Published on FEB, 2018
2004 Olympian Carol Cronin reviews how the balance of ego and communication contributes to the functioning of a successful team. Listen to Your Teammate(s).
At a recent Snipe regatta, Kim Couranz and I counted up the number of lines we each control. Her total? Sixteen (eight on port tack, eight on starboard). My total? One.
Giving Kim all the controls except the mainsheet allows me to concentrate on steering and trimming, without the distraction of the many other adjustments required to keep the boat going fast as wind and waves increase or decrease. Of course, that means I trust her completely.
So why is it still so hard to listen to her excellent advice about what to do next on the race course? Listen to Your Teammate(s)
I’ve been dodging the answer for years because the truth is a dirty word: ego. Even as a former crew with attitude, I have trouble taking input from the front of the boat.
Taking over the tiller gave me the same irrational belief in my own abilities that every skipper I’ve ever sailed with has. And that can wreak havoc with my listening skills.