The International 420 Class is organizing a fourth coaching development seminar in Europe at the end of March. Part of a series of initiatives to strengthen coaching capacity and to encourage and sustain youth sailing, this clinic will be led by former ISAF World Youth Sailing Trust Coach, Jim Saltonstall.
It will provide opportunities to develop skills, share knowledge and reflect on practice, working with a fleet of 420s and their sailors. Both those with experience and others relatively new to developing double-handed sailors or with the 420 are welcome.
The seminar will be hosted by the Austrian National Sailing Training Institute at Neusiedl am See, Austria from 25 - 28 March.
The International 420 Class has several years' experience of promoting coaching skill development and practice through holding Clinics in Palma, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Istanbul, California, Denmark and Japan.
Typically, these combine sessions on and off the water, with participants planning, briefing and delivering sessions and working with a dozen or so sailors with video and de-briefing sessions to facilitate reflective practice. Topics include: coaches' qualities, leadership actions - coaching for whom? Championship preparation - 10 Aspects of the Sport, self preparation - physical, boat preparation, boat handling, boat tuning, race strategy, starting, tactics, Racing Rules, protests, compass work and meteorology.
The clinics are about honing coaching skills and technique, but also provide opportunities to learn more about tuning and sailing the 420 for those less experienced with this boat.
Feedback from participating coaches has been universally positive. Toward the end of last year in Japan a former Olympian 470 sailor, who had trained alongside Jim Saltonstall's squad in 1978, commented, "We had a great opportunity to have Jim Saltonstall in Japan for a four day seminar. It was a new experience for all the coaches who attended. The most important thing was the communication, and we learned a great deal here."
420 Vice President José Massapina commented, "I am delighted that the 420 Class is able to offer another Coaching Seminar in Europe. Jim Saltonstall has led our seminars for coaches for several years and brings enormous experience with coaching youth and Olympic sailors and, particularly, performance coaches, and has worked with 420s throughout his career.
"In recent years, we have held these clinics, involving coaches, together with a dozen or so of Jim's 'ferrets' - both experienced and aspiring 420 sailors - at national sailing centres in Rio, Singapore, California, Japan, Istanbul and Denmark.
"The feedback has been consistently positive, and we are confident that we are making a significant contribution to sustain the development of youth sailing and creating the groundwork for sailing careers, whether in Olympic and other dinghy tracing, match and team racing and keelboat sailing.
"Our development programme involves several interventions to facilitate the availability of boats to establish new 420 fleets, for example in Ecuador, Bulgaria and Angola, the aim being to spread and increase young people's participation in competitive sailing and facilitate a country's Olympic pathway.
"We have provided an experienced coach to work with local coaches and sailors in South Africa and Turkey, and we recently collaborated with the 470 Class to organize coach and sailor training sessions in Luanda, Angola and Buenos Aires, Argentina. A township South African team have been assisted to compete in international events and finished fifth at the 2010 Worlds."
Plans for 2011 include:
• A second Coaching Clinic for North and Central America and the Caribbean;
• Jim Saltonstall will be videoing on the water at the Junior European Championship at Nieuwpoort in Belgium in August, holding his popular de-briefing sessions at the end of the day;
• An experienced 420 coach will again be meeting up with the 900+ Optimist sailors at the Lake Garda Optimist Spring meeting;
• A sailors' and coaches' clinic in Mozambique is planned to coincide with the forthcoming African Games;
• A third Asian Coaching Clinic is to be held in China.
Coaches wishing to participate in the Clinic in Austria from 25 - 28 March will need nomination by their National 420 Class Association or National Authority. Costs, apart from travel, will be borne by the Class and institute. Further information and application form may be found at www.420sailing.org