Forums: Skydiving: Instructors:
Are Coaches the Weakest Link?

 

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Deisel  (D 31661)

Sep 4, 2008, 5:56 PM
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Are Coaches the Weakest Link? Can't Post

After reading the post on coach rating requirements, as well as hearing a lot of opinions on the DZ, let me ask this;
What's wrong with the coach program? Is someone with 100 jumps really experienced enough to deal with unliscensed jumpers? Given the current dynamics of the coach rating, what can someone do to be a better coach, outside of just taking the course?


labrys  (D 29848)

Sep 4, 2008, 6:00 PM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Is someone with 100 jumps really experienced enough to deal with unliscensed jumpers?

That really depends on their level of skill. 100 jumps is a minimum. Some talented people will be able to pass the course at that level. Others will not. A good, well administered course should make a difference.


DougH  (D License)

Sep 4, 2008, 6:23 PM
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Re: [labrys] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Some talented people will be able to pass the course at that level. Others will not.

What is the pass fail rate for most course directors? I haven't known any one personally who showed up for a course and left without the coach rating.

My observations are a pretty small sample, so I am curious if that is the norm every where.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 4, 2008, 6:26 PM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Its not the coaches, its the course directors. That goes for AFF as well!

There are good coaches, there are good AFF-I, there are bad coaches and bad AFF-I. Directors practically giving away ratings is a bigger problem that has a trickle down effect. Sub-par AFF-I's will allow for sub-par coaches on a DZ.


DougH  (D License)

Sep 4, 2008, 6:32 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Its not the coaches, its the course directors. That goes for AFF as well!

There are good coaches, there are good AFF-I, there are bad coaches and bad AFF-I. Directors practically giving away ratings is a bigger problem that has a trickle down effect. Sub-par AFF-I's will allow for sub-par coaches on a DZ.

Sub-par dzo's encourage sub-par course directors running course (or they are course directors themselves, employee sub-par instructors, and sub-par coaches. How is that for trickle down.


Jumpah  (D License)

Sep 4, 2008, 7:07 PM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

100 jumps is only one of the requirements.

To be a better coach...be mature, a good listener, a good belly flier, and a good teacher.

Do 4-way to improve your belly flying. There are good coaches and there are bad coaches.

This question comes up often. The reality is that many coaches will be jumping with people who have 8 jumps who just want someone to dock with and keep them comfortable and ensure they are jumping safely. You won't be training a competition 4-way team Wink. Someone with 100 jumps can do that usually

A coach with more jumps is a likely a better coach, but the right person with 100 jumps can do a great job too.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 4, 2008, 7:40 PM
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Re: [DougH] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

DZOs are DZOs, course directors are the stop gap in that regard.


livendive  (D 21415)

Sep 4, 2008, 10:13 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
DZOs are DZOs, course directors are the stop gap in that regard.

I disagree. Course directors, for the most part, test more than teach. It's the responsibility of INSTRUCTORS to teach and to lead by example. If there are bad (as opposed to new) coaches working at a dropzone, blame the instructors first for not teaching them, and then the DZO and S&TA for allowing them to work with students.

Blues,
Dave


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Sep 5, 2008, 4:41 AM
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Re: [livendive] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
DZOs are DZOs, course directors are the stop gap in that regard.

I disagree. Course directors, for the most part, test more than teach.(agreed) It's the responsibility of INSTRUCTORS to teach (Disagree) and to lead by example (Strongly Agree). If there are bad (as opposed to new) coaches working at a dropzone, blame the instructors first (Strongly Disagree) for not teaching them, and then the DZO and S&TA (Srongly Agree) for allowing them to work with students.

Blues,
Dave

Call me cynical...IMHO, you will find few Instructors actively teaching Coaches anything. You will find even fewer Coaches asking for instruction outside the course. You WILL find many Coaches forgetting, and in many cases, ignoring, what they learned in the Coach course.

Show me an S&TA or a DZO that monitors what Coaches are doing...please.


drdive  (D 29619)

Sep 5, 2008, 10:23 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

I nominate Livendive. As a new coach, he keeps a close eye on what I am doing and who I mentor. He actively supervises the segments the new coaches teach at FJC. And, in answer to a previous poster, several of the students at our coaches course did not pass.

Doc


Deisel  (D 31661)

Sep 5, 2008, 11:11 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post



HELLOOOO!!!! Thats exactly what I'm doing here! When I first got into this sport I was told that 1/3 of it is what you learn (1/3 freefall, 1/3 canopy).
So someone give me some info I can use! Any recommended books, video, supplementary courses, etc. Thanks.


pilotdave  (D License)

Sep 5, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Something to keep in mind... I got my A-license not THAT long ago. AFF was 7 jumps. Then you needed 13 more solos and you were a licensed skydiver. There was a written test, but not a checkdive (at least I never did one). I took a packing class before I got my A-license, but I couldn't really pack myself. I did a couple of coach jumps with an experienced jumper, but they were optional, there was no curriculum, no pass criteria, and no such thing as a coach rating. I did a fall rate jump and a side slide jump.

It would take a really sucky coach nowadays to create new A-license holders that are worse than most of us were when we got licensed under the old system. I am blown away by how much better new licensed jumpers are now and how much more they know.

So are coaches the weakest link? Well, weakest link of what chain? They're putting out some durn good skydivers. Maybe better coaches make better skydivers, but do bad coaches really make bad skydivers, or do their students just not get all they could out of the coach jumps?

Dave


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Sep 5, 2008, 12:20 PM)


Croc  (D 29552)

Sep 5, 2008, 3:43 PM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

A coach is responsible primarily for teaching two skills--adjusting fall rates and swooping to a formation. These are sometimes difficult skills to aquire, but they are easy to teach. Only above average flying skills are required; however superior communication and observational skills are needed to be effective. One hundred jumps is enough for the right kind of person.


Deisel  (D 31661)

Sep 5, 2008, 5:39 PM
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Re: [pilotdave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

The link here that I'm refering to is that of Whuffo - tandem - AFF - newbie - coach - AFFI/TM - S&TA - DZO?

As a community we have to take an active interest in growing the sport. We must grow our own DZ staff lest we become extinct. Granted, this analysis is severly over simplified, but you are all smart folks - you get the point.
So maybe a better discussion topic would have been - what should we be doing to grow the sport and ensure a quality experience for all involved (fun jumpers, tandem passengers and AFF students)?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Sep 7, 2008, 5:18 AM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:


HELLOOOO!!!! Thats exactly what I'm doing here!

Why, Helloooo back atchya!
You're here, you're asking, your learning! WooooHoooo! That's GOOD thing!
Count yourself as being complimented on being "one of the few"!

For reading, start with the IRM (Instructional Rating Manual) if you haven't already. There's good info in there for you on teaching and learning.


denete  (B 33880)

Sep 7, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Re: [pilotdave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe better coaches make better skydivers, but do bad coaches really make bad skydivers, or do their students just not get all they could out of the coach jumps?


Good point. I've always believed that there are four high-level scenarios and lots of situations that fall somewhere between these four.

"Good coach" and "Bad coach": you can probably figure out for yourself what these mean. Generally they apply to the teaching abilities.

"high-potential / advanced learning student": the student that can progress quickly, a naturally quick-study, possibly very analytical, Stephen Hawking could be their coach and they'd still advance quickly.

"low-potential / remedial learning student": the student that is about three bad jumps away from bowling, they have the potential to "make it" as a skydiver but it is going to take a lot of work


Here are the scenarios that combine the coaches and students that are at the far ends of each spectrum.


Bad coach with:
(a) high-potential / advanced learning student -- this student will become a good skydiver regardless of how poor the coach may be at teaching; the curve of progression will change as the student becomes aware of their own advancement and modifies their learning methods independent of how they are being taught; the student's learning will outpace the coach's teaching

Bad coach with:
(b) low-potential / remedial learning student -- this student will struggle due to being short-changed on their coached experiences; the curve of progression will not likely change and may be linear or regressive; they will try to follow their coach's lead and progress mainly through trial and error

Good coach with:
(a) high-potential / advanced learning student -- this student will become a good skydiver regardless of how good the coach may be at teaching; this student may accelerate their own learning by having a coach who can readily identify the curve of progression and adapt their teaching style / content

Good coach with:
(b) low-potential / remedial learning student -- this student will progress at the best rate that they can handle and will see a gradual increase in their curve of progression as their coach adapts to the student's ability to demonstrate learning; this ability will change over time as the coach nurtures and guides the student to advance



So, that's my take on coaching (teaching). It comes from my real-world experience with teaching students to play very advanced music and observing their advancement over a long period of time (usually 5 to 7 years). The range of students that I worked with went from a student who had 1/4 of his brain removed due to a tumor to students who should have skipped high school and gone on to college. All were able to advance at an impressive pace and exceed their peers', families', and own expectations. I also observed the same students stagnating under other teachers in the same subject and started to search out the reasons why some would advance and others would not.

$.02

- David


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 7, 2008, 2:57 PM
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Re: [Deisel] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Something I find strange about the coach rating is that professional teachers must still take the teaching instruction. I simply don't believe that a few hours of instruction in pedagogy will make the slightest difference to someone who already teaches for a living, not do I believe that a few hours instruction will make a teacher out of someone who has never taught before.

In contrast, if a professional teacher wishes to become a certified flying instructor (CFI) they are exempted by the FAA from the teaching requirement of the CFI course. Given that the FAA does a better job of keeping track of what CFIs do than USPA does of keeping track of what coaches do, and have not identified any problems with that policy, maybe USPA could learn something from the FAA.


Deisel  (D 31661)

Sep 7, 2008, 4:35 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand that DZOs will have to make a finance based decision here, but I offer the following; why doesn't anyone (or does someone?) pair up students/instructors/coaches in FJC? Doesn't it make sense that there would be a hand-off from instructor to a coach who has some SA on how the student has progressed? The first time I ever heard of a coach was when I was ready to do a coach jump. Then I never made a second jump with any of them. It was simply whoever was available at the time.
Should a student have one set of instructors/coaches all the way through or would there be more of a benefit to being exposed to multiple teaching styles?

D


denete  (B 33880)

Sep 7, 2008, 5:24 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Something I find strange about the coach rating is that professional teachers must still take the teaching instruction. I simply don't believe that a few hours of instruction in pedagogy will make the slightest difference to someone who already teaches for a living, nor do I believe that a few hours instruction will make a teacher out of someone who has never taught before.

I know some "professional teachers" that can't teach for crap. Even if you believe that you are a great teacher, there still may be something to take away from seeing another person teach. I personally love to watch teachers...both good teachers and bad teachers. Of course, I also like to learn.


diablopilot  (D License)

Sep 7, 2008, 7:21 PM
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

And what would it really cost YOU to experience that portion of the course. The is always the possibility you might learn something new.

Oh wait, this is John Kallend I'm talking about. He knows all.


Tongue


jasonRose  (D 26304)

Sep 7, 2008, 7:23 PM
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Re: [drdive] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I nominate Livendive. As a new coach, he keeps a close eye on what I am doing and who I mentor. He actively supervises the segments the new coaches teach at FJC. And, in answer to a previous poster, several of the students at our coaches course did not pass.

Doc

Agreed!

Our S&TA will not let coaches jump with students if they are not qualified, however he will take the time to instruct new coaches that show interest to try and bring them to a level quality he demands. Just because you have the USPA coach rating does not mean you are quality instructor. Maybe that is why he won't let me do coach jumps....SlySlySlyBlush


livendive  (D 21415)

Sep 7, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Re: [jasonRose] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't recall previously agreeing on a bribery price for you two. For you...I guess I could forgive one case of your unpaid beer debt, maybe the one for that giant you took this morning. Tongue I think Ed's all paid up in that department though. CrazyLaugh

Blues,
Dave


pilotdave  (D License)

Sep 8, 2008, 5:38 AM
Post #23 of 140 (3759 views)
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Re: [kallend] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Something I find strange about the coach rating is that professional teachers must still take the teaching instruction.

I don't find that strange at all. There's just one set of standards. It's a short enough course that I don't see why it's such a big deal.

Dunno where you teach, but where I went to college I have serious doubts many of my professors had any formal training in teaching. I still remember what my Statics prof said to the class after the average on his first test was a failing grade... "I understand this. I taught you! Why don't you understand this?"

Dave


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 8, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Re: [diablopilot] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And what would it really cost YOU to experience that portion of the course. The is always the possibility you might learn something new.

Oh wait, this is John Kallend I'm talking about. He knows all.


Tongue

I've already PASSED that portion of the courseTongue


kallend  (D 23151)

Sep 8, 2008, 10:19 AM
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Re: [pilotdave] Are Coaches the Weakest Link? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Something I find strange about the coach rating is that professional teachers must still take the teaching instruction.

I don't find that strange at all. There's just one set of standards. It's a short enough course that I don't see why it's such a big deal.

Dunno where you teach, but where I went to college I have serious doubts many of my professors had any formal training in teaching. I still remember what my Statics prof said to the class after the average on his first test was a failing grade... "I understand this. I taught you! Why don't you understand this?"

Dave

The FAA doesn't see it that way for CFI rating, and they don't seem to have had any problems.


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