Hi there folks - it's Joe again. Tillerman emailed me and asked me to keep going with the blogsitting.
I thought I'd write a few words about my philosophy on mentoring and coaching of race committee staff. When I am invited to be PRO at a yacht club for a regatta then usually the host club provides all the volunteers to be my race committee. I see it as my role not just to run a perfectly managed series of races but also to develop the race management skills of my volunteers.
So when I first meet up with the volunteers, usually on the morning of the first day of racing, I ask them about their previous experience at race committee work. Then I assign them to jobs on the committee that will help them develop new skills.
For example, a couple of weekends ago there was a fellow with a speech defect on the RC. So I assigned him the job of timekeeper so he had to call out the times for all the signals to all the other team members. He seemed a bit embarrassed to be doing this at first and it is true that his stutter did cause some confusion as he called out, "T....T....T....Ten seconds to P....P....P....Prep S....S....S...Signal" by which time it was already three seconds past the time for the signal. But it was gratifying to see how his speech improved as the day progressed and I even mocked him a bit as I called for "General Wecalls". He seemed to take it all in good humor and I am sure my therapy was good for his confidence. That's the kind of guy I am.
On the same team I had a little old lady who said she had never driven a powerboat before. So I assigned her to drive the mark boat. She did whine a bit about the assignment but I persuaded her would be good to get some experience. It was unfortunate about that incident with the commodore's Flying Scot but I am sure that the yacht club insurance will cover it and as it sank out of the channel it is not really a hazard to navigation. The little old lady should be out of hospital next week and I understand that with some minimal plastic surgery the scars on her face will be barely noticeable. I'll ask my secretary to send her some fruit. That's the kind of guy I am.
Over the years I have developed the skills of dozens of RC volunteers in this way. I know that this method of challenging individuals to stretch and try new things is working because the yacht clubs I work at are usually confident to run the same regattas the following year without my help. Even though I always offer my services they always say that they can manage without me. I'm proud of that record.
As you can see, I'm still running with the puffy shirt theme. Some guy or gal called evk4 (what kind of name is that) said "it's funny because it's true". What's true? I still don't get it.