It has been said by many who should know, that sailing success is probably 5% talent and 95% hard work.
I have set out below some approaches that will assist you in making the most out of the time that you are training and learning on the water.
Have Learning Objectives for every time you Train or Race –
- Work on boatspeed by making one adjustment at a time.
- When starting, get out of your comfort zone and try different starting techniques.
- As a helmsperson, if you spend your time with your eyes slavishly glued to the telltales, practice also getting your head out of the boat.
- When out training, practice tacking or gybing on every shift. This will help with your understanding of shifts and sharpen up your boat-handling skills.
Build Training Events into your Season –
- Treat some events that you attend as training sessions and get beyond your ego by trying different things. Learn from the outcomes and don’t stress if you end up in a less than stellar result.
- Many sailors race every week but hit a brick wall because they do the same thing race after race, they put in the hours but they don’t experiment and learn from mistakes.
- When you do an event that you treat as a “win” event, you don’t need to experiment but simply apply the new things that you learned in earlier trainning events.
Sail against Different People At Different Venues –
- Techniques used in different classes and by different sailors can be adapted to your preferred class. Quite often we observe and learn from the sailors in our class and at our club, but sometimes the pool of knowledge can be quite shallow.
- If you sail a Cat, don’t restrict your learning to that type of boat, sail in monos, sportboats and keel boats and vice-versa.
- There is something new you will learn from every experience and what you have learned you can employ in your chosen class.
Sail against the best sailors in high standard fleets –
- Your learning will be accelerated by observing and talking to the best sailors.
- You will be surpised by how willing they are to pass on their knowledge. Great sailors realise that if the fleet improves, so do they.
- You will always learn more and improve more quickly when you have to work hard to stay with the best in your fleet.
How To Consolidate Your Learning –
- After each race or event, make notes regarding observations, learnings and what worked and what didn’t.
- If you sail in a crewed boat, have a team debriefing and talk through the race, getting each team members feedback.
- If you sail a singlehander, go through the event in your head and make notes.
- Before every race refer to your notes to refresh and remind you of previous learnings.
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