We hosted our first camp of the year at the stunningly beautiful Drepani Water Ski Resort in Greece with Emilio’s students from the Ski Nautique Club Neuchâtel (SNCN). A two-hour drive from Athens and you find yourself in water sports paradise! Owned and run by a wonderful (and extraordinarily talented!) family, Drepani has it all! Guests stay on site in lovely rooms, spitting distance from the water, there is delicious food served all day, and a swimming pool perfect for lounging by after a hard day’s work!
Drepani is predominantly for slalom skiers, however, they have a great Malibu that is suitable for all levels of wakeboarding and wake surfing!
We had two and a half days to run our camp. Within that time our main goals are to work on technique on the board, carrying out some training drills off the water, include a sport specific fitness routine, and of course give the riders some good boat snacks! Time, as always, went so fast! However, we are very happy with the results of the camp. Every rider exceeded well beyond expectation, we managed to include two well-rounded, complete training sessions, we worked on some good warm ups, everyone rode really well, and most importantly everyone had a great time!
One of our aims with our camps is to get all riders to set some goals, for the camp and for the upcoming season. They say that if we want to achieve our goals we must write them down. We wanted to instil this attitude from day one, and so right after our first session with the team on the water we came back and asked each rider for one or two goals they had for their riding. This also allows us to track progress and to help each athlete achieve their goal! We will be following up on these goals, and even maybe adding to them!
A major element of our camps is the fitness. We put together two structured workouts for the camp, each one working on a different skill set that is necessary for both wakeboarders and wake surfers.
Workout Day 1:
The focus today was on knee stability and balance work. Both of which are imperative skills for wakeboarders and wake surfers.
We warmed up with a Fitness Art favourite:
3 x 8 (each side) Single Leg Deadlifts
2 x 8 (each side) Split Squats
2 x 8 (each side) Step forward and complete a split squat, then step back (like a broken down lunge)
2 x 8 (each side) Full Lunges
2 x 8 (each side) Single Leg Step Up
Run to the boat!
Workout Day 2
The main focus today was on core. We also added in a couple of stability exercises to continue the work from the previous day.
We repeated the same warm up followed by a 5 minute mobility routine.
1 x 15 Air Squats
16 x Bicycle Crunch
16 x Dead Bugs
2 x 8 Push Ups
3 x 10 Back Extensions
Drepani is predominantly a slalom ski school, however fortunately they have a Malibu LSV that allowed us to teach wakeboarding and wake surfing. We quickly discovered that the wake surf wave on the right side of the boat was much better and much cleaner. The wave on the right is typically for riders who are right foot forward (also known as goofy!). So, we decided to throw a challenge at our riders who are for the most part left foot dominant and make them all try out some new techniques: switch and backside. This turned out to be a fantastic idea and all the riders excelled more than they even thought possible. Every single rider went home with a new trick in their pocket! We had one wakeboarder with the group who is a natural talent, and who responded very well to some technical drills!
With two sets a day, some stretching and a workout, riders tend to get pretty hungry by the afternoon! To combat this hunger, we made some little boat snacks that went down a treat!
Banana Oat Peanut Butter Bars 😊
180 grams Oats
4 ripe bananas
4 heaped tablespoons peanut butter (any nut butter works and if like us you love it add a bit more!)
Mash up the bananas, add in the oats and eventually the peanut butter. This is a great base and we tend to add extra nuts, raisins, goji berries and some coconut. For a bit of extra indulgence some dark chocolate goes down a treat!
Bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for 18-20 minutes. (Place a fork in the middle of the bar and if it comes out dry it is ready!)
Coaching kids is always a pleasure, and when they happen to be natural talents, even more so!
As a coach, the biggest challenge with talented people is making them aware of their potential, and then giving them a structure. During this camp, I’m pretty confident that these kids got on the right path. Each one of them has a unique style on the board, and thanks to the small amount of time available and the right strategy, we were able to show them their potential!
The next step is to keep in touch as much as we can with them in order to keep the wheel of creativity spinning, and I can’t wait to see what’s next with these kiddos!