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Guide to finding a coach

When looking for a sailing coach be clear about why you want the coach and what you are trying to achieve. Communicate this with the coach and sailor and support them both in achieving this.

What should I look for when engaging a coach?

  • How much coaching experience does the coach have and in what classes and to what level?
  • Does the coach work within the RYA programme and to what level?

  • Does the coach know and work towards the British Youth Sailing Critical Success Factors?

  • Does the coach understand the British Youth Sailing Values and Behaviours?

  • Does the coach know the RYA main coaching principle? – coach the sailor to be their own coach.

What Qualifications does a coach need to have?

  • Power Boat Level 2 (PB2) certificate

  • Current First Aid Certificate (inc hyperthermia).

  • RCL2 or 3 Certificate.

  • Safe & Fun Certificate.

  • Short Range VHF Certificate (if operating a VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC).

  • Consideration should be given if the coach is required to have a DBS certificate.

  • Consideration should be given if the coach is required to have an Adventure Activities Licence (

What about Insurance?

If a coach is being employed privately they should be able to evidence their own insurance policy.

What do I need to think about before the sailors and coach go afloat?

  • A risk assessment should be completed before going afloat and the coach should be made aware of any medical issues sailors have.
  • The coach must take afloat a VHF radio and mobile telephone with emergency contact details for the sailors.

  • We recommend the coach has a crew on board to assist with any difficult situations that may arise during the training.

  • The coach boat being used should be suitably equipped for the conditions. The RYA kit list is available for reference.

  • A kill cord must be worn at all times by the rib driver. Lifejackets should also be worn by the coach and crew.

What makes a good coach?

  • A coach that asks and doesn’t tell.

  • A coach who volunteers their qualifications.

  • A coach who is organised and shares the plan before the training starts.

  • A coach who fills in the risk assessment with care and consideration regardless of the venue and/or conditions.

  • A coach who has researched the tides, weather and local hazards before going on the water.

  • A coach who asks for help when they need it.

  • A coach who is interested in the development of the individual sailor and long term future.

What makes a less than ideal coach?

  • A coach who tells the sailors and doesn’t ask.
  • A coach who doesn’t ask for help.

  • A coach who encourages sailor dependency.

What do I do if I am not happy with the coach?

  • If you are not happy about any aspect of the training explain this to the coach giving clear examples discuss this with the coach referring back to the initial goals and expectations.

For any safety concerns please contact the Coaching Development Manager

For any Child Protection concerns please contact the RYA Safeguarding Manager, Jackie Reid 

Paying the Coach:

The RYA High Performance Managers will be able to give guidelines on coaches’ daily rates in your region. Ensure that the rates and expenses are agreed in advance of the coaching.

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