Coaching Tips


Scheduling Regattas

Coaches and Captains,

Most districts are now in the process of scheduling for 2001. Here are some tips to get the best possible schedule for your team.

Quantity: Many teams sign up for too many events, thereby dropping events in a timely or untimely fashion later. Your goal should be to get it right the first time and minimize the changes later.

Make a chart of weekends in the first column, conflicts in the next, projected available number of sailors in the third column and optimum number of sailors in the last. Known conflicts include: classes haven’t started yet, religious holidays, mid-term exams, final exams, graduate study exams, parents weekend, alumni weekend, long weekends, etc. The optimum number of sailors is generally about 90% of your active roster in September, 60-80% thereafter. You never want to schedule regattas for everybody on your team, someone will get sick or have a last-minute conflict of some sort. You never want to be in a position where you beg your sailors to attend regattas; it should be the other way around.

Competitive level: It seems every team demands the highest level of competition for the shortest travel distance. This is not always the best thing. It rarely does any good to come in last; lessons tend to be overcome by frustration and a defeated attitude. Look for events that your sailors can be competitive in, where the level is a challenge but not overwhelming. With the right regatta schedule, high but reasonable goals can be set and met. Even championships, the ultimate test is not meaningful if your team does not prepare. Stanford, for instance, concentrates on dinghy champs while avoiding the sloops except in those years they specifically prepare.

Travel: Each team with deserving sailors should try to attend one well-planned long trip and a few medium length trips. Long trips might be nationals for ranked or nearly top twenty teams. For less skilled teams in the Northeast, a trip to the South, Midwest or West Coast can become a rallying point for accomplishling performance and fund raising
goals. For Western and Southern teams that wish to travel to NEISA or MAISA, there are many good options. These opportunities are not limited to only those events on the intersectional schedule. If room permits, hosts would love to entertain distant teams in mid-level events, such as two one-day trophy events. The Nevins and Admiral’s Cups
are not the only regattas in the Big Apple. Medium distance trips should include those sites within but at the other end of your district. Maine Maritime and Vermont are great sites for us city folk in either warm September or cool but colorful October. Davidson, NC makes a great destination in March for Midwest teams and I hear Lake Chichuma
is awesome if you can keep your tent up.

Scheduling process: Take this seriously, plan as best you can, and do everything on time. Getting the ultimate schedule is a fascinating, challenging and critically important task for you team.