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Making your own drill

Published Fri 22 Sep 2023

As a coach having the ability to make your own drill can greatly improve your ability to provide versatile and engaging sailing experiences for your participants. Yes, there are plenty of amazing drills if you want to go searching for them. Some great places to look are RYA resources along with Australian Sailing resources. However, having the adaptability to make your own drills means not having to rely on those resources and making a specialized training plan based on the needs and skills of the sailors in your group. 

When making a drill decide what topic you would like to cover. This could be predetermined in the overarching plan for the session/training season or designed for the specific group and their requirements. 


Australian Sailing has a form that you can fill out as well as upload to help other instructors here 

Or there is a standard printable version below.

First type or write up- 

  • A description of the drill or game

  • The course or skill level  

  • Min and Max Number of Participants 

  • Session training outcomes 

  • Set-up 

  • Equipment Requirements 

  • Risk-management considerations 

  • What is your back-up plan in case any of the above activities fail?   

  • And the 3 key messages you want the audience to gain from the session?  

If you follow this layout it should cover most of your needs but again there is no reason not to adapt what is available to fit your needs. 

When it comes to this topic, What should we consider? What feedback might you need to consider? 

What questions might you ask  

What questions might you ask post race or drill? 

Do you ask questions or give feedback during (live)? 

If so what? 

How do you know they understand the principle and when to apply it? 


  • Cut learning syllabus into short drills, microlearning is more effective and engaging 

  • limit drills to crucial need to know -they can remember bite size information 

  • engage the learner by using a story 

  • incorporate key phrases to remember into vocabulary 

  • positivity feedback – feedback sandwich 

  • alternative drill – adaptation drill link 

  • use similar drills to optimize the learning effect, by running a similar drill with the same learning element in different ways, knowledge and skills are processed actively and retained better. 

  • keep drills challenging 

  • communicate and motivate 

Along with these tips try to remember that people learn differently whether it’s Visual Learners, Auditory Learners or Kinaesthetic Learners (Movement) so try to be versatile in your approach. Get creative and have fun with making your own drill and remember making your own drills is a process and improvements in your drills are made by learning from what went well and from what could be improved the next time the drill is delivered. To do it well, time and opportunity need to be dedicated to making it happen.