high performance sailing
Basically there are two different scenarios: training and regatta. Let’s start with the last one.
The first thing I always do with my sailors is a deep boat check: hull finishing, sails, foils, fix and running rig, alignment, symmetry… to correct whatever that might be wrong. The boat must always be in a perfect condition, and especially for the competition!
Back to shore after competing
Once in a regatta venue I go out with my rib to analize sailing conditions. Back to the shore, I check my sailors´ boats and have a meeting with them to comment Sailing Instructions and to prepare a strategy.
On the way to the regatta field (and also before each race) I follow each of my sailors' boats with my rib to help them to set the best tuning for new conditions. Of course, I always film starts and finishings.
When I have training with sailors for the first time we start with a trial sailing in order to analyze their skills, their physical conditions, how they do manoeuvres and their movements on board. Thus I see the things to be improved and if there is something to be corrected. Then I prepare for them a tailored training plan considering their necessities, their wishes and the time we have.
When there is a possibility some of my most experienced sailors may help me with big groups by giving an example of maneuvers execution on board. Other sailors can learn by watching them, as they are demonstrating a really high technique, sailing level and manoeuvers performance on their boats.
Exercises, manoeuvers, boat control, everything has to be trained
Trainings in the water are never too long. If we have only one session we are in the water about 3 hours; if two sessions - not longer than 2 hours each. This is because sailors’ capacity of learning finishes much earlier than people maight think. We do starts, mark roundings, tacks, gybes, 360ºs, short regattas, etc, In the end of the day together with sailors we analize sailing videos.
Time to rest and to recharge batteries. Training sessions should never be too long or forgetting the sailors necessities. Overtrainng can be as bad as not training enough.
I always teach my sailors the key points of what they have to do on board: "what, how, when", but I specially want them to understand the most important one: the "why". The better they understand it, the better they will do the other points and the better results they will get. I always tell them "Sailing is not a religion; it is not to believe, but to know and to understand."
What I intend to do is to help my sailors to be independent. They should learn to be able to do correct things and take correct decisions by themselves. A coach only gives them support and information. Sailors are the only protagonists of their races! ;)