, is 8 times German champion and also internationally often in the top 10. She now coaches several athletes “remotely” in Europe and whenever possible live on site. As a media specialist, drone pilot and photographer, she has an eye for the picture and her video analyses, which we implement several times within a camp, are simply brilliant.
I, on the other hand, can look back on 37 years of water sports experience. As a coach in windsurfing, white water canoeing and stand up paddling in Europe, I have experienced a lot that I can now pass on to the participants. Trusting us to provide safe and appropriate conditions is crucial for a good learning experience. As an enthusiastic windsurfer, I have dealt intensively with the waves in the Atlantic, Pacific and North Sea and, as a starter in the German Windsurf Cup, I know the harshness of cold, wind and water forces. In the meantime, however, my favorite waves have become somewhat smaller. Through training by sports doctors and sports students and with the additional training as a functional trainer, a lot of background knowledge always flows into the teaching, which has earned me the title Erklärbär. Well, I have to admit that I really like to give the background to methods and techniques. I find it very important that my athletes understand why they should implement something.
Especially the combination of Tanja and me and the blind understanding between us as coaches, makes the SUP Girls Camps something special. So we can react spontaneously and help quickly individually or even split the group. Thus, intensive support is always guaranteed. In addition to the ambitious female athletes, we are always happy to welcome new participants who want to try out a competition or dare to go on longer tours. The different performance levels of the women enliven the camp, as everyone can learn something from everyone else. With the right technique we not only want to push the performance, but also promote a healthy and preventive paddling.
In the not entirely unimportant social program, Tanja feeds us with freshly cooked on-site, healthy, wholesome, vegetarian and delicious meals. In addition to the obligatory banana pancakes, there are also many international dishes on the table. This service in particular offers participants real added value.
I always bring up the subject of regeneration, but the 7 to 8 hours of sleep are difficult to implement with so many interesting women. As is customary, there is also a lot of chatting. Then the recovery simply has to be made up for at home.
Does all this sound interesting?
On August 3, 2023 we will organize a 3-hour workshop on Fehmarn (before the SUP Festival) and the next Girls Camp is planned for early October on the Baltic Sea. More detailed info will follow, but feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The full article was published on Stand UP Magazine >> read more!
Check out the Instagram Reel for a little insight what we did >> watch video recap!