Saturday, April 18, 2009

How to Prep for the RKC Certification Weekend - the other stuff

Folks interested in doing the RKC Certification Weekend regularly ask folks at the Dragon Door Forum how to prep for what is a pretty intense 21 hours/3day certification session (overview of the weekend experience here). The expression "bring your game" applies. Last year, Brett Jones did a fabulous article in Hard Style Magazine Winter 08 on how to prepare for the physical part of that game. Note: be SURE to focus on double kettlebell work as Brett presents the drills in that article. (And heh, if you're in the states, and you need extra KB's for doubles practice, DD has new 30% lower prices.) Also, be sure to consider your training plan to include a back-off week the week BEFORE the cert itself.

This post is meant as a quick overview of the attitude and practicailities side of that preparation, and is the bullet point version of a more in-depth article for Hard Style.

Basic Stuff:
Zinc Oxide Sports tape for your hands. Whether you've ever ripped calluses on your hands before or not, by the end of the cert, 99.9% of participants have tape on their hands. Bring your own. Also, learn how to tape. The best taping method is shown by Rif in this blog post on hand taping. PRACTICE taping AND snatching with the tape in advance of the cert - make sure you know how to use it, and that you have no reaction to the tape you use. There is a LOT of swinging in the course.

Hat. Not a baseball hat where the brim will get in your eyes and force you to change your head position learning the moves, but something to shade your nose and your neck. Alternatively, buffs are very good for head or neck cover for when you may be asked to doff your hat during testing.

Chalk. Again, you may want to bring your own and practice with it before hand so you know how you'll be with it. We watched a number of follks lose the bell on the snatch test who seemed not used to the chalk experience while trying to save their hands.
Bandaids/antibacterial ointment. You're your own best medic. If you get a cut or the skin pulls off your hands, putting sticky coaches' tape directly on the skin may not be fun. Some of the best new bandaids around are Bandaids AktiveFlex. They're waterproof and they really DO stay with the bendy twistiness of the skin. You can put coaches/zinc tape right over this.

Hydration System. Have a water bottle and refill it often. The ASCM has great recommendations about how to stay hydrated outdoors during sporting activities. Gulp rather than sip, too.

Snacks. You may want to think about making some homemade protein bars to nibble during the breaks - just don't be late coming back from break. If not that, nuts and raisins are a good protein/fat/carb (ratios in that order) way to stay energied up without getting full. The reason i like homemade protein bars from protein powder, egg whites and crushed nuts is that it's bioavailability is fast.

Sunscreen. Any red necks showing up get "punished" on site, per team. Sunburn is taken really seriously. Don't let it happen. Stay slathered. YOu may want to practice with the brand of choice.

Cotton Handkerchief. When a sweat gets going, and the persperation mixes with sunscreen and heads to your eyes, it can be grim. If you're wearing non-cotton shirts, there's nothing there to wipe up the sweat, so having a cotton hanky or bandana can be a good thing.
Camera. Whether disposable or on your phone or a small digital, bring one. You'll be glad you did.

Cultural Practice
There's really nothing like it. And there's not a lot of explanation about what to expect or what is expected in advance, so i hope this helps:

Orientation. From the start, folks are assigned to teams. if something unexpected happens, or if you're unsure about something, ask your team lead right away. Assume that the cert management wants to find a solution for you for whatever the issue may be.

ATTEN-TION/Hustle. Yes it does run in what one imagine might be a militaresque way. PRactice happens in teams, but there are sessions with the group lead for particular parts of the course. THis means dropping what you're doing in your team and RUNNING (not walking) to the teaching circle area and paying attention. This also means when someone leading says "is that clear?" the expected reply is a very harty, loud "yes" (ok, there's a lot of "yes sir'ing" too). Part of this call and response is (a) to optimize the time - no time wasted shuffling feet and (b) the other part is to make sure people are on the same page - there's a lot to cover. So to avoid additional drills assigned for tardy responses, hustle and reply loudly.

Technique Clinique: be prepared to participate fully. A huge part of the course is looking at how to address common issues in performing moves. Pavel leads most of these corrective sessions. They are big q&a sessions where the teams all look on, and are asked either to comment on what the problem is, what a fix is, or to ask any other questions they may have. Lack of comment or question is not taken as a good thing. Drills will be assigned. This is your opportunity to ask field leading experts about how to solve problems instructing with KB's. It's a gold mine opportunity. Be sure to be ready with questions and demonstrations that you have learned the corrective procedures.

Be Proactive. Assessment takes place throughout the course. Not just during the snatch test, not just during the teaching demo, not just during the test of the moves, but throughout. If someone's volunteering during a demo and they or the instructor need a kettlebell, hustle to go get it for them. If there's crap in the way, jump in and move it to safe place. In other words, look out for opportunities to offer service. You will see all the team leads supporting each other this way during the weekend. They're modeling the behaviour they want to see within the teams. Reflecting back that behaviour will ensure you have a great weekend.

1 comment:

Casey said...

Thanks for this, I can already tell I'll be thanking myself in June that I read it. Now I play the waiting game :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails