Coaching and Safety Day

skydive - the ultimate adventureWhat a way to begin the weekend! slaDE and I sat through two days of intense but very entertaining days of ground prep and training for our USPA Coach certification. slaDE~s a naturally talented instructor, whereas I tend to lack confidence in my skills and knowledge base. Teaching yoga has definitely helped me gain a semblance of courage when it comes to standing in front of a crowd, but this took me a while with daily repetition and honing of my skills. I’m kinda rusty when it comes to skydiving (only back in the sport 10 months after a 4 year hiatus), and hence, I feel a tad shaky about the whole educational sweep of jumping out of airplanes. Currency in skydiving is imperative for this sport to be a safe and healthy recreational activity. That’s one reason why most drop zones around the world host an annual Safety Day each Spring (which happened to be held this very same weekend as our Coach course). It’s a way for drop zones to come together and serve their peers and community,  providing the wisdom and knowledge of professionals and experts in the field. This is fabulous for people like myself who need a review and update on safety and other realms in the sport. There are many skydivers who ‘hibernate’ over the winter months (most Canadian skydivers where skydiving is a seasonal event), and Safety Day is an excellent venue to brush up our skills. I’m finding the information in our Coach course (taught by Jay Stokes — who happens to be the USPA National Director), is like a Safety Day intensive on steroids. On top of that, as coaches, we have the additional responsibility of purveying that knowledge and building the skydiving skills to new jumpers in the sport, guiding and teaching them along their path to an ‘A’ license. Next step, Accelerated Free Fall Instructor (AFF)?? Maybe next winter 🙂 My flying skills need to be honed and refined. Sounds like I’m due for some tunnel time! But baby steps first, I need to get my 2 in-air coaching jumps out of the way. Surprisingly, I had the ground instruction down, no problem, with a bit of practice. I know that my success stemmed from the fact that I didn’t have to jump in between ground preps. Took the heat off and allowed me to focus on one task at a time. YaY!

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