Friday, 18 December 2009
by Rob Hielkema
“Back when I was a lad, mentoring was a big part of learning to sail and learning how to be a coach.
I first experienced this when the old boys from the frostbite class would see me sailing round in circles in my Starling. They would give me pointers on the beach after a race. They could see me struggling and were happy to offer advice. These guys became my mentors and I would always ask them for advice or to check my thinking and decision making.
Later on I was asked to be involved in some club coaching. This really helped my sailing, I was able to learn the best way to communicate with different sailors and found many ways of demonstrating and explaining skills needed to sail around a course.
At my club everyone did a little coaching, we would sit in a chase boat with a more experienced instructor or coach and we would learn their drills and games, we would see how they interacted with their sailors and you could compare this to how you did it (for better or worse).
It is this that I want to highlight and bring to your attention. Its an important part of sailing better and developing better coaches. I have spoken to all of the YNZ Performance and Olympic coaches and they are committed to helping keen coaches to develop. That means that if you are a coach and keen to get better at your practise there is an opportunity for you to do this for free!
This can be done at one of the YNZ Zone Development Clinics coming to a town near you soon or any time a YNZ coach is in your area. It’s up you to pick up the phone and make it happen, so if you are keen to make something happen, call or email me and I will place you with a coach.
The other option is to go to your club and talk to the old boys ask them questions, jump in a chase boat with other coaches and start developing a list of games and drills to use, think about how you coach and how others do it! Think how could it be done better.
Happy Sailing and Coaching!