(2017 ☆ ARCHIVED) Ian Beasley - Australia

IAN BEASLEY (Australia) - Nominee for the the 2017 Media Professional of the Year Award 

Ian Beasley's three books give readers a unqiue perpective on Canoe Polo and Kayaking through a medium that isn't as popular anymore. His books, which are read right around the world, give paddlers, coaches and officials a unique insight into the sport and as a result have become a go-to reference tool world-wide. 

'Canoe Polo – basic skills and tactics' gives readers a comprehensive introduction and guide to the sport. If you’re a beginner, it will get you up and running quickly. You will learn the right skills and tactics, not only to keep afloat but also to win games. For intermediate and advanced players, the book provides an insight to refine technique and broaden playing strategies. Coaches and players around the world draw on described paddling skills, plans and drills to create effective training sessions.

Starting with a brief look at canoe polo’s history, subsequent chapters continue with boat and paddle selection and paddling and ball skills. The illustrations and descriptions of rolling technique provide a clear and concise approach to developing confident rolling ability. A range of defence and offence tactics are explored, including 1-3-1, 2-2-1, press and set plays. With over fifty training drills described, there are many opportunities to diversify training. An appendix includes country rankings for each of the ICF world championships, World Games, European champions, Asian championships, Oceania and African championships.

Moving on from this, 'Canoe Polo - Advanced' targets high performance players and coaches. Players are already skilled and committed to regular training, aiming to be the best they can. The book draws on elite training and skill development from Australia, Great Britain, Netherlands and Canada. A foreword from Greg Smale, chair of the ICF canoe polo committee, sets the scene. A review of ICF World Champions and World Games opens the book, but for athlete, the section, what makes a great player?, gets you thinking.  Physical fitness is covered in considerable detail—energy systems, fitness testing, strength and conditioning, injury prevention. Looking for that extra edge, the section on mental fitness challenges players in flow, sport psychology, visualisation and goal setting. Advanced skills in boat positioning and buoyancy along with analysis of some critical championship games provide insight. Specifically, for the coach, there is guidance on team building, training programs and sessions. Continuing the approach presented in 'Canoe polo – basic skills and tactics,' the appendix includes a comprehensive range of fitness and skill drills.

Ian's third book, 'Kayak- A collection of words and images' is divided into five sections that reflect the utilitarian uses of the kayak since its creation around 4,000 years ago; Living, Seeking, Challenging, Competing, and Defending. It tells stories of: the Innuit, Eskimo, and Aleut people who created the kayak for use in hunting and transportation; explorers undertaking adventures in never-before-seen places; extreme paddlers pushing the limits of human capabilities and endurance; athletes testing their skills against themselves, other paddlers, and the clock; and defence personnel utilising the kayak as a vehicle of stealth.

People will start the book thinking that a kayak is just a recreational toy, but will finish it with an understanding that this wonderful little watercraft is so much more. It is a kayak-themed exhibition worthy of any world class museum or art gallery and distilled it into a book so every paddler can see it at home, and visit again and again. Rare artwork and photography is combined tastefully with the words of paddlers and historians in a way that encourages both thoughtful contemplation and excited anticipation at the turn of every page.

In addition to publishing these books, Ian is also the Chair of the Australian Canoeing Canoe Polo board and works as a project consultant. 


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