Engineered Systems Ltd

Programme and Project Management by Ed Johnston

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Coaching: Why Fly Comps

Competitions can be fun, challenging, rewarding, exciting.

They can also be frustrating, disappointing, demoralising, scary!

These pages and material is all about how competition flying can be a great and positive experience!

Competitions for Fun?

They send you on the impossible lemmings tasks, off down wind on a 2kt day. Then you reach the finish line after the impossible!

There is simply no-where to hide. Felt like a good flight but you are way down the rankings- or maybe the other thing, a surprise win!

And which flights do you remember? An easy romp round 300 on a 500k day? Or getting round 180Km task on a day you would not put the wings on?


Measure Amount Another Way
Comp Distance Flown 88684 Twice round the world and change
Events Flown 64 Including 40 Nationals, 5 Internationals
Successes 10 4 National wins and twice 5th and one 6th in Internationals
Some Disasters 1 Broken glider plus several very forgettable competitions
Scrubbed Days 222 About 2/3 of a year sitting on the ground

What Makes us do it?So how do we have fun?

Well first make sure you know what you are getting into and why!

Then you can start to work on making the most of the good bits and accepting or avoiding the other stuff.


Physical Preparations

Physical Preparation

A little bit of preparation goes a long way.

So get the glider, trailer and instruments ready before hand

Be ready with loggers, turn points and airspace data

Have a routine for the days flying.

Then you can concentrate and enjoy the flying!

Mental Preparations

Mental Preparation

The difference between a fun and successful competition or disappointing and frustrating one often is down to mental preparations

This can be the sports psychology of how to remain focussed throughout, under good or bad situations.

It can be about being comfortable about why you are in the contest and staying happy about the experience irrespective of the outcome.

Or it can be getting prepared for the difficult situations you are more likely to encounter in a competition so you can deal with them better.

My suggestion: use visualisation to put yourself in those situations in calm surroundings so you can work through the stress, anxiety and complications with your feet on the ground.

The same situation in the air is then so much easier to deal with.