National Coaching Symposium


November 28-29, 2017
Miami, Florida / Shake-A-Leg Miami

Download the National Coaching Symposium Schedule!

The National Coaching Symposium is two days of workshops and hands-on sessions with some of the leading sailing coaches in the country. The event will feature members of the US Sailing Team coaching staff and include topics such as team management, performance technology, and athlete development.

If you're a coach who's looking to hear the latest ideas, compare notes with the nation’s best, and pursue professional development, then you need to be attend this event. Registration includes coffee and lunch both days of the event.

Attendance is limited to 100 people so register today!




Presenters Include

KEYNOTE: Josh Lifrak
Director of the Mental Skills Program, Chicago Cubs
 Josh/ Joshua Lifrak is the Director of the Mental Skills Program for the Chicago Cubs. He has been in this role since 2014 and currently has a staff of 5 members. He is in charge of making sure the members of the Chicago Cubs reach their full potential – both as players and as a people.

Prior to joining the Cubs Josh was at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, where he spent the last 10 years building mental skills training programs. While at IMG, Josh worked with the baseball, basketball, tennis and track and field programs and developed mental conditioning workshops for coaches and mental conditioning practitioners. In addition, Josh has worked with MLB players, NBA and NFL draft picks, the US Soccer U-17 Men’s National Team and many college programs, including the Florida St. football and basketball teams, the University of Alabama football team and the USC football and tennis teams. Josh earned a BA in Sociology from University of Rhode Island and a Masters in Exercise Science with a concentration in Sport Psychology from Ithaca College.

Greg Fisher
Director of Sailing, College of Charleston

 Greg/ Greg Fisher, a former All-American and world-renown expert in the sailing community, is in his seventh season as director of sailing at the College of Charleston.

One of the most accomplished competitors in United States sailing history, Fisher has captured 21 North American or National Championships in seven different classes including the Lightning, Thistle and Flying Scot over the course of his expansive professional sailing career. A past World Champion in the J/22 Class, he most recently skippered to a first-place finish over 50 other teams to claim the J/22 North American Championship on Aug. 21, 2010, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Last season, CofC captured its first-ever ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship title in program history and was presented with the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy, awarded annually to the best overall collegiate team in the nation. A year prior, the Cougars earned their first No. 1 national ranking in over a decade after winning the prestigious Truxtun Umstead regatta over Georgetown on March 23, 2011.

Fisher spent the past decade as a sailmaker for North Sails One Design in Annapolis, Md., and is now in charge of growing the College of Charleston collegiate sailing program, while also expanding other waterfront activities such as a city-oriented learn-to-sail program. He is responsible for fundraising efforts on behalf of the College of Charleston Sailing Association, which supports the school's varsity sailing team and

A naturally-talented sailor whose love for the sport began at an early age, Fisher became a sailmaker immediately after college in 1978 and opened his own loft company, Fisher Sails in 1986, and eventually joined North Sails in 1991.

In 2000, Fisher co-wrote a book with author Tom Hubbell entitled, "Sailboat Racing with Greg Fisher" published by Hathaway-Jones Publishing. He shares his passion for sailing with his wife, JoAnn, and has four children, Martha (25), Kurt (23), Bessie (19) and Addyson (7), who also enjoy the sport of sailing.

Grant “Fuzz” Spanhake
Technical Director, US Sailing Team

 Fuzz/ “Fuzz” is a veteran of six America’s Cups and four Round-the-World Races. In 2004, he moved his knowledge and expertise into the Olympic realm where he has designed sails and coached several medal-winning teams.

John Pearce
Youth Director, US Sailing

 John John Pearce joined US Sailing in 2016 as the organization’s first ever Youth Director, tasked with the goal of working with key stakeholders in youth sailing from around the country to develop highly skilled young sailors by providing multiple pathways with innovative and world-class programs and services, instruction and coaching. Prior to joining US Sailing, Pearce spent three years as the Head Coach for the George Washington Sailing Team, guiding the Colonials to the team's first-ever appearances in the national coed and women's rankings, as well as the team's first-ever berth to women's nationals, where the GW women finished 13th in the country.

Pearce also served as the co-head coach of the Dartmouth University varsity sailing team for three years, and had his coaching career has includes stops at Stanford University, San Francisco Yacht Club and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

A two-time All-American at Hobart College, he earned First Team Coed Skipper accolades as a senior and Honorable Mention Coed Skipper recognition as a junior. He led Hobart to a second place finish in the 2004 ICSA Team Race North American Championship and a third place finish in the 2004 ICSA Dinghy North American Championship. In his final two seasons with the Statesmen, he helped the team produce exceptional results in qualifying for four of the ICSA's six North American championships, including three runner-up finishes. Pearce was also a member of the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Sailing Teams, and placed fifth out of 33 sailors at the 2007 U.S. Sailing Olympic Team Trials in the Laser Class sailboat.


Lior Lavie
Co-head Coach, US National Team/US Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA)
Advanced double handed coach
Gulf Coast Youth Sailing Association

 lior/ Lior is originally from Israel. At the age of 7, Lior became a member of the Israel National Optimist Team. After sailing Optimists, Lior moved into the International 420 class and qualified for the Israel National 420 Team his first year. Lior and his crew competed internationally in the 420 class from 2005 to 2007 and were ranked top 10 in the world. In 2008 Lior earned a Silver Medal at the 470 World Championship.

In 2010, Lior initiated his coaching career, training Optimist sailors at his home yacht club in Israel. In 2012 Lior relocated to the United States where he rose to the position of Sailing Director at Coral Reef Yacht Club. Subsequently, he coached Optimist and 420 teams privately as well as coaching RSX and 470 teams for US Sailing. Most recently, Lior become the only coach to lead Team USA to win both the IODA Team Racing Worlds and IODA Nations Cup consecutively in 2016 and 2017

Liz Fusco, MS, RDN
Performance Dietitian, USRowing National Teams

 Liz Liz a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in sports nutrition for elite endurance athletes. She completed her undergraduate degree in dietetics and kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island from 2007-2011, where she was a member of the URI Rams sailing team. She then attended San Diego State University from 2011-2014 to pursue masters’ degrees in nutrition science and exercise physiology, and began working with Team USA athletes and staff as a graduate assistant. Liz completed her clinical supervised practice at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas in 2014, and then returned to the USOC as a consultant to the endurance sports leading up to and throughout the Rio 2016 Olympic games. Liz joined the staff of USRowing in the fall of 2016, and she continues to consult with USA Triathlon, USA Cycling, and US Sailing athletes.

Luther Carpenter
Senior Olympic Coach, US Sailing Team

 Luther/ Luther Carpenter has been an Olympic coach at US Sailing for over 25 years and has attended eight Olympic Games with Team USA. He is the most successful Olympic sailing coach in U.S. history, and one of the best in the history of the sport, having guided athletes to five medals in an unprecedented four different classes.

Malcolm Page
Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing, US Sailing

 Malcolm/ Two-time Olympic Champion and seven-time World Champion Malcolm Page is the Chief of Olympic Sailing, the head of the national team and overall U.S. Olympic sailing effort. Page is widely considered the most successful Olympic-class sailor in Australian history. He was honored with a place on the Australian Institute of Sport’s “Best of the Best” list in 2011, and in October 2016 was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Page served as Head of Media for World Sailing, and prior to that worked as a Communications Consultant at the Australian telecommunications company Telstra. Page also brings extensive experience in athlete management to his role, as he was the Chef de Mission for the Australian Team at the Pacific Games, served for seven years on the World Sailing Athletes’ Commission and was Captain of the Australian Sailing Team from 2005-2012.

Mitch Hall
Assistant Coach, College of Charleston

 mitch Mitch Hall is in his sixth season as the assistant coach for the College of Charleston sailing program. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Hall joined the Cougars during the 2011-12 season after serving as the head coach at Tulane.

Last year, CofC captured its first-ever ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship title in program history and was presented with the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy, awarded annually to the best overall collegiate team in the nation.

Hall has won numerous events in his sailing career including the ICSA Sloop Championships, the ISSA Singlehanded Nationals and the U.S. Sailing Singlehanded Nationals.

Hall also excels at team racing and helps supplement the strength the Cougars show in team racing as evidenced by their third-place finish at the 2011 Nationals.

Mike Ingham
One Design Expert, North Sails
Coach, US Sailing Team
Racing Editor for Sailing World Magazine.

 Mike US Sailing recently named him 2016 Coach of the year for coaching the US Paralympic team to the 2016 Disabled World Championship in Holland, and to a Silver Medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

He is currently working for US Sailing coaching the US woman’s 470 Olympic hopefuls toward the 2020 Tokyo Games.

For North Sails, Mike is as a One Design Expert both competing and helping customers. Titles include: 2-time winner of the US Sailing Championship of Champions, 8-time Thistle National champion, multiple J/24 North American champion, multiple Europeans champion, the Tornado Nationals and JY15 North Americans.

Mike is a Racing Editor for Sailing World Magazine where he is a frequent contributor of articles for the printed magazine, and online articles/ videos for his “Ingham’s Insights” online series.

He was a Collegiate All-American and Captain of the Sailing Team at Cornell where he was an Electrical Engineer.


Patrick Rynne
CEO/Creative Director, Waterlust

 Patrick Patrick founded Waterlust in 2011 as an experiment to get people thinking about their personal relationships with water. The idea is that if you can inspire somebody to think, that critical thinking can lead to increased consciousness about our environmental challenges. To achieve this, we produce film and photography focused on water-related science, sport and art. As the creative director, his responsibilities include developing film concepts, shooting and editing film and photography, working directly with filmmakers to turn their visions into a final product, recruiting sponsors, creating and updating a website, and working with a management team to maintain a brand image that reflects our core values.

Phil Muller
Founder, Philip Muller Sailing

 phil I learned to sail standing up.

My earliest sailing memory comes from lying on the front of my mom’s windsurfer. A death grip around the board’s nose while we screamed across the water.

As a child of the 80s the windsurfer and I are a match made in heaven. The rig has taught me countless life lessons: the joy of freedom while flying across the water; my personal limit while getting pummeled by waves, caught in the rigging; and the reward of hard work and perseverance, when testing my skills against other athletes on the racecourse.

As a tween I learned to sit down in a dinghy. A lot of my friends had come out of summer sailing programs and so I jumped in a 420 to start racing with my peers.

In a c420 and collegiate 420, I discovered the tactical world of sailing. It’s one thing to go faster than the other guy, another thing entirely to out sail him while going the same speed. My sister and I started a high school sailing team and we traveled from our small beach town across the state and country to compete against the best of the best in our fleet – Great Oaks, Mallory, Baker Championships.

The tactical edge of dinghy racing heightened my interest in Olympic Class sailing. I have competed in 3 US Olympic Trials in the Men’s Windsurfing Classes (Mistral & RS:x), 2 ISAF Youth World Championships, and 2 ISAF Men’s World Championships. During college, I secured the 2006 US Windsurfing National title in the RS:X class.

Since the beginning my love of sailing has been a pursuit of the thrill of speed mixed with an element of fear and challenge. I’m always ready to take on a new challenge, to push the edges of my comfort zone and into new capacities of my physical limit.

Rosie Chapman
Single Handed Sailing Director, Gulf Coast Youth Sailing Association

 Rosie/ Rosie Chapman is from Cornwall, UK and competed as part of Skandia Team GBR in the Laser Radial and 470. Rosie went on to coach for the Canadian Team where she saw great success developing their youth and Olympic sailing teams, working with 29er, Finn, and Laser classes. She successfully qualified sailors to numerous Youth Worlds and both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games. Rosie currently works for Gulf Coast Youth Sailing Association. Since her time in Texas, Rosie has grown a highly competitive program that works closely with the ODP and has led to international and national medals. Rosie was recently selected to coach for team USA at the Youth Worlds later this year in China.

Ward Cromwell
Head Coach, College of Charleston

Ward/ Ward Cromwell is in his ninth season with the College of Charleston and sixth as head coach of the nationally-recognized program. He previously worked at the Southern Yacht Club, where he served as sailing director and head coach since 2000.

Last season, CofC captured its first-ever ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship title in program history and was presented with the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy, awarded annually to the best overall collegiate team in the nation.

A year prior, the Cougars earned their first No. 1 national ranking in over a decade after winning the prestigious Truxtun Umstead regatta over Georgetown on March 23, 2011.

In 2008-09, the sailing team had a successful campaign. The Cougars competed in 20 events in the fall and won six of them and finished in the top 5 in 12. In the spring, CofC placed in the top 5 in 23 races and won 10 of them.

The Cougars would compete at the ICSA Singlehanded Nationals after winning both the men's and women's district titles in the fall. At Nationals, Juan Maegli finished seventh on the men's side and Allie Blecher placed sixth on the women's side. CofC qualified for all three nationals in the spring. The Cougars finished second at the women's championship as well as 12th in the coed championship. CofC also placed fifth in the team race championship.

Cromwell comes with a strong coaching background, having served as coach with the US Youth Championships clinic in 2003 and 2004 as well as the US Junior Women's clinic. He also served as a US Sailing Level One Instructor and as a coach at the US Optimist Team Trials.

A 1999 graduate of Old Dominion University, Cromwell was a part of a Monarch sailing team that won the ICYRA Team Race Championship and the ICYRA Dinghy Championships in 1998. That year, he was named All-American Honorable Mention.

Cromwell was a member of the US Sailing team and placed fifth at the Olympic Trials in the Tornado Class. In 2000, he finished third in the 470 Class Olympic Trials

Willie McBride
Coach, US Sailing Team

 Willie/ Willie comes from a dinghy sailing background with top finishes in the 29er, I420, and 470 classes, and spent time campaigning in the 49er class. With his calculated approach to coaching, Willie is the master of process design, and can help any team create a system for success. Willie coached the 49er FX class at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero, and is currently a US Sailing Olympic Coach.


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