Understanding the tactical implications of the change. Most course changes happen at the first bottom mark for the next leg. In a lot of these situations the shift has already happened so it may (should) be straightforward. However, if you find these situations confusing, follow this basic principle: If the change is to the right then there's a reasonable chance the right on the next leg may be better. Looking downwind, if the change is to the right then the priority is to go to the left gate with a clean exit and a lane. Conversely, if the change is to the left, then the same theory applies. Keep an open mind, however. Once you know the change, a quick tactical summary of the plan will allow for clear thinking after the fact.