Optimise your training program

16 04 2008

I was just thinking today about our training program.  Unlike many sports, in sailing it’s difficult  concentrate on just one skill during a practice session.  When I played rugby at school, I spent hours kicking ball after ball into touch, first on my right foot, then on my left foot.  This allowed me to really concentrate on one skill and improve it a little bit each time.  In sailing, it’s rare to be able to practice just one skill (such as a port to starboard tack) without having to break it up with other skills (starboard to port tacks, bear aways, downwind rides etc) to get back to the skill.

This got me thinking.  How does everyone else manage their practices to cover skills that need working on?  Does anyone actually optimise their training to improve on issues from the last session? Do we spend enough time practising individual skills, or just end up practising everything in one session?

Let me know your practice routines and I’ll see where you can improve.  I’m a firm believer that the key to a top class sportsman is not how he or she performs on the day, but how they perform every day, in practices, in the gym, on rest days and on competition days.  If I can add anything to your training regime, I’ll let you know 🙂




4 responses

16 04 2008

The hardest thing we find to practise on our own are starts, we are trying to perfect our trigger off the line but it takes quite a lot of time to do one mini practise evev with 1 minute sequences. Also sailing on a lake downwind legs when its breezy don’t take very long so it is hard to get a good number of gybes in, which is probablythe worst point of our boathandling.

16 04 2008

Although you need to sail on big stretches of water every now-and then to get lots of gybes in, you still still see benefits from sailing on lakes. You have to do lots of hoists and drops for example…

For triggers, don’t worry about coming back to a start line, just practice them in one direction first. Trigger, set the boat up (kicker and cunno) then stop and repeat. or trigger, setup, bear away, round up, repeat. The main thing to practice is the acceleration. Once this is nailed, then go back to the start line and practice starting on the gun.

16 04 2008

Here’s a typical ‘training’ session on the new B14- Rig. Change. Launch. Realise that the wind is really quite strong- not good at all for the second sail helming a skiff ever… Attempt a tack but screw up badly. Bear away, get kite up. Realise that kite is rigged wrong (tackline under the jib sheet) go dead downwind while brother sorts the problem. Get kite up again. Realise that the kite sheets are much too small and are constricting the shape of the kite. Go dead downwind while brother sorts the problem. get kite down, go up onto beat. Try to work out this ‘tacking’ thing. Bear away onto two sail reach having completely given up on the kite. Hit Starcross Speciallity Sandbank at speed. Brother bails over the front of the wing. I assume slightly more dignified position in the center, ripping my knees up on the grip. Brother walks boat off sandbank. Sail off on two sail reach with Brother hanging over one wing acting as a sea anchor incase we hit the floor again. Go back to shore and check for damage.

Can you suggest any improvements?

17 04 2008

Sounds like you need a little bit of time in the boat I reckon 🙂

We’ve had similar experiences. Have a read of the 29er XX crash and burn post i made a few months back.. Sound familiar?


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