What is it that makes family teams successful?

We put the question to Tim Herzog, a top sailor and coach who has studied group dynamics, and here is what he told us: It is no surprise that some of the best teams consist of spouses, siblings, or even multiple generations. Good relationships serve as the foundation for a successful team because of solid communication over the team's [...]

2017-10-06T01:58:17+00:00By |Sailing|

The Dirty Dozen Mental Skills of Sailing

Fifteen years ago, as Hobart Coach Scott Ikle was launching the US Sailing Level 3 Certification program, he invited me to speak to a group of coaches at Annapolis Yacht Club, who were attending the Advanced Coaching Symposium. I gave a talk that was inspired, in part, by a Sailing World article that Betsy Allison had written describing a pyramid of [...]

2018-10-15T15:28:06+00:00By |Sailing|

Parenting your Sailing Siblings

With more than one kid, parenting is no cakewalk.  Not only do you have twice (or triple, or quadruple, or…) the responsibilities, but you’ve got to navigate how to be fair, how to give the right kind of attention, and enough attention.  It can feel fraught with landmines.   Here are five tips for parenting your sailing siblings: Remember [...]

2017-09-13T22:42:23+00:00By |Sailing|

What to do When You’re Winning

I had one of the best high school sailing coaches in the country and one of the best college coaches, but boy, did they ever approach the start of practice differently. My high school coach placed our names on the board in order of where we currently stood on the team. My college coach intentionally put us in random [...]

2017-09-13T22:39:31+00:00By |Sailing|

Sailing Vanguard 15s Upwind in Breeze :  Like a Laser or Like a 420?

There seem to be two schools of thought about sailing V15s upwind in big breeze. V15 sailors often sail other dinghies bef ore jumping into a Vanguard — frequently Lasers or 420s.  I refer to the pinching style of sailing a V15 upwind as “Laser style,” and I refer to the footing style as either “420 style” or, more [...]

2017-09-13T22:31:31+00:00By |Sailing|

How to get through “tough times…”

We’ve all been there: The stakes are high, and this feels like a make-or-break race for you. You have high expectations and you’re revved up and ready to go. Then the tide turns, and the winds aren’t blowing your way…suddenly everything seems tougher. But there’s a lot to be learned from the times when things seem especially hard –including [...]

2017-09-13T22:43:43+00:00By |Sailing|

Control the “controllables!”

There are plenty of “uncontrollables” in sailing… wind direction, current, your competitors’ actions, your competitors’ training, race committee’s choices, and how you finished last race-- are all out of your control. You can hyperfocus on these things, but it’s wasted mental energy! What to focus on Would you take a math test while you’re on Snapchat or Twitter? Similarly, [...]

2017-09-13T22:26:23+00:00By |Sailing|

Habits of Excellence: Work, Fun, or Both?

Wade seemed to be having a rough day.  This kid normally dominated our Opti practices, winning the favored end with ease, exhibiting almost flawless boathandling, and sailing clean.  But today he was starting late, sometimes from the unfavored end, and he was spinning for hitting marks.  And yet he had a smile on his face as he overcame a [...]

2017-09-27T22:53:35+00:00By |Performance, Sailing|

Get SMART about setting goals

Goal setting can be a useful tool in many arenas. Experts say that 90% of the time, setting specific and challenging goals leads to better performance than “do your best” goals or none at all. Goals can direct attention, mobilize effort, increase persistence, and help you form good strategies. Famous sports figures such as Olympian Michael Phelps have achieved [...]

2017-09-05T16:19:19+00:00By |Career, Life, Performance, Sailing, Teams|

Honing Your Mental Game

Sailing is a unique sport with many facets. Success comes from overall training plan encompassing development of technical expertise, boat speed, strategy, boat handling, tactics, physical training, and mastery of the mental game. In interviews with Olympians, professionals, or other top athletes, successes or failures are often attributed to cognitive or emotional experiences. Elite sailors control as many controllables [...]

2017-09-25T13:11:52+00:00By |Performance, Sailing|

Mental imagery works!

You can learn to use the same mental imagery skills that elite athletes use to achieve peak performance. Mental imagery is the practice of seeing (and feeling) in your mind's eye how you want to perform a skill, as if you were actually doing it. It's a popular sport psychology technique that service members can take advantage of. You [...]

2017-09-05T16:19:40+00:00By |Performance, Sailing|

With process goals, outcomes follow

It’s good to think big. Whether or not you fully achieve long-term dream goals, chasing after them can allow you to accomplish other big things along the way. Your goals should be relevant to you with your own unique path. Understanding the different types of goals and how they affect you can be one key to success. Dream goals are one [...]

2017-09-05T16:20:12+00:00By |Performance, Sailing|

Best routines are not routine?

Warfighters especially need the ability to make quick and accurate judgments without having to think about them deliberately. You can hone this skill using techniques employed by top athletes: They use routines to help shift their attention—away from stressful anticipation of how things are going to turn out—to focus instead on what’s most important in the moment. In other [...]

2017-09-05T16:20:17+00:00By |Performance, Sailing|

Build Your Mental Game Early

After Thomas Biesemeyer finished 13th in super G at the 2013 World Championships, he articulated the benefits of training basic mental skills before reaching the elite level. “For the longest time, your goal is to make the national team,” he said. “When you get there, you’re like, now what? Transitioning to World Cup is like starting all over again. [...]

2017-09-05T16:20:22+00:00By |Performance, Sailing|