Join Date: Oct 2006
Thanked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 11
I've been working with my 10 year old daughter on this one. I was surprised when she got nervous about heeling, since she's usually quite adventurous and a thrill seeker. As others have suggested, for her it's a confidence thing. I sailed a lot growing up, but we were away from the water for too long and she is just learning.
She spent time on a dinghy at camp this summer, which made her more nervous. It didn't help that she saw other kids go for an unexpected swim. I acknowledged her fears and kept repeating what she could do if she felt like the puff was too much and she was getting out of control. Let out the sail, head up a bit, etc. She understands these things intellectually, but needs to put them into practice enough times to develop that gut feeling that everything's OK. Like hellosailor said, it takes time and experience to gain confidence.
(Climbing up onto my soapbox now....) I'll ask everyone -- when was the last time you were an absolute beginner at something intellectually and physically demanding that is often percieved as being dangerous? Do you remember what it's like to not know what to do, or to know exactly what you should be doing but not trust that you can make it all happen consistently? Want to remember? Try a new sport. Rent a windsurfer and head out on the lake. Take a snowboarding lesson. Go to the local skate park and have the kids show you how to drop into a bowl. Ever tried pole vaulting? (Climbing down now....)
That's a long-winded way to say that I agree with everyone's advice. Good (non-spouse) coaching, patience, practice and experience. The more time she spends on the tiller in mellow conditions, the more comfortable she will become. If you bring the kids, I suspect you'll find that she's more than happy to drive while you keep them happy and safe.