-- Last Updated: Jun-05-13 12:40 PM EST --
Look where you're going but don't stiffen up. Loosen up so that the upper body moves independently of the lower body; you'll need that for real torso rotation. By upper body, I mean above the hips--not just up from the chest.
Brent Reitz and Ben Lawry DVDs are both good places to start, but for me it took live coaching to finally break the bad habits. Also, realize improvement is a constant process (does not end after coaching or after a certain amount of time), checking mechanics every paddle.
At least now, it's a case of looking for smaller things instead of major problems. More importantly, I can evaluate it myself because I know what "doing it right" feels like. For example, sometimes I find that the boat is veering very slightly to the right in the absence of wind or current. I immediately know that I'm not rotating *quite* enough on my right side. It's an easy fix for sure, but I have to realize why what's happening is happening.
(The veering could also be caused by other things, including differing amounts of foot push, but from experience I know it's usually a matter of a tiny bit underrotation on the right side. And I do mean tiny. Once I fix it, though, it feels like the boat and I are flying.)
In other words, study the DVDs but expect that coaching will be part of the solution, if you have long-ingrained bad habits. They take diligence to correct but it is NOT impossible, though some of the comments I've heard imply it is.
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