The most valuable piece of mail I’ve EVER gotten from US Sailing came this week. I’ve talked in this forum before about needing to have more opportunities for kids to sail than just to race. I knew I was not alone in that endeavor and now US Sailing has listened. (Here is the PDF of the mailer)
They call it “Squaring the Pyramid” and it is an approach used by other sports organizations to continue to identify top athletes, but also to understand that everyone can benefit from the skills taught at every level of a sport.
The “Pyramid” as it is reflected in sailing, refers to the narrowing of a coaches time down to the top performing athletes. The result is that people loose interest. Especially in our sport, where there are so many different avenues to participate, I’ve held the belief that it is doing our sailors a dis-service to focus solely on racing.
Here is what the new approach will look like:
As you can see this model builds fundamental skills then creates branches for the different skills required for racing v/s skills for recreational sailing. While I believe that racing makes you a better all around sailor, some people just aren’t into it. Also, this creates a specific set of Skills Based Training at age appropriate levels to make sailing a lifelong pursuit.
As an instructor struggling to find a place for all of the students we work with, this is incredibly exciting news and I’m looking forward to seeing the transition in the sport and the sailing community.