Interview with Hugh Styles

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Hugh Styles is the sailing coach of the Olympic British sailing team and he is also the former Olympic gold medallist in sailing.

And now, in this time of global crisis, Hugh gives sailing lessons for children for free by Zoom.

Please see below the interview our founder Yasmine conducted with Hugh.

What can you teach children beyond sailing as a world athlete?

  • Values
  • Resilience
  • Performance Planning
  • Decision making 

How can visualisation help in achieving one’s goals?

It helps positively reinforce what an individual can achieve.

By bringing a person’s goals to life and making them more tangible. 

How can you transfer the success in sports to daily life?

Structure of routines, commitment and dedication to achieving whatever you set your mind to.

What can be the benefits of sailing beside the sport itself?

  • Networking 
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Mental aptitude for problem-solving
  • Multi-tasking
  • Lateral thinking  

Is sailing teaching resilience and endurance and patience and if so how?

Yes, by challenging a person to achieve a testing goal in a changing environment and providing a feedback mechanism for them to assess success or failure, through coaching and evaluation through competition. 

What is important for Children’s upbringing? 

An ability for them to be able to risk for themselves, but within a structured environment which encourages engagement with routines, rules and boundaries. 

What have you done to get to the top?

Focussed and committed to a goal set plan and been driven to succeed even when in situations of adversity. 

What can children learn from you?

  • Planning
  • Goal setting
  • Teamwork
  • Self-awareness
  • Resilience
  • Decision making 

How is the virtual sailing learning tool preparing children for the real race?

It simulates real-life decision-making situations in sailing racing against other players. 

What makes it interesting and engaging for the children? 

It is interactive and brings to life their vision of their sport from another lens which they will usually not get to see (the plan view of their decisions playing out rather than when sailing being stuck in just trying to sail the boat). 

What did sailing teach you?

  • How to work at a goal 
  • How to develop interpersonal skills
  • Rules and boundaries
  • The value of your planning and decision making
  • How to get organised and motivated
  • Why it is important to have a network of contacts and how to engage with them
  • Finance 
  • Marketing, PR and self-promotion

How did you cope with worldwide success?

By trying to be humble and take each opportunity as a chance to better myself and my team. 

Also, by being self-aware and thinking of how I can help better the sport to bring back some positive good from by involvement. 

How do you get children emotionally engaged in sailing?

Showing them how they can learn to take their own risks. When a child goes sailing, they are pushed off from the shore and they have to work out how things work and conduct themselves according to a set of self-policing rules. This is starting to become unique in this day and age, where everything we do is constrained in other sports (by a referee for instance in football or rugby). 

What does team spirit mean to you and how can it create boding for children?

Team to me is epitomised by the following acronym:

Together we 




By embracing the above we can help bring something more successful than that we can achieve as an individual and that there is nothing better than the feeling of shared success.

What do you like your legacy to be? 

That I help learners to learn more effectively and help stimulate them to achieve their dreams and be more complete individuals.

To find out more, click here!

For more online classes, check out on myKidsy

To discover his site, go to Time On The Water.