Thursday, June 8, 2017

How Sailing Can Teach You About Processes?

We sail and sometimes we fall behind loosing the race by a boat length. One can argue that it is based on skill level of the crew, the type of boat, or the overall weather. Yet these are only part of the answer. All of them can impact some of the performance of a boat like a Shock 35 in a sailing race. If your falling behind the competition and not making your marks properly then you may want to formulate and practice your processes.

What is a process in a boat? Every time you make a move on a boat such as tacking or jibing there will be a sequence of events. The skipper should call out the action, and upon the direction change the sails are adjusted to the new course. Seems simple but there are lots of different activities that make this action smooth and quick.

There is a sequence related to all activities and the more the crew understands these movements and practices them the better they get! Consider the sequence below:

-Skipper calls out a tact and counts down.
-Ship changes direction.
-As the boat moves into irons the jib sheet is released on one side.
-The jib sheet is pulled is grinded in on the other side.
-Adjustments are made to ensure the telltales are in alignment.

Each one of those actions have many smaller actions and the entire crew adjusts and changes. Identifying these processes and practicing them over and over with different weather conditions and crews helps complete the process with the least amount of wasted time. Eventually, the skills are integrated and people no long need to think about them. It is the culmination of many small delays that impact the final outcome. Winning teams are willing to practice over and over until their processes are mastered!

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