Originally Posted by Canada
I love how excited he was once it had sunk in what he just did!
How old was he when you first got him in the boat? I want to take out my six year old, but don't want to scare him?
He was 3-1/2 when we first parked him in a Fun 1 in the pool at the Durango Rec Center. It just took on a life of its own after that. He's gone through fearful moments, ones of elation, ones of utter self-amazement. There are times you have to push them a little, times when you have to totally back off. The biggest thing is to let them have fun. With each fear conquered and each new accomplishment, they grow and have more fun.
The turning point for Henry was his getting involved in racing slalom. It made hime focus more on making gates and using better techniques and not focusing on the perils of the river that would kick his butt. When his roll got bomb, the game was over, now there are no boundaries, only possibilities.
A really big thing is to not focus on what they do wrong, but praise them for all the things they do right on the water. The kids no when they mess up and why, they don't need an adult telling them that. Henry is his own worst critic.
It is exciting to see a kid, any kid take to a sport with a flourish that is rare. Most kids these days treat everything as disposible.
Work with your kid in the pool and if and when they're ready for water, do lots and lots of flatwater. Let them make mistakes, be there to help them back up. takes breaks, have fun. The best times I have had with Henry have been when he and I are just out for a cruise on the river. We run whatever lies ahead, talk about all kinds of things, and just enjoy a passion we both share.
I will wager Henry can beat you on any Slalom course by at least 20 seconds. Just to give you an example of what a motivated 8 yr old can do... 9 gate offset in 34.96, 32.09, 29.11, and 29.10 seconds, in that order. Not too many adults can run sub-30 on 9 gates.
Henry misses you! We still talk about the "Cooking" lady who swam, funny how they edited that bit out. Henry is doing really really good down here in Texas, even though he misses Colorado. We'll be up there for at least 2 of the Golden Rodeo events, Lyons, Teva Mtn. Games, and FibArk. We have Junior Trials at NOC next month and the JO's in Ontario, Canada. He's doing slalom, wildwater, boater-x, 8-Ball and freestyle (lots of freestyle) this year. Hope all is going well with your wife, you and that kiddo of yours!!!