I have worked with a few coaches in my time. I have been coached by many amazing and giving people and some of these include Graham Mander, Hamish Willcox as a youth, by John Clinton, a technical expert, by the ‘The Medal Maker’, Victor Kovalenko, and many more. I remember learning from sailmakers, boatbuilders, riggers, sailors at the club and my peers.
When I think about coaching, some words that come to mind are supportive, consistent, available, approachable, communicative, knowledgeable, experienced and analytical. Most importantly, I have found that a great coach is a friend, even on your worst day.
I have learned that at any level, in any field, you perform best when you are relaxed, confident and focused. A coach is a partner in your progress and your achievement. We often hear the word, facilitator. Meaning ‘to make easy’. You could describe a facilitator, as someone who makes learning easy, or focusing easy or whatever challenge you have, easier.
A coach watches and helps you overcome your difficulties. If it didn’t happen today; the coach will be there tomorrow; and so will you be. No problem!
"Great coaches have great experience, and great technical knowledge but they have rarely been the most outstanding performers themselves. Why? Well; often they are great team-members. They link well and make others look good. They know what it is like to have to find ways to improve regardless of natural ability and other difficulties. They become great analysts of the sport, and great communicators when coaching. Does this mean long speeches? No! But they can get through to you. They have special people skills" says Rob Dickson.
When developing, failure is always on the pathway to success. A good coach creates an environment in which you can be relaxed and focused while you push your limits and develop your capacities. For that reason, even you could be your best coach to a point, if you have access to the right information - from reading, watching videos, and listening to the right people. You can push your limits to the point where you fail, but be kind to yourself and learn too!
So now you have a boat (or do you?) are you going to get some guidance?
How are you going to find someone to help you enjoy learning the basics?
- Go to your local club and ask around
- Advertise on local pages
- Join local sailing pages
- Ask a friend for recommendations
- Ask people at your local beach/waterway
- Ask other boat owners/previous owners
To have someone to challenging you in a supportive way is a fantastic experience. So is having a coach who can share some special moments with you!
To find out more about TIWAL Inflatable Sailing Dinghy packages including sailing lessons, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Just Unroll, Inflate and Sail Great!
I am a New Zealand sailor who learned to sail in the beautiful Malborough Sounds and then went onto represent NZ at the 2000 Olympics.