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Article – Vision Impaired Teach Us about Goal Setting

The Australian Blind Sailing Team competed and won their first international competition to everyones amazement. What can we learn from them.... Read on....
What we can learn from the Blind Sailors.

On May 27th (2002) I witnessed a most fabulous event. The Australian Blind sailing team won the final race at the Autonomous Blind Sailing Competition in Italy. It was an emotional moment with tears welling and goose bumps throughout my body, as we cheered them over the line. What an achievement. When Wayne Thomson and Don Scott heard about this competition in late 2001, they had never sailed competitively alone before (without a sited person on the boat). They had never sailed together before, and they had never match raced either. They set a goal, they determined the steps they needed to take, and then they got into action. They found themselves a sailing coach, they practiced, and they fund raised. They did everything they had to do to get to Italy. Once we were there, there was still much to do to obtain their big goal. In the first 3 days of practice racing, our guys did not win a race. The beeping buoys were confusing. The boats were different. They were on a steep learning curve.

What can we learn from Wayne and Don’s success? Here are some of the points that I noticed that took them from last place to first place over the next week?

  • Excellent team work – these guys knew they must work together at every moment.
  • Powerful Leadership – the leader led, while also allowing his team to lead in their area of expertise.
  • Planning – each night, plans were set for the actions of the next day.
  • Keeping calm and relaxed even in the tense moments.
  • Continually being coachable. Asking for assistance and new ideas.
  • Always looking for better ways – every afternoon or evening discussing what worked and what could be done better. With the coach - practicing at the table, using salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowls, etc. to really understand the tactics of match racing.
  • Keeping Focused.
  • Being committed to achieving their goal (winning), yet unattached to the result.
  • Being grateful for the opportunity.
  • Appreciating others – including the organizers, the volunteers, and especially their competitors skills and experience.

AND, overall Enjoying it all, every moment. Having Fun.
Now it is up to you. What can you take from this story. I suggest you consider the points above, and see which ones you can apply to your life and your goals.

Barbara Anderson is an Australian Business Coach and Life Coach, and is a volunteer with an organization Sailability, facilitating sailing for people with disabilities. Barbara was the Coordinator for the Australian Blind Sailing Team in 2002 and 2003 sailing in competitions in Italy.

Written by Barbara Anderson.

To discuss your needs phone Barbara Anderson on + 61 2 9527 9396
email her at barbara@shirecoachingtraining.com.au

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