Falling vs Flying

Falling vs Flying

Published: June 15, 2013

So, you've done your AFF/AFP levels, you were maintained in a small area of the sky thanks to your instructor(s) and did a few turns and such. From there - you had the sky all to yourself while you did your solo's and then worked a little bit with a coach.

You have all of the fundamentals now to make the decision to be someone who falls through the sky - or someone who actually flies.

Do you know what the difference is between a great skydiver and a skydiver? The will to always push the limits to do better and never stop learning.

Anyone can fall, but it takes skill to fly....and now that you've earned your wings - why not learn the skills necessary to be a bad-@ss skydiver!!!

Where to begin? Well, for starters....master your belly skills. I know everyone wants to leap from "A" license to freeflyer....but I cannot emphasize enough how important belly skills are.

Also, don't you want to be that guy/gal who is proficient in "all" capacities so that you can be included in any type of jump there is? Well, you have just been trained on your belly, so why not continue this road and become proficient before advancing?

I am constantly running into a complete mind-mess because I am always trying to learn everything - it's just my nature and my perfectionist ways....but it is difficult to advance on something when you are trying to learn too many things at once. This is why it is best to focus on one skill at a time.

Learn your belly - inside and out (if that makes any sense). Once you can get into a formation from any spot (front float/rear float/diver/etc.) or jump with someone 60 lbs heavier than you or 60 lbs lighter than you - and be there on the jump - and not taking out formations or blowing past formations or hosing the jumps - then it is time to try something new. If you cannot accomplish the above-mentioned skills, then you are not ready to advance yet. I mean, you can "fall" and make everyone else on the jump do all the work - but don't you want to be a bad-@ss skydiver???? Then put in the time and do the work and it will happen.

Once you are proficient on your belly skills, try some back flying, and some tracking and then try sit flying or head down or angle flying, etc. There are so many skills to learn and it never stops. Just when you think you've learned it all, you jump with someone else better than you and you suddenly realize that there is still so much more to learn.

Now, noticed I said "jump with someone better than you". Sure, its fun to jump and have fun and do silly jumps like horny gorillas, tubes, etc. But the truest and fastest way to learn a new skill is to jump with someone better than you. Someone told me that years ago and I didn't follow that advise. I spent about 3 years jumping with someone who was at the same skill level as me. Sure we had fun, but afterwards I found that I learned more in one summer than I had the whole prior 3 years, once I started jumping with more advanced people. How can you know if you are backsliding, drifting, floating, etc. if you are just chasing someone around. It is like the Ouija Board, everyone blames the other person of moving - it's never "you". Having a good solid base and instruction and critiquing afterwards goes a long way. Have fun, enjoy your playground in the sky, just don't be content with "falling".....make it a personal goal to always improve, pick a discipline (one at a time) and give it your all. At the end of the day - you'll be that guy/gal that everyone wants to jump with because you'll be well versed in all types of flying and guess what? You'll be one bad-@ss skydiver too!!

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