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Sherry, you rock.

Sounds like you're helping them for the other parts of their life, outside sailing, as well as helping them become better sailors.


Better send some tips to your fellow coach Roy Williams -- Patriots over Tarheels! Wow!

Carol Anne

Something that really resonates with me right now, as a beginning racing sailor, is the concept of being able to race and accomplish things without relying on the coach to make all of the decisions and take care of everything.

Here in New Mexico, two sailing clubs have been working on putting together teams for the Adams Cup, the U.S. women's sailing championship. A whole lot of us are new to racing, although most of us do have at least some sailing knowledge. But even those who have raced have usually raced in the shadow of husbands or boyfriends and therefore haven't learned independendent decision-making.

The original plan was that we would have coaches on our boats through March, but that in April, we would be on our own, in preparation for the quarterfinals the first weekend of May.

Then the folks in charge of running the semifinals in Texas scheduled them for May 5-6, instead of the usual June or July date. That meant the quarterfinals had to be moved up to April 21-22. Crunch time.

And then many of the women haven't been learning as fast as the folks planning the team effort had hoped. A large part of that has been that only a few have been attending most of the practice sessions. Most of the rest have been showing up sometimes, but not consistently.

So now, as far as I can tell, there isn't any plan to wean teams off their coaches before the Adams Cup races begin.

I will have to admit, the idea of sailing, especially in a race, without a coach on board to help is frightening. But the idea of the Adams Cup quarterfinals being my first races without a coach is even more terrifying. I am going to be looking to my coaches for a whole lot, because I have a whole lot to learn. But I also know I have to sail on my own, so beyond a certain point, I don't want them to be with me.

I'm learning to fly; when the fledgling leaves the nest, it has to spread its wings and trust its own ability.

It's also terrifying.


Thanks for posting about your coaching work in Florida. I know you said originally that you were reluctant to write about coaching but I'm glad you're finding a way to do it without violating the confidentiality and trust of your team in you.

As a racing sailor I find this kind of insight extremely valuable - and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Looking forward to me more on this theme.

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