Many people rely on racing as virtually their only way of learning to race more successfully. Yet race experience alone is of limited value. More racing does not necessarily mean better results. Often it brings the opposite...
To improve a technique, tacking for example, you must experiment. Experimenting means that you will be doing some tacks worse than usual... During a race you are reluctant to experiment because... it would be crazy to do something deliberately which you know would make you worse...
Normal race experience on its own tends to confirm you in what you are doing already....
Maximum benefit comes from a broad range of learning methods of which racing is only one.
Twiname goes on to list these other "ways of learning"....
- Solo practice
- Physical fitness
- Swapping boats and classes
- Paired practice
- Team and match racing
- Race post mortem
- Reading and seeking advice
- Group coaching
- Mental fitness
What do you think? Is it possible to race too much? Do you agree that racing "tends to confirm you in what you are doing already" (which may not be optimal)? Does it make sense that you could race less and improve faster? Are you using some of Twiname's other "ways of learning"?