What makes a good sailing parent?

Top tips for supporting your young sailor

Here are a few top tips from parents whose sailors have gone from starting to sail in a junior class and have progressed through to BYS Youth Squad level. Parenting is not an exact science, but these are some top tips that have worked for some of our parents!


  • It's important to remember why you wanted your offspring to try the sport, from when they started their journey. 
  • To have fun and enjoy a sport that helps them enjoy the environment outside.
  • Help them to learn and grow as they progress within the sport.
  • It helps them to become more independent and grow in confidence.
  • It gives them physical and mental well-being.


As parents we rarely start with the thought that our sailors will be successful racesbut if this becomes our focus this can undermine the very reasons that we started this journey.


  • In helping our sailors to become more independent, it’s important that we help our sailors to learn new skills, but we should stop short of doing it for them! 
  • The RYA’s coaching philosophy, is to set tasks for the sailorsoften in doing these sessions they will make mistakes, which provides them with feedback to learn! As it is our coaching philosophy, not to give the answers to the sailors as parent we should remember that every time, we tell our sailors the answer is an opportunity loss for them to learn!
  • It’s sailors journey, and along the way they will experience failures, as parents it is our job to help them learn from the mistakes to enable them to become more confident in their own problem-solving and their own decision-making and sailing under pressure.