As you begin a Junior Big Boat Program, keep in mind that you are dealing with a young, energetic crew. The following guidelines will help keep the crew engaged during the on the water training:
1. Make sure each of the JBB candidates stay busy and are engaged.
2. Keep the boat moving and in full “Trim” mode at all times. Picture yourself preparing for a start of a race in a class with many boats vying for optimum starting position.
3. Allow each student to work a single position through four complete maneuvers. For instance, if demonstrating tacking from a close hauled position, have each person complete four tacks.
4. Make sure that before a position change is made, the person filling a certain role on the boat explains to his/her peers what they were doing, why, and how to do it. This will help create a sense of ownership for the position, allowing the student to assume the role of “teacher”, thus solidifying the learning and creating the additional sense of the team. Periodically have them review their Cue Cards as a reminder of their responsibilities.
5. After each maneuver, score it, explain what went well, and single out good performances in a short debrief for the team. Young people thrive on instance and positive feedback.
6. Remember that while the training is important, it is just as important that the crew have FUN while sailing.
7. Before the next maneuver is executed, and the position handoffs have taken place, pause and ask for questions.
8. Make sure that they crew remains hydrated and in good shape. Check often for any issues that may arise concerning your crew’s health and welfare.
9. Make it easy. Young people excel when they sense a degree of success and job well done and they are also very open to honest and constructive feedback when things don’t go well.
10. Positive feedback is your best friend.
Learn more about the Junior Big Boat Sailing Program and purchase additional resources through our website.