Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
A very interesting student attitude

 


peek  (D 8884)

Aug 27, 2007, 7:20 AM
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A very interesting student attitude Can't Post

Yesterday a group came out to do AFF jumps. One of them had done 2 AFF jumps previously at another DZ, one 2 years ago, one 1 year ago. They sat through the first jump course as many DZs would require I'm sure.

So this guy asks about his student progression and asked if he could do the things that a person did on subsequent AFF jumps. (I told him some things were possible but that we would need to discuss it before the jump.) He was asked by someone else, "Honestly now, do you plan to do this often enough to stay current and progress, or are you just going to do a jump every year or so?"

He said he planned to jump once a year and that he would like to do the "normal" progression. (In other words, he did not consider the long period of time between jumps to be an issue at all.)

Now before we all start thinking that this guy is crazy, we should ask ourselves, "Is there some other sport that people like him have gotten information about that would lead them to believe that skydiving is like that?"

Can anyone think of some activities ("high risk") or otherwise that could accommodate that type of training progression?


Butters  (C 37840)

Aug 27, 2007, 7:39 AM
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Some people don't know enough to know that they don't know enough ...


flygirl1  (B 32758)

Aug 27, 2007, 9:31 AM
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In reply to:
Some people don't know enough to know that they don't know enough ...

That's so true. I used to be a horseback riding instructor and I had students want to ride my high spirited horse or start jumping after only a couple lessons. It wasn't because they had a death wish or they were really cocky or anything I think it was just purley cause they didn't have the experience to know any better.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Aug 27, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Interesting question.

A few years ago I had a similar student. He was a New Yorker, very high up in the Microsoft marketing/sales group. It was his third time out for AFF in three years, and as you described he wanted to move to the next level. The prior year he had done a level two with attempted turns, and it was marginal. We agreed he should do another level two with two instructors, and if we felt he was stable we would do the release. Of course there was virtually no chance of a release, and he was disappointed when we landed. The debrief was initially pretty straight forward, and then we discussed his currency. Clearly he was smart enough to manage the risks and general knowledge, and he had a solid physical aptitude for the sport, but he just wasnít staying active. He wanted to jump more, but his job was demanding, he was active in golf, and as I recall, he did some boating. Plus, he had a house in the Hamptons. I strongly suggested he either make a commitment to the sport, or do other things and come back when he was ready to spend a few weeks making a series of jumps. I think he understood that the progression was in his hands, not ours, and that his performance alone would determine the dive plan. I donít think he came back, but hopefully, at some later point in his life he will.

Iím also certified as a SCUBA diver, but I only get in the water every 3-4 years. Before I return to the sport I make a point to read the training book cover to cover, and then schedule a pool session the day prior to the open water dive. I ask the dive shop to hook me up with whoever the open water dive master will be, and ask him for an honest review of my skill retention prior to venturing into the ocean. That seems to work well. Of course I pay for the pool session and offer an appreciative tip at the end. I find there are usually just a few things I need to work on, and we keep the open water dive pretty mellow. Itís never been a problem, and I always seem to underestimate my skill level relative to the instructors objective evaluation. SCUBA offers that opportunity for controlled instruction and analysis even in the deeper water, skydiving really doesnít.

Rock climbing is another sport where the return can be several years later, with supervision and progression determined by the instructor/guide as the climbing session progresses. But sometimes there is no real progression, and the student/client needs to be comfortable with that.

Hummmm, come to think of it, I donít do much flying these days, and the biannual flight review is always a challenge. There too I expect the instructor to offer an honest evaluation of my skills, and I donít expect to move forward until we both agree Iím ready. As with SCUBA diving, I arrive at the review session with all the bookwork out of the way, and an action plan to address things I know Iím weak at, or feel like Iím missing. Itís also pretty easy for a good instructor to identify other weak areas, and Iím willing to accept my own sub par performance as proof that additional training is needed. It would be foolish to try to jump forward without reestablishing the base performance.

I also teach snowboarding and fly fishing. In both sports we have lots of folks who come out and expect to pick up where they left off a year or two earlier. I always start the session with simple tasks, and thatís often enough for the client to recognize his own weaknesses, and we train from there. Once we have returned to the prior year base point, we can start forward progression.

Skydiving is probably unique in that a jumper must be capable of handling the entire experience alone, including any foreseeable malfunction, and there is no means of ramping the experience up or down midstream.

In any case, the participant needs to respect the judgment of the instructor/guide, and not push things too fast. It also helps if the client does some recurrent studying in advance so the basic knowledge is there, and he can help direct the physical training. As with many sports, it may be simply a matter of taking a small step back, and then pushing forward, but that forward progression wonít happen with a single jump every year or two.

Ideally we are teaching from a foundation of Safety, Fun, Learning, and looking for ways to make the recurrent training both satisfying and fun for the client. Whatever Iím teaching or learning, I try to remember the instruction is just part of the journey, and the objective is not to skydive, fly fish, SCUBA dive, or rock climb, but to have fun. Those sports/activities are just a means to that endÖfun, and with the right mindset we can achieve fun even without forward progression. Itís obviously sometimes tough to convey that to a metrics or goal oriented client (like my Microsoft level 2/3 student).

Iíll also point out that my expectations in other sports/activities are colored by my experience as a skydiving instructor working on the other side of the table. Most of our skydiving students donít have that experience or perspective, and thus their expectations are probably more likely to be unreasonable. As we teach skydiving, we also need to subtlety teach expectations.


Zenister  (A 42)

Aug 28, 2007, 1:58 AM
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why the hell would anyone think 45 sec of exposure once a year (or even once a month) is any kind of reasonable experience to perform successfully???

imagine it in ANY sport... golf, tennis, bowling even... how competent can you expect to be with all of 45 sec of (not recent) practice?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Aug 28, 2007, 2:44 AM
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Re: [Zenister] A very interesting student attitude [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
why the hell would anyone think 45 sec of exposure once a year (or even once a month) is any kind of reasonable experience to perform successfully???

imagine it in ANY sport... golf, tennis, bowling even... how competent can you expect to be with all of 45 sec of (not recent) practice?

Exactly what I was thinking.
One of the good things about working with students is that you get exposed to all sorts of thought processes and learn, from them, how to handle it.


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Aug 28, 2007, 3:47 AM
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Re: [Zenister] A very interesting student attitude [In reply to] Can't Post

Why?

Just like all the other people say - due to a lack of understanding.

"What could happen?
You fall out of an airplane, do some crazy shit, like your told, and if necessary there is an instructor who'll correct anything that can go wrong."

ETA: FWIW, I was much the same.
Before actually making my first jump I thought I'd spread out the 5 SL jumps I bought with my FJC over as long a time as possible.
Maybe one a month, or one a week if I had enough time on Saturdays.
I kept thinking that right up until the moment I was out of the door...


(This post was edited by Baksteen on Aug 28, 2007, 3:51 AM)


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Aug 28, 2007, 2:30 PM
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In reply to:
why the hell would anyone think 45 sec of exposure once a year (or even once a month) is any kind of reasonable experience to perform successfully???

imagine it in ANY sport... golf, tennis, bowling even... how competent can you expect to be with all of 45 sec of (not recent) practice?

People don't think of it in seconds of exposure, but rather in events.

I tend to do white water rafting once a year. Sometimes twice, but the California season is pretty short for the class IV rivers that are snowfed. Of course, this is a 4-6 hour activity, but certainly you carry experience with you from year to year. Not to do Cherry Creek (Class V), but for the range of IVs, yes. Same would be true for mountaineering, up to the simpler slopes that require crampons and ice axes.

Skydiving does not apply because the time is so short, and more importantly, the time to remember details is essentially 0. But if all you did was a Level 1 and 2 where AFF-Is are doing all the work of stability, you might not realize this.


Zenister  (A 42)

Aug 28, 2007, 10:21 PM
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Re: [kelpdiver] A very interesting student attitude [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
why the hell would anyone think 45 sec of exposure once a year (or even once a month) is any kind of reasonable experience to perform successfully???

imagine it in ANY sport... golf, tennis, bowling even... how competent can you expect to be with all of 45 sec of (not recent) practice?

People don't think of it in seconds of exposure, but rather in events.

this is key I imagine.. new students add the 8ish (whatever it is) hours of classes they get to their 'experience' time.. this is completely incorrect.. Imagine sitting in a class learning about tennis for 8 hours.. then playing for 45 sec, then back to an hour class, then 45 sec of play time... how 'good' would you expect to be? sure you probably know the rules by that point.. but performance?

maybe more emphasis on the 'very brief' window of actual experience would help correct this misconception..

when I train soldiers I'm always focused on the 'hands on' portion of the tasks.. if I dont have an 'official trainer' with me I cover the 'death by powerpoint' sections in 1/8th the time the lecturers do so I can devote more time to actual performance based training and evaluations.

Very few people learn physical tasks well through lecture..


ZigZagMarquis  (D License)

Sep 4, 2007, 9:48 AM
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I too have ran into this and its always confused me too as to how it is someone can think coming out and skydiving once year or so that they can still progress through the training levels.

I've tried to explain it too myself to folks, but have to admit, I probably didn't do a really good job other then to be polite and say what pretty much comes down to "these are the currency rules and if you're not going to come out more frequently and stay current, then you're going to have to repeat lots of things and not be able to move forward... so, consider getting out more often."


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Sep 4, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Similarly, my version of refresher training consists of "Go read the first jump course pamphlet, then I will quiz you on it."

The last student who gave an incorrect answer (Specifically I asked him about water landing techniques. He replied "I didn't think about that." ... despite it being clearly written on the last page of the first jump course pamphlet.)

I did one jump with him ...

At the end of the day, I reminded the school owner that this particular unlicensed skydiver was "on his own schedule ... had scared every senior instructor ... etc ..."


chuck411  (D 26024)

Sep 4, 2007, 2:06 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] A very interesting student attitude [In reply to] Can't Post

My wife and I just returned to the life after a 3.5 year break due to life issues. We contacted a DZ and explained our past exp why we were gone so long and what our basic expectations were. They replied with come on out and lets see whats what.

We arrived and I was taken into a room and briefed and was asked questions. some of which I didnt answer to the I's liking or just had simply not remembered the correct answer. We went over the slightly sckechy parts in detail. Talked and demonstrated basic body and movement postures and in about 45 mins were in the plane and failing my first jump horribly. LOL I was waffeling like a mad man LOL. Took a long time for me to get flat and stable then made a few turns and started to remember what I was doing lol.
As soon as my feet touched ground I walked over to the JM and said can we please redo that jump to which he replied "Oh yeah we are." I did my second jump, Nailed the exit which I had blown b4, got flat and stable did my 360"s, flips, and track and had a blast. then asked for some coch jumps after as I knew I needed alot of work b4 I would feel safe enough to jump with others again.

That was me.. My wife on the other hand is having all kinds of issues lol. She was taught one way and forgot bits of it, but as she was being retrained remembered what she was taught years prior and has a hard time adapting to the new rules and training methods. Shes trying but its taking her longer to regain what she had. She's a bit stuborn but wants to relearn what shes forgotten. but training is different now than it was prior to the ISP and just those changes alone make it interesting.

I guess being in the sport for some time b4 our break helped me to understand how bad I was when returning. I did think I would jump Nail the exit and do the tasks at hand without fail but was sure it wouldnt be pretty. I did not expect to Fail the first try though and that for me was a great eye opener.
My wife truely believed she would just go do a recert jump and be ok. Well that isnt whats happening there either LOL. Shes making progress and will continue to do so.
I guess my point is everyone is different in what they expect when returning from a long break in this sport and you may have had a Kick Ass Jump on your last but with the long break reality should take over and slap the crap otta you and say hey you need work! and you being the slappie should say hey F U Reality your right! LOL

Added info
I had 295 jumps and a D lic when the break started. The wife had 40 something and an A lic......
I have since been reading like a Crazy man the 2007Sim and the 2007IRM and am just a nut about seeking more info.


(This post was edited by chuck411 on Sep 4, 2007, 2:08 PM)


nigel99  (D 1)

Sep 8, 2007, 10:12 AM
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With regards to people jumping once a month or so. I can relate to this. I started jumping when I was a student and my desire to jump was obsesive, but cash extremely limited. This meant that I could only jump once a month. I did static line progression and it was very slow. It took me over 30 dives to progress to free fall although I was cleared after the 5 or 6, because I lacked confidence and also I couldn't afford the 2 jumps in a day that were required (dummy rip & first free fall had to be on the same day).

I eventually progressed rapidly when 2 or 3 fellow jumpers helped me out and gave me 10 jump tickets - this kickstarted me into freefall.

As to performing reasonably, I was never any good at anything other than accuracy, but I always had a blast and do not regret my time jumping.


Scubadivemaster  (D License)

Sep 10, 2007, 3:02 PM
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In reply to:
why the hell would anyone think 45 sec of exposure once a year (or even once a month) is any kind of reasonable experience to perform successfully???

EXACTLY what I tell my wife about sex!Wink


Trae  (Student)

Sep 11, 2007, 6:07 AM
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inreply to "Can anyone think of some activities ("high risk") or otherwise that could accommodate that type of training progression? "

.............................................................

Bungee jumping?



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