Two-time Olympic medallist Rod Davis, after being closely associated as a coach for Emirates Team New Zealand, is now gearing up for his ninth America’s Cup campaign with Artemis Racing.
With time, my coaching style has progressed to include more than the technical aspects of racing sail boats.
Here are some tricks and tips of that aspect of the coaching world, that I use in coaching sail boat racing teams, mostly established teams, that simply want to be the best they can be. Before I give away my trade secrets, let’s spend a moment to reflect upon what ‘we’, as coaches, are trying to accomplish. Some feel it’s a bit on the nose to have someone measure the current for you, bring out the lunch, carry spare sails or tow the race boat on and off the race course.
Meanwhile the regatta authorities are generally pretty happy to have the coaches, even it they don’t want to show it, because the coaches become the safety fleet if all hell should break lose. If you are wondering, how can he be an ‘expert’ in Dragons, Melges 32s, and AC winged cats all at the same time, the short answer is that most often I don’t need to be. Interested in becoming a qualified sports coach, physical activity instructor, referee or qualified first aider? There are a wide range of courses on offer including beginners through to advanced level qualification awards. Through our programme we offer the opportunity for young people to become involved in sports coaching by volunteering at sessions and developing their skills.
There are opportunities for young people aged 13-19 to gain skills, qualifications and voluntary experience as sports coaches or instructors.


And it is to a point; but another, equally important obligation of the complete coach is to create an environment that ‘gets the very best out of their players’. These concepts can be used any time you’re looking for an increase of performance be it at work, school, or in sport.
In the sailing world, coaches remain a wee bit controversial, being seen as another step in the armaments’ war.
Coaching is not about telling the others how or what to do, and it’s definitely not about lecturing to the pupils.
More of an organized chat, to make sure that the sailors are relaxed with their defense shields in the down position, making everyone more open minded. Collectively all the expertise and answers already exists within each of the individuals on those teams. In fact when you do coaching really well, you spend much of your time behind the scenes, making things just happen. It’s based around the sailors, stimulating their motivation, trust, and desire to be the best they can be. Look for the latest information to be posted on the website, with the highlights distributed Monday through Friday in the e-Newsletter. But for those who need your fix of the old Scuttlebutt, you can visit the old site, for a limited time. These courses will provide participants with the opportunity to obtain nationally recognized, accredited sports coaching and physical instructor qualifications within the sport and leisure industry.


We also offer a range of nationally recognised coaching qualifications, including: Football, Sports Leadership, Gym Instruction, Badminton, Cricket, Volleyball and more. Just that word ‘mental’ will send shivers down the spines of most athletes, including me before I switched sides.
New sails, bottom job, support boats, coaches, some say just more expense and where does it all end? Direct answers or a directive from the outside rarely get the buy-in for lasting improvement. Create a mind set that, ‘we are all sponges to soak up the collective knowledge and use it for our own personal and team good’. If so, The Access to Sports Project runs a comprehensive coach education and leadership programme. To find out if you are eligible for a subsidised or funded place of the courses, please contact us for more information. So the smart play is to help the mental side along without the athletes, sailors in my case, ever knowing. Celebrate the cultural differences, take the time to understand them, respect them, don’t try and throw them out, but use the good points to advantage.



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