by Emma Slater
The RYA launched one of its newest titles; The RYA Optimist Coach Handbook, at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show over the weekend (5-6 March). The book provides valuable advice and information for coaches and is a useful resource for parents.
Optimist Coach Handbook launch
Written by Alan Williams, the National Coach and Head of Plas Menai Watersports Centre, the book explores coaching, learning modules, goal setting, mental toughness and how to run coaching sessions and then moves on to look at useful techniques, exercises and games to help you develop an child’s sailing skills.
Speaking at the launch Alan explained: 'It’s important to remember that for many youngsters their first steps afloat in an Optimist lead to a lifetime of enjoyment of the sport of sailing.
'Children are not mini adults; they need particular styles of coaching that will help them to develop not only the technical skills required to get them round the course but also the emotional skills needed to cope with disappointment, the ability to concentrate, as well as physical and mental control.'
Chris Gowers GBR Olympic Laser Coach said of the book: 'Although titled as an Optimist Coach Handbook, everything in the book, with a little adjustment, is applicable at all levels. It provides a great framework for any coach to review their work and refine their technique.'
Alan has been coach for more years than he would like to mention! Coaching mainly singlehanders including Lasers and Optimists and has coached Team GBRs young sailors at domestic and international events.
Purchase a copy of the book through the RYA shop and you will be entered into a free prize draw to win a one day training session at Plas Menai in North Wales with Alan himself. The winner will be announced after 31 March when the competition closes.