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Coach Development at the Forefront of Zhik Youth Sail QLD

Coach development is a priority at Zhik Youth Sail events around the country, with the Zhik Youth Sail QLD event leading the charge and providing specialised support and professional development opportunities to 27 coaches from across QLD, NT and the Solomon Islands.

As well as providing young sailors with a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and sail in a large fleet, the Zhik Youth Sail QLD event is contributing to the development of club and state coaches in a regatta context.

Under the tutelage of the State Performance Pathway Manager for Queensland, Mitch Kennedy, the participating coaches have successfully completed the coaching clinic section of the Zhik Youth Sail QLD event, which also included multiple professional development workshops.

“It’s been a great event so far for coach professional development but also for the athletes who have had the chance to come together and work on their starting consistency, which has been our theme of the week. All the coaches have come together and really collaborated on their drills and on how they can best help their sailors to reach their goals,” started Kennedy.

“Alongside that, we back that up with coaching support to make sure that the coaches can go back to their clubs with better information, having supercharged their coaching.

“Earlier this week we had a two-hour workshop where we went through a few important topics, most of which were about navigating tough conversations. It’s really beneficial to see the coaches learning from each other in such a relevant context” Kennedy finished.

The workshop, which covered topics such as promoting the mental and physical wellbeing of athletes, building a squad and coaching outside of your comfort zone, allowed the 27 coaches to share skills, knowledge and drills.

Australian Sailing Squad athlete Joel Turner is one of many high-profile coaches at the 2023 Zhik Youth Sail QLD event and thinks there’s no better place to be for young athletes and coaches alike.

“This event has got what I think is almost the best environment for coach development in the world because we’ve got such a large number of coaches that get along like a house on fire,” said Turner.

“We have really good in-depth conversations about some really good technical sailing topics, a lot of work gets done in the six days we have here”.

The Zhik Youth Sail QLD event is the highlight of the year for some of the coaches, with Camille Gallais from Whitsunday Sailing Club noting that it’s incredible to have so many knowledgeable coaches in one room.

“Although I’ve been instructing for a while, this is only my first year of coaching so I’m fairly new. I loved that the other coaches didn’t just see me as new but that they saw me as someone who could add value to the conversation,” started Gallais.

“Everyone was so willing to help us get better, share knowledge and give the newer coaches opportunities to learn. I’ve never felt more welcome.”

The skills learned by the coaches this week – either through hands on coaching or the purposefully designed professional development workshop – are all transferrable to club conditions and regattas. With such a talented and dedicated group of coaches on hand that are keen to learn and develop, the future is bright for sailing in Australia.