coach, put me in!

liorLior Lavie is a member of the Team USA Coaches. He is a highly respected and much liked coach. Team Anarchy got to know Lior at a regatta in China and as much as we’d like to hire him to coach us, we have realized that we are uncoachable.
SA: Dude, how did the US win The Optimist Team Race World Champs?
LL: They just did not lose any race! Simple!
SA: Tell us about your background. Just who the hell is Lior Lavie?
LL: Little Israeli from a small village. Moved to Miami at the end of 2012… I have a dog name Maya she is my assistant coach.
SA: Share with us us your coaching techniques (even specific to this event). Are there particular areas that you focus on? What weaknesses do you search for? Strengths?
LL: I think every coach has his own style. I like to implant on all sailors low profile behavior. In other worlds I tell them “I don’t want anyone to know who you are, don’t do stupid things, stay focused – go to work, do it good, go back home eat, sleep and do it over again the next day… It’s nice to work with those kids and try to get into their heads and understand how they think. If you do it well, you will be able to create a comfortable environment for the sailors to preform the best. If a sailor has a weakness and we have  time to fix it, then we do it. But if not we just focus on other parts and letting the instincts of them kick in.
SA: Without sounding cliched, how much does attitude matter? Do you look for kids with anger? Patience? How “tough” does a kid have to be?
LL: Yes! It matters. You are talking about something that is mental. Not only physical. These events are long. 8 days straight. And all the preparations are  exhausting… so if a sailor is “tough” then he has a big advantage over his competitors. They need to want to be as good as possible and if they are there just to participate then something is wrong…
SA: Have you kicked kids out? If so, what reasons?
LL: In training absolutely. Reasons? Disrespectful behavior, being late, repeating same mistake more than few times.
SA: Are you able to immediately recognize brilliance?
LL: I don’t think so…
SA: The common saw is that other counties are better sailors than here. Is that bullshit? Why or why not?
LL: I think the US is very focused on college sailing. Plus, it is a private funded sport. So you get a huge amount of sailors stopping sailing or continuing into the C420 which is not a high performance boat. So maybe in the Opti US is good, but not after that class. I think change is coming now to change in the last 2-3 years, as you can see the i420 class is growing, and the 29er as well. We have podium in last 2 years in the i420 worlds, junior worlds and Europeans. So something is going in the right direction. But still it’s all private funded…
SA: If you could implement universal coaching standards, what would they be?
LL: I can’t. Each coach has his own opinions and sailing is an art. There is no right way to sail upwind or tack… if it’s fast, and getting you faster to the next mark it doesn’t matter how you do it. Don’t break rule 42.2 unless Oscar flag is up!
SA: How do you deal with overbearing helicopter parents:
LL: It is hard… it depends on the type of the chopper!
SA: Tell us what you are doing now, and what is on the schedule?
LL: just came back from winning IODA North Americas Championship in Antigua, coaching Uruguay and Antigua.
SA: Will you coach me?
LL: Only if you invite me to drive your bitchin new car.
SA: No deal.