Jumping out of a plane ain’t easy. You know this already, whether you’ve jumped once or a hundred times: Building confidence in the sport requires practice, practice, practice. Even after your A-license is deep in your personal history, the imperative is to stay current and stay hungry for new skills — because make no mistake, currency and repetition are the two things that are going to keep you in the sky. In this split-second sport, your reaction time to what’s happening around you is nothing short of crucial. Your fine-tuned ability to react quickly and efficiently in high-stress situations requires your full training buy-in.
…and we won’t let you on the plane (with your own parachute) without it. We follow USPA currency requirements thoroughly. We do require every recurrency jumper to go review emergency procedures (alongside a thorough DZ orientation) in addition to specific recurrency training related to said jumper.
In addition to those rules, we also apply a useful quick-and-dirty guideline: Every 100 jumps earns you a year. Here’s how that works: If someone comes to us 4 years uncurrent and only has 250 skydives, they must do an instructor recurrency jump, but if someone is 4 years uncurrent but has 600 skydives then they can typically do a coach jump (assuming they perform well during emergency procedure review).
From your very first AFF ground school, your skydiving instructors will guide you to practice, recite and visualize. This essential work on the ground will prepare you for the tasks at hand and help you create a cognitive framework to engage with your emergency procedures in any situation where they’re required.
Because the amount of time we spend on an actual skydive is so limited, visualization during the in-between times becomes vital. Indeed, skydivers of all levels rehearse and visualize each skydive on the ground, as well as use “landside time” to check their equipment, practice emergency procedures and debrief.
As important as visualization may be, the actual practice of skydiving looms enormous. Science has long since proven that proficiency in any skill is in direct proportion to the frequency with which the skill is exercised. That phenomenon is especially true when we’re talking about skills that require complete presence of mind, precise coordination, sharp reflexes, and comprehensive, intuitive gear knowledge.
Long sabbaticals between skydives not only dull skills but heighten apprehension and slow reaction times — so get on a plane in the dead of winter and take a week in the sun, if you must, but keep jumping!
Sure, you can keep skydiving warm on the back burner for years — but if you want to be safe (and definitely if you want to progress), you need to push. Find a mentor. Get coaching. Rock up to a camp in the tunnel or the sky. It’s only by making lots of meaningful skydives that you’ll deeply embed those experiential skills — and find that cracking confidence you seek.
To find out how Skydive Orange can help you build the confidence you need to stay safer and progress further in the sport, give us a call!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.