starting a school sailing team/ club

Wemedge

New member
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16
Detroit
i am interested in starting a sailing team or club to begin with at my high school so my question would be if any of you have done this or if u have any advice

 
i would start by actually writing like an adult and not use "u" in place of you, etc. otherwise... are there any community/youth sailing programs around you? not necessarily afiliated with a school, just places where there are a few 420's etc. My high school didnt have a team, but the place i raced 420's out of also hosted a couple high school teams.

 
our team in high school was a mix of 5 different high schools in the area. we trained out of the local community sailing center and all chipped in for the coach, which came out to about $200/person/season for boats and coach. you need to get enough interest from your school and/or surrounding schools as well. i would say a minimum of 4 FJs or 420s and a coach boat would be about the smallest you could do and still make it work. we had 12-16 boats on the water every practice. so, in this order: gauge interest and get support. find boats. find coach. pay dues. start sailing. have fun.

oh and learn to write like an adult aNd nOt LyKe tHiS

 
i am interested in starting a sailing team or club to begin with at my high school so my question would be if any of you have done this or if u have any advice
As I see you are from the Great Lakes region and I know from experience there are a LOT of great, successful, long-standing programs throughout Ohio/Michigan... ask around local sailing clubs that have junior programs existing already... ask about how they are successful, how they got things going, their resources, etc... at the very least you will get some great ideas and contacts... and at very best perhaps an ally and/or venue to work with if you play your cards right.

 

Wemedge

New member
34
16
Detroit
my home jr sailing program would be interested in helping start a team. With that team how would you arrange to race

1) racing other boats from the program in only my school (this would fit the schools IM sports section)

2) find other schools with simular programs (there is one that i know of and another trying to start one)

3) race with the local summer jr sailing reggattas

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
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my home jr sailing program would be interested in helping start a team. With that team how would you arrange to race

1) racing other boats from the program in only my school (this would fit the schools IM sports section)

2) find other schools with simular programs (there is one that i know of and another trying to start one)

3) race with the local summer jr sailing reggattas
Our Jr. Program helped several sailing teams get off the ground. We currently support three high school sailing teams - two private/parochial schools and one public. All three teams have sailors from our program on them.

The initial deal wasn't good for us and caused problems - basically we let them use the facility and boats for free and ate the costs and exposed ourselves to a huge potential liability. Too many keys to the building got out, stuff got broken. The programs and kids DID do a lot of up front work to commission / fix stuff at the beginning and end of the season but it wasn't perfect.

We eventually tightened things up a lot - got the locks changed and put a key in a checkout spot, got parents to sign liability waivers, stopped loaning safety boats out (only sail boats), started collecting modest fees to maintain the boats the kids use, etc. etc.

If you can find an sailing program with boats you can use you can work a deal with them. Important points we learned:

  • Control access to your facility. In our case three teams full of kids, coaches & parents got somewhat out of hand so make sure that you know who can get in and out and get access to stuff. Even one team is a lot of traffic through a Jr. Sailing center that is essentially unused in the off season.
  • Power boats - this was a sore spot. There is WAY more that can go wrong with power boats than sail boats and you can do a lot more damage and hurt people a lot faster with a 16' Whaler with a 40HP engine that you can with an FJ. We got away from this and had the teams provide their own power boats (they all had a parent or two with small boats they brought) as using ours was causing too many problems.
  • Gear. Stuff gets broken, and nothing will sour the deal faster with a Jr. Program then the program director showing up in June and discovering all his 420's that were left in working order last August need repairs to be ready for the new season. And oh, you need two new sails. Put the HS sailors to work at the start and end of the season to ensure that everything is left in order for the sailing program.
  • Money - your sailing team puts wear & tear on the equipment and shortens the life no matter how many repairs you make. I'm of the opinion that a small but not insignificant facilities fee helps make the deal better for both parties over the long haul. Yeah, you're going to have to have some bake sales or shake down the parents, but do the kids that play soccer, lacrosse and football get their gear for free? The Jr. Program should plan to take said fees and put them right back into the fleet in terms of repairs, sails, parts, or eventually new boats. So the HS sailors benefit from a better fleet over the long haul. It also gives IMHO a sense of "buy in" or ownership from the HS side of things; I think people tend to take better care of things they've paid/worked for. The amount? Tough to say since you don't want to make it too expensive for parents who are already buying cold weather sailing gear. Check around at some clubs where HS teams already sail and find out what they charge and think about half that or less for a startup...
  • Pre season walkthrough. Just like when you rent a car and you walk around it with the rental agent the coach/responsible parent needs to walk around the boats, gear and facility with the person from the Jr. Sailing program so you know what the condition is at the start of the HS season. It goes without saying that the HS teams are responsible for restoring the boats to the initial condition or better and of course the Jr. Sailing program needs to give the HS boats in usable condition (unless a work/repair party is part of the deal).
Just a few thoughts on the things that have bitten our butts. Overall it's been a positive thing though every year we have to revisit the guidelines and fine tune.

I believe the HS teams in this area host "The Meeting" where they all sit down and hash out the schedule for the upcoming season. I assume yours do something like that too - talk to the coaches of those programs and find out how it's done.

It's interesting to note there are differences between the public & private schools and the hoops they have to jump through. The privates can do what they want for funding and coaches. The public school doesn't WANT to become a team sport, because then they would be required to offer up the coaching job to teachers/coaches in the system (who are likely unqualified to coach sailing but still might want the job) and be required to pay union scale coaching pay. Which I think actually isn't enough to interest a good sailing coach anyway if my recollection is correct.

 
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Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
42,471
8,677
Eastern NC
my home jr sailing program would be interested in helping start a team. With that team how would you arrange to race

1) racing other boats from the program in only my school (this would fit the schools IM sports section)

2) find other schools with simular programs (there is one that i know of and another trying to start one)

3) race with the local summer jr sailing reggattas
You don't really say what the level of interest or participation is at the moment.

Is there another high school sailing team nearby? A community or youth sailing group? How about Sea Scouts? A local sailing club with a Boy Scouts Day for helping them get merit badges?

Every step you can get above total zero will be a big BIG help.

The first thing to do is to organize a group of kids from your high school who want to sail... for the first grouping, just take anybody that wants to, but let them know that it will be a lot of work.

The 2nd thing to do is to attract the favorable attention of grown-ups who are interested in enabling your sailing team. This is where the local sailing club, Sea Scoutmaster, etc etc, will come in handy.

One mistake to avoid is to just let everything stay slack until you start getting available boats to actually sail. There is a LOT you can (and should) do in the absence of actual sailing time.... get your group together and do some book-study on sailing, racing, the rules, etc etc. Prepare a demo of your group walking thru sailing drills, rules situations, and show that you are serious.

Above all, fundraising. The more financial resources your group brings to the table, the less you have to beg & plead for subsidy from others, and the more you can set your own goals.

Hope this helps, good luck. I am a high school sailing coach, although my group is not racing currently, they are very enthusiastic and having a lot of fun.

FB- Doug

 
my home jr sailing program would be interested in helping start a team. With that team how would you arrange to race

1) racing other boats from the program in only my school (this would fit the schools IM sports section)

2) find other schools with simular programs (there is one that i know of and another trying to start one)

3) race with the local summer jr sailing reggattas

there should be a high school sailing conference in your area if there are already established teams. in new england we have NESSA, im sure you can find a similar organization.

 

Wemedge

New member
34
16
Detroit
thanks for all of the advice keep it coming

as i am told (by the director of admisions) there was interest expresed in sailing on the sports/ activities card under "other" i couldent say how much interest but an unknown amount is better than nothing.

i havent benn able to find any HS sailing conferences for my aria any suggestions where there may be some information about them i think i will keep looking

there is another high school or two with teams nearby along whith community youth sailing groups there are sea scouts but not nearby yet im not shure how they fit into this though

 
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Other ideas...

Check out what boat types are used by other high school, college, and junior programs in your area and find a program that is willing to get rid of some of their old boats cheap. Then find someone who loves working with fiberglass to teach you to keep your fleet floating!

At some point your school is going to make you follow some safety and organization requirements so that their insurance people don't go crazy and shut you down. That may mean writing up safety procedures, paying to get instructors/coaches trained and certified, etc.

Once your program is underway, find a friendly sailing program that has Internal Revenue Service 501©(3) non-profit status and can help you with donations or setting up your own 501©(3). Being able to encourage people to make donations could help you get more boats and gear for your program. (It does cost about $400 to file the paperwork with the IRS, though this may be changing.)

 

usa25889

Member
109
0
SoCal
i am interested in starting a sailing team or club to begin with at my high school so my question would be if any of you have done this or if u have any advice
I started my college and my high school team. Here are a couple of tips

1. Be Organized - Lay out objectives for the team and a step by step plan on how to accomplish them. This will prove invaluable l when you go to administration in the school and your facility. Put them in a notebook along with some rules and guidelines for your team, your district rules, a proposed regatta & practice schedule, expected costs, insurance (Make your team a BSA Venture Troop), facility information.)

2. Be Resourceful - Think of everybody you know in the sailing community and who they may know. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If they are not assholes, they will think it is very cool you are starting a team and want to help.

3. Find Allies - Do you know of a stay at home mom? Someone in the PTA/on the Board? A sailing father? A junior program administrator? While motivating your parents is good most people will take you less seriously than if you have motivated a 3rd party or a group of adults. Make these people passionate about your cause and ready to work for you. You will need adult allies if you are going to deal with adults. As sad as it is most adults do not trust kids and need the adult support to substantiate your effort.

4. Be Flexible - Since I had been an avid club racer before high school, I was already to have a kick ass team full of babes and rock stars and go win things. Wake up call- if your school doesn't have a team, that is unlikely, at first. Accommodate people you would otherwise dismiss. They might be your best leaders, fastest learners and most loyal. Hot chicks and rock stars are never leaders, they come later when everything is setup for them. You will change people's lives - which is the coolest thing about what you are about to do - relish it.

5. Give yourself a time frame - Say I want to start a TEAM in a year and at the end of that year I either want it considered part of the athletics program or see the potential. If you get bogged down by some half wit administrator wanting to make it a club, work with them for that year, establish yourself as a fully functioning team, and as a force on campus, and if they hold you down from there, go straight to the headmaster, principal, or president and COMPLAIN. (hopefully with your "team")

6. Communicate - Print a newsletter and send it to all the supporters, make a website, facebook fan page, email list. Let everyone know exactly what you are doing. People are more likely to donate and be involved if they are interested in your cause. They can't be interested if they don't know.

7. Have fun - Just understand that you will not go win nationals your first year (unless you have god's gift to sail, teach, organize and lead) (all your roles). You will be wearing a lot of distracting hats. After 4 years my high school team eventually made it to Nationals and my college team made it to our regionals. Laugh at the fuck ups - it will all be a funny story in 20 years. Always have your goals to improve and evolve, but it won't happen overnight, so accept it.

Is your school private or public?

 
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Gouvernail

Lottsa people don’t know I’m famous
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Austin Texas
i am interested in starting a sailing team or club to begin with at my high school so my question would be if any of you have done this or if u have any advice

I started a college team in 1974...High school isn't all that much different. Somebody above gave you a link to the High school association advice site. Visit there.

Call other teams and ask questions.

My thoughts??

Try not to spend much of your own money on the project and for certain do not set up the program so you will be expecting to personally fund it as it goes. YOur money does something bad to your head and messes up how you end up treating everybody else.

try to assign titles to as many people as possible and expect to pick up pieces when even those who you were positive would do the jobs they promised to do flake out on you.

Don't get pissed .

if you do get pissed try to explain calmly and positively to the pissee..."THis is whet I got pissed and this is where I screwed up so it happened. and this is teh help I need so I won't get pissed again."

DO NOT remain pissed off and let everybody else know but the pissee...bad form. It makes you look l;ike an ass.

remember you are doing this for fun. Sure winning is fun. but so is just playing the game. Other teams have a HUGE head start. Odds are they other guys are just as talented as your team...but the other guys have been ding it for a lot longer. Why would anyreasonable person exp[ect you to win at all??

Be excited when you finally beat somebody to one stinkin' mark. be excited when you do it again.

maybe by the time you graduate you will be winning a lot...maybe you won't ever win.

But you will have a lot more fun trying than staying home.

Don't try to make up for losing on the water by winning the party. Just have fun.

and

have fun.

 
Maybe stay in school and work on the grammar and spelling issues. (proofread before clicking Post)

I hate to be negative, but someone had to say it.

Good luck with it though, there are many resources in your area, I tried starting one (HS team) in KY, but no boats, no facilites, and no money kept us from getting it off the ground.

 
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Gouvernail

Lottsa people don’t know I’m famous
37,689
5,248
Austin Texas
I mooched boats from Erie Yacht Club. Fixed them up with materials and parts donated by MFG Boat Company invited other schools to come play at EYC, mooched a bunch of boats from MFG to attend a bring your own boats regatta at Kent State, won, got noticed doing that, embarassed Joe Paterno by running a less than "Penn State" program...and he bought us a fleet of boats with some bowl game money.

and graduated before the boats arrived.

17 years later, for the first time, I heard form the team...They were fundraising to buy replacements.

Of course they had no idea who started the team or even knowledge that Carol and Mary Park won the Women's nationals and then Sailing World's first Womens championship a couple years after the kind hearted but ineligible because he was a grad student Tom Jarrell and I started the team.

So I spent the first $100 of my own money I ever spent on the team.

Plug away at it kid!! You can do it!!!

 

Wemedge

New member
34
16
Detroit
i am interested in starting a sailing team or club to begin with at my high school so my question would be if any of you have done this or if u have any advice


2. Be Resourceful - Think of everybody you know in the sailing community and who they may know. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If they are not assholes, they will think it is very cool you are starting a team and want to help.

4. Be Flexible - Since I had been an avid club racer before high school, I was already to have a kick ass team full of babes and rock stars and go win things. Wake up call- if your school doesn't have a team, that is unlikely, at first. Accommodate people you would otherwise dismiss. They might be your best leaders, fastest learners and most loyal. Hot chicks and rock stars are never leaders, they come later when everything is setup for them. You will change people's lives - which is the coolest thing about what you are about to do - relish it.

Is your school private or public?
#2 is why i came here

#4 nothing to worry about there its an all guys school

private

 
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