For us, it is all about teamwork and showing people what it takes to be winners. The UW sailing team has long been one of the best sailing teams in the United States, and this is because what we bring to the table is not only skill and a standard for excellence, but the idea that no person is anything without the rest of the team. That no matter how skilled you are on your own, you need the other people with you pushing you to be better and picking you up when you are down.
That is why for years we have been working on building a team through hard work and dedication, with sailing being on the outside of our agenda. We may look like we practice sailing, but what we really practice is building trust and relationships within the team to help one another succeed. The beauty of taking this approach is that when the sailing is over, our team members have valuable skills that can help them succeed in daily life and not just the sporting event.
Thinking big picture
Think about it, people put so much emphasis on athletics and winning that it is the standard for every team. Teams are happy when they win and unhappy when they lose. This idea of each person doing their best so that they can win is something that we believe can hurt people at the end of the day. Because at the end of the day, what you are teaching is the importance of winning. Now what we teach is different in that we teach teamwork and interpersonal relationships above winning.
The funny thing is that winning is a part of the equation when you have a group of people that truly care about one another’s well being. There is a sense of not having to win for you, but having to win for them, and if everyone takes that attitude into the sailing match, winning is just a part of what happens. There is also the idea that losing is part of it too and when you have people that have such a great knack for teamwork, you have a clubhouse that is willing to pick one another up and look forward to the next chance to succeed.
At the end of the day
Sailing is sailing, but teamwork is a skill that can help you get through life in many different ways. This is because when it comes to what to expect from your team, you can expect that they are looking out for your best interest and not just the interest of winning. Sure, we are a competitive sailing team, but we believe that the sailing is just a vessel with which we can teach real life skills in relationships that will last the rest of our young sailors’ lives. So come see what we do differently and why our strategy has given our team members a full and enriched experience.