The sun is shining, the water is receding… the 2010 skydiving season is upon us!
I was asked recently what my goals were for this skydiving season, and I honestly found myself saying “I’m not sure”. Last season was a straight line goal to get into a wingsuit, it was a goal up front and always on my mind. I found myself having to really think about this season.
I want to vastly improve my wingsuit skills obviously, but do I want to bring to the burner other objectives that I past on last season? The biggest one that comes to mind is working towards getting my coach rating. It was nearing the end of the season when I was putting serious thought into enrolling in a coach course, and if it wouldn’t have been postponed I probably would have gone through with it But as the time grew closer I had to make the decision to pull back from the coach course. I subscribe to the philosophy in skydiving of KISS (keep it simple stupid). In short I didn’t want to be learning a whole new dicipline (wingsuiting) at the same time I would be going through the coach course.
Darin introduced me to a simple test coach dive and it made me realize I had work to do if for no other reason that to be satisfied with my own level of coaching ability. It was a fun jump and I smiled and laughed as he demonstrated a comet-trail track as a simulated student at the end of the dive. I found the hardest part for me was recognizing and providing feedback on the student’s body position that attributed to their performance on the dive. What body part was doing what to induce an unwanted behavior?
After a few hundred jumps I don’t find myself having to think about how to get my body to do what I need it to do in freefall, if I need to side slide into position, I just do it. Having to witness a manuever of a student and analyze it wasn’t as second nature as “just do it”. Do I think I could grow that skill enough to be an effective coach for a student? Yes, but at a cost. Mainly being that I would have to seriously split my time in the air instead of keeping that wingsuit attached to my rig 100% of the time. I was very current at the end of the season, whereas now I need time to build up my freefall skills back to what they were.