Feature I was fortunate to attend the National Coaching Institute years ago. There were coaches in training for Olympic sports such as track, rowing, basketball, soccer, cycling, skiing, just to name a few.
A ski coach described his sport as an Olympic event with equipment. He described the 5 main themes – equipment, physical preparation, technique, mental skills, and racing skills. Really good skis and the correct wax kit are only part of being successful. I took the concept and inserted the issues that applied to sailing. At the time, I was coaching the Women’s Europe class and was sailing and coaching Finns, so the equipment options and issues required 2 + boat testing and tuning within the measurement rules. Current Olympic classes are mostly manufacturer provided boats with tight controls but would still require specific tuning.
Today’s technical clothing has really advanced the sport in the protection, comfort and class specific design. Rope design is another amazing advancement evolution with control in stretch, wear, water absorption and function. Same for blocks. Physical preparation, Technique and Racing skills are the athlete, sailor and competitor components of a complete Olympic racer. An example in the Finn would be pumping the big 120 square foot mainsail, (physical) down the wave (technique) against a fleet of boats on a race course (racing skills). Fitness for sailing requires many components, plus recovery to be able to make the boat go fast in the next race and the races tomorrow.
Mental skills are a critical and an […]