Transitioning from a club or national fleet to a big fleet can be very challenging to many sailors, sometimes it feels like all your previous knowledge and training is just not in line with the tactics and decision making of big fleets.
It is truly incredible the number of projects we have worked on where the sailors do not know how to recognise headers and lifts. When we ask them what happened to the wind during a training run, they can get it very wrong, and when we ask them what happened during a race, their impression is often at odds with reality, and completely wrong.
How many times are you on a line, feeling like you’ve pulled the boss move, and with ten seconds to go, things turn pear shaped and the dream start vaporises? This simple and common situation gives us the first priority.
Coaching has evolved a massive amount since 1990. Yes, there were coaching courses of sorts back than, but somehow you'd spend three days on a course and come away with one useful nugget of information that would improve your coaching skills. Now a days information is so readily accessible that you can gain enough information to be a good coach in a very short time. What you can't get is experience.
We recently finished a training camp leading to an important event for the team, After having worked on different racing skills and Psychological aspects we decided it’s time to test the sailors ability to put on their racing head on.
We've been engaged in several interesting projects lately. We are writing this blog to illustrate the effects of prioritising the right aspects of sailing when coaching, and also to contrast the position of a sailor when subject to a "reactive" coach, when they coach according to conditions and squad behaviour, rather than a proactive coach who coach with certain minimum expectations. We will neither name the class nor the country, because that's irrelevant. What we will do is tell the story.
When you begin to take any sport seriously, the choice of a coach or coaches will make or break your ambitions. You can see it in all sports, and sailing is certainly no exception.
Operating a Coaching Business such as ours is a widespread business. Our operational services include Coaching, Coach Training, Consultancy, Design input, and running training camps. In everything that we do, our goals are to be the best that we can, and certainly the best in the business. Essentially we are competitive people, but we are also fun loving people. Combining the two facets is essential to gain success - as soon as we can get positive people hungry to succeed, anything is possible!
Any national team will benefit if the federation takes an active role in supporting development sailors. The jump from development to senior is always large and a trial for the sailors, so that to be in the system with a continuity of coaching methods and systems is a big advantage for the younger sailor.