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Improving Results with Deliberate Practice


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3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Eric Twiname: 'Sail, Race, and Win'

2 boat practice will help a lot.

FB- Doug

It depends. Deliberate practice will help a lot. 2 boat practice is generally part of that - but not necessarily. A lot of sailors go and do "2 boat practice" but they don't improve very fast. if at all. 

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On 8/9/2020 at 1:49 AM, astro said:

Is this an ad?

Childish, at best.  You wonder why people in the industry don't post here anymore.

ISA is a small, independent company that puts on some pretty well regarded coaching clinics.
They are sharing some content here, for all, for free.

They didn't say 'omg, book one of our clinics today, half off!' 
They just shared some details of what they do.

This forum needs more of that, not less.

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36 minutes ago, BlatantEcho said:

Childish, at best.  You wonder why people in the industry don't post here anymore.

ISA is a small, independent company that puts on some pretty well regarded coaching clinics.
They are sharing some content here, for all, for free.

They didn't say 'omg, book one of our clinics today, half off!' 
They just shared some details of what they do.

This forum needs more of that, not less.

I don't have a problem with people making a buck.

I do have a problem when the ad is not disclosed as an ad.  If I wanted ads I would go to the front page.  Anything there about this?  I don't go there, but I have heard about it.

My contribution to the SA, indirectly, accidentally, is increasing the hits in the forums by totally wasting my life arguing with bots and shills about shit that does not matter so that the owner can charge more for ads that people are prepared to pay for. 

I do that for nothing.

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ISA is a cool company, and they put on high quality clinics and events. We have a lot of customers that attend, and just love what ISA does.

I would think people would be thanking them for posting some free content.
I've personally seen less and less people in the industry post on SA over the last decade or so.


While we don't need to lauded or given trophies for posting here - I would think keeping that dialogue open and welcoming would be valuable to all.
I think an industry that doesn't feel comfortable communicating directly to customers isn't much of an industry at all.

Sailing is a relatively small community, and I personally love hearing public comments from places like ISA.
They are out there season after season helping dinghy sailors improve their skills and expand their passion for sailing.

I'm glad they exist and I'm glad they post here.

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4 hours ago, WestCoast said:


I would think people would be thanking them for posting some free content.

I'm all for some free content.  How about they post something we have not seen before ... for free?

Here's some ...

aws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20200815T083509Z

Five-Stages-of-School-Improvement-Cycle.

teacher-learning-team-cycle.png

 

 

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On 8/10/2020 at 4:18 PM, BlatantEcho said:

They didn't say 'omg, book one of our clinics today, half off!' 

Yes they did.

Do you think all posters here are stupid?

Even though the world is saturated with this bullshit, sometimes you just have to call it.  Everthing is an ad, all the six-o'clock news is a fucking ad, I come here to talk boats and get a fucking ad.  The front page is fine, if they pay the owner here I'm good with that.  But don't bullshit me or my friends, you are advertising a business here, denying it makes it worse.

If you stump up I could have even been a client, try to bullshit me and I will walk and tell my friends about it.  When you understand that you will be more likely to succeed.  Till then you run the risk of people like me calling you out.

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4 hours ago, Dart96 said:

You could see ISA's postings here as their Corporate Social Responsibility, the philanthropic aspect of CSR.

Hahaha yes. We're trying to provide resources for people to learn from - some of them cost money, some of them are free. All of them cost money to produce. All of them are intended to benefit dinghy sailors and the sport. There's no conflict here if we're providing free content for people to progress with.  If people end up booking a Clinic or an Online course with us, that's great - we're not trying to hide the fact that we would love to have more sailors taking our Clinics and Online Courses. That's what we do.

 

This particular free article was born because of a dinghy sailing "routine" that many, many dinghy sailors adopt. That routine is one day/night of dinghy RACING per week. Most don't really "practice", much less "deliberate practice" and many tend to get stuck in mid-fleet or the back because there's too much pressure in racing to really experiment and try new things the way you would do in deliberate practice on the water. This can hurt fleet numbers because people are not progressing and therefore hurt the sport in general but it's just more fun to get better and develop a better set of skills. The article is about using that practice time wisely to maximize potential progression.


We are and always have been open to suggestions on ILCA / Laser content that people want to watch/read. 

 

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3 hours ago, astro said:

Yes they did.

Do you think all posters here are stupid?

Even though the world is saturated with this bullshit, sometimes you just have to call it.  Everthing is an ad, all the six-o'clock news is a fucking ad, I come here to talk boats and get a fucking ad.  The front page is fine, if they pay the owner here I'm good with that.  But don't bullshit me or my friends, you are advertising a business here, denying it makes it worse.

If you stump up I could have even been a client, try to bullshit me and I will walk and tell my friends about it.  When you understand that you will be more likely to succeed.  Till then you run the risk of people like me calling you out.

 

6 hours ago, astro said:

I'm all for some free content.  How about they post something we have not seen before ... for free?

Here's some ..

Did you see the last few post we made?

We provided a sail settings guide (for free) for the ILCA/Laser Dinghy. 

How about a 12 minute free instructional video on Body Weight / Sheet Sequences? 

The Upwind Speed: Medium Wind Online Course we announced has FREE videos sailors can enjoy including one on Lane Holding and a condition objective summary. 

To our knowledge those have not been produced/seen before. 

 

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2 hours ago, xonk1 said:

Time on the Water

To some extent yea. The article details how to maximize that time available on the water. Specificity, feedback loops etc.  In our interview with Tom Burton he used the expression "Don't count the hours, make the hours count."  

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Keep it coming! Free quality material which is well written/produced is certainly welcomed by me! In terms of actual sailing (verb) information, it is better than 95% of what is posted. 
 

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ISA Content I'd like:

Laser tacking. Reasons?

1) Most/all vids are on water from a distance.

2) Tend to be from behind, so front foot obscured.

3) Ones from mast top cam have sail obscuring the action.

So I'd like you to produce a short maybe 1 minute vid land based, mast and boom in right place but no sail. Mount the boat on an axis to allow heel and have a couple of people on ropes to the mast to do the heeling. Three cameras, Stern, bow, mast. Do part of the vid in slow mo.

Thanks in advance!

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7 hours ago, ISA said:

. Most don't really "practice", much less "deliberate practice" and many tend to get stuck in mid-fleet or the back because there's too much pressure in racing to really experiment and try new things the way you would do in deliberate practice on the water.  

 

Many also don't go recreational sailing i.e. just go out and play and learn the boat and have some fun so it's not an exercise in frustration.  Then plan for a focused skills improvement process.  It's all about the software.  Go sailing and play.  Incorporate some fundamentals into that play.  Have some fun.  Rinse and repeat.  

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6 hours ago, Ned said:

Many also don't go recreational sailing i.e. just go out and play and learn the boat and have some fun so it's not an exercise in frustration.  Then plan for a focused skills improvement process.  It's all about the software.  Go sailing and play.  Incorporate some fundamentals into that play.  Have some fun.  Rinse and repeat.  

Recreational sailing and practice are 2 different things and recreational sailing can be the worst thing you can do for your racing because it is unstructured and you tend to simply repeat the way you always sail. Without realising, all you are doing is repeating your poor form. I have nothing against recreational sailing and "messing about in boats", but it doesn't really make a worthwhile contribution to improving your abilities. The reality is that if you want to see worthwhile improvement, you need to be very specific and focused in your practice/training sessions. For the majority of club racers, they have little time to do anything other than their club races and if they have time to go out without racing, they need to choose whether they are just out for fun or whether they are out to improve, although it should be noted that training can be great fun as well.

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14 hours ago, Ned said:

Many also don't go recreational sailing i.e. just go out and play and learn the boat and have some fun so it's not an exercise in frustration.  Then plan for a focused skills improvement process.  It's all about the software.  Go sailing and play.  Incorporate some fundamentals into that play.  Have some fun.  Rinse and repeat.  

Well, a lot of people have boats that aren't much fun to sail. I never saw the point of that, myself, but even boats are fun are also a PITA, so maybe it's just a matter of personal taste and degree.

About practice... just like any sport, there are specific ways to improve specific skills. Tacking has been suggested, OK go out and tack 100 times. Simple repetition is not what will bring about improvement, but it will highlight what you're doing well... smoothly, efficiently, body in the right place, etc.... and what's fucked.

Go back and do 25 tacks SLOW with a deliberate change in what's bad, to try something better.

This is where good coaching can speed up the process enormously, two-boat practice helps a lot of you can observe and imitate what the other boat does better.

Now do another 100 tacks with you new improved method.

Also, keep in mind that WHEN you tack... or more exactly, how you arrive at the decision to tack.... makes a bigger difference than the technique employed, in the tack itself. But there's no point in doing shitty tacks over and over.

FB- Doug

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18 hours ago, SimonN said:

Recreational sailing and practice are 2 different things and recreational sailing can be the worst thing you can do for your racing because it is unstructured and you tend to simply repeat the way you always sail. Without realising, all you are doing is repeating your poor form. I have nothing against recreational sailing and "messing about in boats", but it doesn't really make a worthwhile contribution to improving your abilities. The reality is that if you want to see worthwhile improvement, you need to be very specific and focused in your practice/training sessions. For the majority of club racers, they have little time to do anything other than their club races and if they have time to go out without racing, they need to choose whether they are just out for fun or whether they are out to improve, although it should be noted that training can be great fun as well.

You are incorrect.  Try the second sentence again.  

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12 minutes ago, Ned said:

You are incorrect.  Try the second sentence again.  

I am with Ned on this one. Time in the boat is time in the boat. I am not talking about a picnic lunch, but heading out in a blow with no plan other than to sail hard, get a good workout and have fun is of tremendous value, and beneficial to boat handling skills. Dumping over, righting the boat, playing around like the video below all make you a better sailor. Having fun is also good for your mental health. Sure - get a coach if you must, tack 50 times, round 50 marks, see how long you can hold your boat on a start line etc etc.. But not balancing that with fun - at least for me - would suck. I feel sorry for people who force themselves to race boats they don't enjoy sailing. 

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22 hours ago, SimonN said:

Recreational sailing and practice are 2 different things and recreational sailing can be the worst thing you can do for your racing because it is unstructured and you tend to simply repeat the way you always sail. Without realising, all you are doing is repeating your poor form. I have nothing against recreational sailing and "messing about in boats", but it doesn't really make a worthwhile contribution to improving your abilities. The reality is that if you want to see worthwhile improvement, you need to be very specific and focused in your practice/training sessions. For the majority of club racers, they have little time to do anything other than their club races and if they have time to go out without racing, they need to choose whether they are just out for fun or whether they are out to improve, although it should be noted that training can be great fun as well.

Couldn't agree more. As one who gets maybe 2 or 3 hours per week sailing in a new class (to me), it's all about what is the goal for today, where can we improve, what do we need to do differently, etc. Seeing the improvement and getting the boat to perform somewhere near where it should is gratifying, even though I know we still have a long way to go to get sail and rig settings right. At the moment it's the humans that are the limiting factor. Sailing around and expecting to get better just because you're in the boat will severely limit where you get to.  There's an old adage: "Only perfect practice makes perfect".

Just going out for a sail is great as relaxation too of course, if only I had time!

As for the linked information, it's great. I've spent quite a bit of time on quality improvement processes so it's all a bit hackneyed to me, but the essentials are there. If the word "Laser" was removed it would be better since it applies to any class (or process you want to improve).

 

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On 8/16/2020 at 1:23 PM, Bill5 said:

I am with Ned on this one. Time in the boat is time in the boat. I am not talking about a picnic lunch, but heading out in a blow with no plan other than to sail hard, get a good workout and have fun is of tremendous value, and beneficial to boat handling skills. Dumping over, righting the boat, playing around like the video below all make you a better sailor. Having fun is also good for your mental health. Sure - get a coach if you must, tack 50 times, round 50 marks, see how long you can hold your boat on a start line etc etc.. But not balancing that with fun - at least for me - would suck. I feel sorry for people who force themselves to race boats they don't enjoy sailing. 

Exactly.  And remember to do your pullups. Because at some point that will be a good idea. 

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On 8/15/2020 at 3:04 PM, Dart96 said:

ISA Content I'd like:

Laser tacking. Reasons?

1) Most/all vids are on water from a distance.

2) Tend to be from behind, so front foot obscured.

3) Ones from mast top cam have sail obscuring the action.

So I'd like you to produce a short maybe 1 minute vid land based, mast and boom in right place but no sail. Mount the boat on an axis to allow heel and have a couple of people on ropes to the mast to do the heeling. Three cameras, Stern, bow, mast. Do part of the vid in slow mo.

Thanks in advance!

The 'Cabarete' DVD (Advanced Laser Boat Handling)  is excellent for improving tacking and jibing in different conditions.

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On 8/17/2020 at 9:23 AM, Bill5 said:

I am with Ned on this one. Time in the boat is time in the boat. I am not talking about a picnic lunch, but heading out in a blow with no plan other than to sail hard, get a good workout and have fun is of tremendous value, and beneficial to boat handling skills. Dumping over, righting the boat, playing around like the video below all make you a better sailor. Having fun is also good for your mental health. Sure - get a coach if you must, tack 50 times, round 50 marks, see how long you can hold your boat on a start line etc etc.. But not balancing that with fun - at least for me - would suck. I feel sorry for people who force themselves to race boats they don't enjoy sailing. 

Interesting point you make. The video you show is of a top class sailor, out with a coach. That sailor has a motto - "Work until your idols become your rivals". If you think that is somebody just out recreational sailing, I believe you are wrong. I would bet a lot that this is a structured session, with goals and time for reflection on exactly how it is going, plus the video being done for later analysis. Sure it's fun - I have already stated training can and should be fun ( a good coach or sailor will always find ways of making sessions fun), but it is not recreational sailing. BTW, unless you are already world class, if your coach says you should do 50 tacks on the trot or 50 mark roundings, sack them and get a good coach.

Time in the boat "just having fun" might lead to small improvements, but it has been shown time and again that it is the slowest and least efficient way of improving your sailing. Yet all you need to do to take a session from being purely recreational and making only a small contribution to improving your sailing to being something that is still fun but has the potential to improve you greatly is 2 things. First, you go out with goals and purpose - "it's blowing hard and I often capsize because of XYZ, so during this (fun) session, I will try the following ways to stop those capsizes" Then you need to take a little time on the water to pause and analyse what has happened - "well, that didn't work, so maybe next time I will try the following....." Small changes are all that are needed to convert a recreational session into something far more valuable, without losing any of the fun.

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8 minutes ago, SimonN said:

Interesting point you make. The video you show is of a top class sailor, out with a coach. That sailor has a motto - "Work until your idols become your rivals". If you think that is somebody just out recreational sailing, I believe you are wrong. I would bet a lot that this is a structured session, with goals and time for reflection on exactly how it is going, plus the video being done for later analysis. Sure it's fun - I have already stated training can and should be fun ( a good coach or sailor will always find ways of making sessions fun), but it is not recreational sailing. BTW, unless you are already world class, if your coach says you should do 50 tacks on the trot or 50 mark roundings, sack them and get a good coach.

Time in the boat "just having fun" might lead to small improvements, but it has been shown time and again that it is the slowest and least efficient way of improving your sailing. Yet all you need to do to take a session from being purely recreational and making only a small contribution to improving your sailing to being something that is still fun but has the potential to improve you greatly is 2 things. First, you go out with goals and purpose - "it's blowing hard and I often capsize because of XYZ, so during this (fun) session, I will try the following ways to stop those capsizes" Then you need to take a little time on the water to pause and analyse what has happened - "well, that didn't work, so maybe next time I will try the following....." Small changes are all that are needed to convert a recreational session into something far more valuable, without losing any of the fun.

Don't get me wrong, I have ground out hours and hours of structured practice over the years. Some with coaches, some with a small group, some on my own. Especially leading up to larger events. And they were of great value and certainly some fun. But - personally - I always needed to balance that out with some simple play time. I love to sail. And I love to race. I know too many people that seem to be indifferent to sailing unless there are flags and horns involved. Makes Jack a dull boy.

Concerning the video - I just saw a guy sailing. 

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I agree with both @SimonN and @Bill5. That said, it sort of comes down to your definition of "recreational sailing". Maybe it's just me but unless you're getting paid to train and paid to race then it's all recreation! An escape from life on shore. An escape from work. For some, recreation on a small boat is ONLY about, as noted above, flags and horns. For others, it's a combination of flags and horns and just blasting around and then the requisite upwind to get to go and blast back downwind. And for others, it's never about racing. If you're sailing a singlehanded boat (Laser, Finn, A cat, etc), it's actually pretty easy to follow what SimonN is saying about training even when you're not racing. It's all good and it's all fun. Glad the OP ( @ISA ) is offering this info - our community is too small to get into pissing matches over intent.

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This is an interesting topic, for me it starts with goals, then how to achieve them. All of that starts long before the boat gets wet. I believe in general we train harder than we race, the goal of the training is to make the racing easy so that you see the opportunities. Generally we sail the boat reasonably well, but before the last World Championship we did we felt our tacking was poor. We decided that we were going to spend that day with a short session with as many tacks as we could, working on all the steps until we were back to the level we needed. The bonus was a fun, long downwind where we gybed lots too. Came ashore and put the cover on with the objective achieved.

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3 hours ago, mikeholt said:

This is an interesting topic, for me it starts with goals, then how to achieve them. All of that starts long before the boat gets wet. I believe in general we train harder than we race, the goal of the training is to make the racing easy so that you see the opportunities. Generally we sail the boat reasonably well, but before the last World Championship we did we felt our tacking was poor. We decided that we were going to spend that day with a short session with as many tacks as we could, working on all the steps until we were back to the level we needed. The bonus was a fun, long downwind where we gybed lots too. Came ashore and put the cover on with the objective achieved.

Well said. For me, there is a very good saying about this - train how you are going to race and then race how you trained.

I think there is a big difference in the needs of somebody like Mike and many of us. While many of us know our tacking is shit, only a few of us know what we should be doing. Mike knew what he should be doing so could go out and practice that. Without that knowledge, a training session like Mike outlined will do you no good. You cannot discover how to do good tacks by chance repetition hoping something might work. For starters, when you do pull of a good one, you find yourself trying to remember what you did differently and often cannot remember.

The other thing Mike highlights is something I have never understood in others. Good training is serious fun - I would argue it is more fun than what is being described as "recreational" sailing. Coming in after improving your skills, knowing that they bare improved and that it will have  lasting impact on your sailing is, for me, the most fun thing in sailing. I think I prefer it to racing.

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20 minutes ago, SimonN said:

 

Well said. For me, there is a very good saying about this - train how you are going to race and then race how you trained.

I think there is a big difference in the needs of somebody like Mike and many of us. While many of us know our tacking is shit, only a few of us know what we should be doing. Mike knew what he should be doing so could go out and practice that. Without that knowledge, a training session like Mike outlined will do you no good. You cannot discover how to do good tacks by chance repetition hoping something might work. For starters, when you do pull of a good one, you find yourself trying to remember what you did differently and often cannot remember.

The other thing Mike highlights is something I have never understood in others. Good training is serious fun - I would argue it is more fun than what is being described as "recreational" sailing. Coming in after improving your skills, knowing that they bare improved and that it will have  lasting impact on your sailing is, for me, the most fun thing in sailing. I think I prefer it to racing.

Fully agreed. We've found that this type of practice is really enjoyed by the clients during our clinics. They absolutely love it. In other words, we don't think fun and deliberate practice are mutually exclusive.  Once and awhile, and I mean once every few couple years, you'll get someone who just wants to sail off on their own and enjoy the scenery... and that's ok too. That said, I have read about  champions in other sports who "hated practice"... but the goal for them was greater than that resistance. So maybe for some, it's a bit different. But my observation has been similar to what you mention with Laser sailors - they absolutely love deliberate practice and the sense of improvement/accomplishment at the end of day.  

 

What you said about "only a few us know what we should be doing" in terms of tacking or other skills, is exactly why we created the course. If they've seen the model behavior with a why/how explanation, AND are a bit of a "DIY" type,...  they can take the skill checklist and make those sessions a reality. 

 

 

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