Head Instructor Workshop prepares instructors to coach sailors

Head instructing sailing means more than teaching sailing. It means managing other instructors, working with parents and more. At the Head Instructor Workshop on June 11 at Beach Point Club, this year’s 35 head instructors, program managers and other senior staff learned from experienced coaches on how to instruct in order to prepare for a successful summer season.

Beginning the meeting, Jeff Bresnahan, head coach at Connecticut College’s sailing program discussed difficulties about teaching to the whole class. Instead of teaching to the top level sailor, he advised instructors to consider all sailors and their different learning styles.

Additionally, Jeff discussed instructor liability and strategies for handling water bottle and trash situations in sailing programs.

Following, Clemmie Everett, former Sailing Director at Noroton Yacht Club and JSA Board Member talked about working with types of sailing instructors as a lead instructor.

Clemmie warned instructors to stay positive, set goals and communicate, while leading by example in order to manage the veteran, the newbie and other instructor personalities.

Next, Kevin Broome, Sailing Director at American YC spoke on safety and best practices. He noted the importance of setting sailors up for success, including by checking the weather.

“When in doubt, don’t go out” and “If you’re unsure, it’s time to moor” Kevin wrote on the PowerPoint presentation.

Also, Kevin demonstrated to instructors a safety kit, which carries items instructors need on the water.

At last, Alicia Martorella, Sailing Director at the WaterFront Center described ways to stay GREEN in sailing.

Participants exchanged contact information at the end of the workshop.