You may have practiced, seen or heard of these race day preparations before, however how many coaches follow all of these simple race preparations at every competition.
Allow yourself time to go through your race day checklist in your own mind so you can give yourself the best possible chance of achieving your best result on the day.
It may be as simple as getting your gear and food prepared the day or evening before or making sure you rise out of bed 30 minutes earlier than you have in the past to be on the beach preparing your race day check list.
Before leaving Home
- Towels, warm clothing, sunscreen, hat
- Check competition equipment for both you and your athletes and you have everything you need to maintain racing equipment (extra competition cap, wax, bungs, tape, marking pen, small range of tools, rule book)
- Ensure you have adequate food and water for the day.
- Check the weather predictions for the day (s)
- Download the program for the day’s competition.
At the Carnival
The coach has many tasks to perform and be responsible for on race day if they are to be successful, some of these are listed below as a guide.
- Be aware of any changes to the program, order and timing of events.
- Prescribe warm ups and cool downs for the athletes (i.e. what, when and where).
- Observe the course and racing conditions.
- Motivate your athletes and try to monitor / control the level of arousal.
- Be aware of the rules.
- Carry a manual.
- Monitor and advise athletes on fluid and food intake.
- Organise handlers if needed.
- Be positive and supportive.
- After the race make sure they complete their cool down.
- Debrief the athlete after the race, discuss positive aspects and talk which aspects that needs to be improved.
- Analyse the event, take times or video and document useful information.
The Coach and the Athlete
- Decide which events the athlete competes in, preferable before the competition day.
- Watch other races in the arena.
- Discuss and decide on possible race tactics such as the following checklist.
- Method of starting.
- Getting through the break such as changing direction, paddling or porpoising.
- Which way to aim on the way out considering wind and currents.
- Which competitor’s wash might be good to get.
- When to sprint, when to conserve energy, or wash ride.
- Which way to go on the way in e.g. chases the runs, when to cut back towards the finishing area or go to where the waves are breaking.
- What to do at the finish e.g. if you lose your craft, if you are pushed outside the finishing flags, if you win the race.
- Discuss what was done well in the race and how to improve.