I have a question.
If you have been reading this blog for any time you will know that I am an aging, unfit, clumsy, uncoordinated, erratic, usually bottom half of the fleet, passionate Laser sailor. What two things do you think I should do this year to improve my racing performance?
It might be particular skills to work on. It might be an approach to training, or physical fitness, or mental fitness. It might be recommendations on how to spend most of my time. Anything you like. If you don't have a handle on what aspects of my sailing I need to improve, then have a browse through my posts about competing in Regattas in the last couple of years.
There is a right answer, sort of. Or at least one answer to the question from a very good coach who saw me sailing and racing over five days in January. The occasion was my trip to Cabarete in the Dominican Republic in Janaury for a four day clinic and one day regatta. A group of us, all Laser sailors who had been to Cabarete with me, all of them of similar ability to me, were sitting around in the airport at Puerto Plata awaiting our return flights to the US.
Our heads were spinning with all the things we had learned during the week at Cabarete. We were chatting about our experiences over a beer (or two) and comparing notes on what we thought were the most important learnings to take back home. We all seemed to have different ideas as to what would give the biggest payback in helping us work our way up the fleet.
Then we were joined by the young man who had been the assistant coach for the week. He was an American college sailor who had been working at Cabarete during his winter vacation. We had all been impressed by his insights and feedback during the week, not to mention the way he had jumped into a Laser for the final race of the regatta and whupped the whole fleet.
One of our number asked the coach, "So what is the ONE thing that we should work on if we want to improve?"
The coach didn't seem to have to think long before he gave the answer. Actually he gave us TWO things. One of them was an item that would probably have been on my list of top three priorities anyway. One was a bit of a surprise to all of us, I suspect.
So what do you think the coach's two top tips for Laser sailors (like us) were? Or what are your top two tips for us?
Answers in the comments please.
This post sponsored by Thrum Knitted Sailing Caps from Quality Caps.