Severn Sailing Family;
Tough event for Severn School, and this was going to be a very tough report to write, until the last two games/races, which gave us a little shot in the arm. Our team came together a bit after a ton of disappointments, mistakes, unforced errors, bad luck, a poor redress decision against us, to pull two wins in light airs against two good teams, Christchurch (a team missing their best sailor) and Tabor, to pull out of the bottom four. We ended up 8th overall.
One overall lesson among many that I think is important to consider: our team needs to make a concerted decision to make a total effort to focus on team racing, and the task at hand. We were not mentally tough enough, not focused enough, to be a top 4 team. Not close this time.
On Saturday, everyone faced tough, big-breeze conditions. While it was a little unlucky that we had practiced for almost three weeks in no wind, that should not be an excuse. We were off the pace, sloppy, and not at championship level, and we put ourselves essentially out of contention on day 1.
Sunday, the wind was quite light, and still we were fairly well beaten in the first 3 races of the day. These were closer, but we still seemed to be missing something, and it seemed like we were still making unforced errors. Shaking up the line-up (and sailing two teams with losing records) helped us, and we won the last two races. This was edifying, but still somewhat hollow given the overall score, and our expectations going into the event.
As a coach, I am going to remember this event, and work very hard to continue to improve our team race system, and consider all the things I can do to be better. I take full responsibility for our performance, and I will work to improve my leadership.
Next fall, as always, we will have a new team, new players, and renewed optimism and focus on the objective. All spots on our team next fall are wide open; no one is granted anything. We will work together to produce the best possible team that we can field.
While this report may sound otherwise, our team really did have a very good year overall, and it is always an honor and achievement to make it to the Baker TR Nationals. For that you all should be proud. I hope that also you feel that we can do better than this, and recognize that our team’s goal is to walk away from an event knowing that we performed at our best, regardless of score.
What our team can work on:
- Preparing for the first game more intensely and methodically.
- More singular focus on the event as a whole. Too distracted by social/other things.
- Fundamental team race balancing, play recognition and execution.