Work or play, it pays to stay in shape. In my profession, I am required to take a minimum of 20 hours of extra education a year in order to maintain my professional designation and licenses. Staying on top of industry trends inspires me to seek other extra knowledge in my specialty area — ocean marine insurance.

I’m an avid fly fisherman. I also participate in shooting sports and collect and work on antique outboard motors. Nearly every year I take fly fishing lessons. My casting can always use the practice, and there is always something new to learn (or relearn). I take shooting lessons every other year. In the winter I attend a weekly night class to work on old outboards. It’s fun and there is always something to learn.

What do professional golfers do? When they’re not playing in a tournament, they take lessons to improve their putting and chipping, iron shots and tee shots. Each major league baseball team has a batting coach, pitching coach, and base-running coach. Race car drivers practice all the time to improve cornering, accelerating, drafting and passing skills.

The best athletes in the world all recognize the value of coaching. Otherwise they wouldn’t be the best. Are you any different? Not one bit.

How does a deckhand get to be a mate? Dedication, training and time. Does that deckhand need a coach?

In your shipyard is there a welder who should go from stick welding to MIG or TIG welding? Some skills may be harder to learn than others but there are always people who recognize when someone is ready for more coaching and ready for improvement.

You should be that coach. And if you don’t have the skills to share, find someone who does.

Fork truck training. Crane training. Driver training. Safe vessel practices. All of these can be had from your insurer for little or no cost. Ask for them and then ask what else is available.

Seek out loss control and risk management advice. It’s free from your insurer and it’ll make what you do easier and safer in almost every instance.

A collection of stories from guest authors.