Process Goals for Sailing

Process goals are short term goals that help you achieve your medium and long term goals. Improvement on these will help you improve overall



What the Experts Say



Books for Process Goals for Sailing

Laser Handbook - Paul Goodison, page 131

Complete Book of Laser Sailing - Dick Tillman, page 125

Be Your Own Sailing Coach - John Emmett, page 3



Websites and Links for Process Goals for Sailing

A very useful example of process goals in action for sailing




What We Learned...

Process goals are the short term goals that help you achieve your medium-term and long-term goals. They are the nuts and bolts of sailing, and improvement on these will help you improve overall.

The first thing you need to do in this area is prioritise the things that will help make you a faster or better sailor. Be honest with yourself, put your coach hat on rather than your racing sailor hat, and be as objective as you can.

Most of us love to practise the things that we are already good at as it is easy and makes us feel good.

However, the things that will improve our performance most are the thingst that we're not good at.

Click here for a list of skills or processes that you might not be good at. It is a very long list (sailing is a very complex sport!), and it is by no means comprehensive.

If you have time, mark each item out of 3 - 1 means you need to do a lot of work in this area, 2 means you are ok but could do with improving this area, and 3 means you are either very happy with your performance in this area or it is not relevant to you (e.g. Spinnaker Work would not be relevant for a Laser sailor). Sort the list by column C, and you have a list of the skills that you most need to improve.

Mental and Physical Fitness for Sailing:

  • Sailing well in light airs
  • Heavy weather reaching
  • Heavy weather running
  • Heavy weather beating
  • Coping with shifting conditions
  • Sailing through waves
  • Gybing
  • Short tacking against a current
  • Starting well
  • Avoiding being PMSed
  • Coping with tidal starts
  • coping with biased starting lines
  • Mark rounding
  • Good windward tactics
  • Spinnaker work
  • Coping with the crew - or the helm
  • Protesting successfully
  • Navigation
  • Pre-race planning
  • Boat tuning
  • Present levels of strength
  • Present levels of endurance
  • Covering duels
  • Holding on to a lead
  • Sailing in big fleets
  • Sailing against international competition
  • Sailing against an arch-rival who is always trying to out-do you
  • Being able to recover from a mistake
  • Getting enough training in
  • Sailing at night
  • Knowing the rules

Sail, Race and Win

  • Heavy weather generally
  • Heavy weather running
  • Heavy weather reaches
  • Shifting Winds
  • Sailing through waves
  • Practising outside races
  • Covering duels
  • Rules freaks
  • Working on your boat
  • Light air generally
  • Gybing
  • Capsizing
  • Heavy weather beating
  • Close fetching legs
  • Rock steady winds (ie boat speed contests)
  • Short tacking against a current
  • Aggressive opponents
  • Light air starts
  • Heavy weather starts
  • Downwind starts
  • Mass Starts
  • Big fleets
  • International competition
  • One or more arch-rivals who always manage to out-do you
  • Holding on to a lead
  • Doing well when it really matters
  • Racing in very changeable conditions
  • Having an incident or mistake happen which badly affects the rest of your race
  • Close tactics with other boats
  • Boat tuning
  • Starts generally
  • Mark roundings
  • Tidal starts
  • Biased starting lines
  • Racing away from home
  • Gate starts
  • Reading sailing instructions and courses
  • Windward tactics
  • Long races
  • The rules
  • Spinnaker work
  • Navigation
  • Night sailing
  • The crew
  • Protests
  • Pre-race planning

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