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Small but effective trick

 

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Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 7, 2010, 11:27 PM
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Small but effective trick Can't Post

Probably not new to some of you, but found a trick that worked this weekend.
I had a wingsuit student that was scared spitless, but was determined.
He sucked in a breath on exit and didn't exhale until he deployed. His body tension was obvious, even though he flew straight and reasonably well.
During the debrief and subsequent corrective action, we focused on breathing and relaxation.
Same thing on the next jump, no breathing.
Third jump, I saw the pilot had a pack of Listerine strips.
I took one out just before we exited, showed it to my student and told him "this is a breathing strip, it'll assure you breathe in flight." He put it in his mouth and away we went.
He breathed, he was relaxed and smooth in flight, and improved 200%.
Each jump after that, he asked for a "breathing strip" and his improvement leaped. By his 10th coached jump, he was ready to relax on his own, he just needed to find the mental mechanism that switched on his breathing. He later told me that he doesn't breathe in RW skydives.
Yes, we did all the "smile in freefall," "relax your jaw," etc and even had handsignals worked out to remind him. Nothing seemed to work, and it's been an issue for 200 skydives.
Bottom line, a silly breath mint strip fixed his problem or seems to have. He left the USA for home today with 25WS jumps under his belt and what he was most grateful for was that he'd finally breathed in freefall.


(This post was edited by DSE on Nov 8, 2010, 12:31 AM)


Jbag  (D License)

Nov 8, 2010, 12:26 AM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

and he had fresh breath!


BobMoore  (D 13136)

Nov 8, 2010, 2:04 AM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had whuffos ask "how do you breathe in freefall?" but this is the first time I heard about somebody actually not breathing during the skydive.

How prevalent is this?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 8, 2010, 2:23 AM
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Re: [BobMoore] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

I've seen a couple AFF students not breathe in the skydive.
Problem with them (and my wingsuit student) is you can't give em' anything that doesn't dissolve immediately. They should inhale and choke...
There are several mechanisms through which you can help the student remember to breathe (one AFFI I know would punch the student in the hip very hard). I tried my arsenal. I'm hopeful this thread might raise more answers than a breath strip.


piisfish

Nov 8, 2010, 4:06 AM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
He left the USA for home today with 25WS jumps under his belt .
and 100$ worth of listerine strips Laugh
I know I often do not breathe in freefall. Best way to realize that in wingsuiting is jumping with a full face helmet + earplugs. if you breathe, you will hear it.


Ron

Nov 8, 2010, 7:12 AM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

The guy was clearly not ready to fly a wingsuit.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 8, 2010, 7:30 AM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The guy was clearly not ready to fly a wingsuit.

That is AMAZING! You can read something on the internet from X miles away and render a diagnosis that fast!
Wish I could be that good.
I'm of the more clumsy variety; I stumble through my student's challenges to help them find a path of success.
Ready or not, the guy went from being frightened by a wingsuit to barrel rolls, front loops, and backflying with decent stability in roughly 15 jumps. He's proud of himself for overcoming the challenge, as am I.


Ron

Nov 8, 2010, 8:46 AM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
That is AMAZING! You can read something on the internet from X miles away and render a diagnosis that fast!
Wish I could be that good.

It does not take a genius to know that a guy that is so wound tight that he can't breathe in freefall is in over his head and should not be given more complex/dangerous tasks till he is comfortable enough with the basic ones.

I guess some people are just more interested in the students money than the students safety.


(This post was edited by Ron on Nov 8, 2010, 8:48 AM)


Goody_23  (C 3345)

Nov 8, 2010, 8:57 AM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
That is AMAZING! You can read something on the internet from X miles away and render a diagnosis that fast!
Wish I could be that good.

It does not take a genius to know that a guy that is so wound tight that he can't breathe in freefall is in over his head and should not be given more complex/dangerous tasks till he is comfortable enough with the basic ones.

I guess some people are just more interested in the students money than the students safety.


So I guess we should stop the first jump course too then eh Ron? Most first jumpers are scared too.

Give your head a shake. Pirate


Ron

Nov 8, 2010, 9:16 AM
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So I guess we should stop the first jump course too then eh Ron? Most first jumpers are scared too.

Give your head a shake. Pirate

I guess you are unable to tell the difference between a basic skill and an advanced skill.

Further it seems you are unable to grasp the concept that a nervous student should not be pushed into more complex and dangerous situations till they are comfortable in the basics.... I guess you would just push out a nervous AFF student that was in the middle of a panic attackCrazy


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 8, 2010, 2:35 PM
Post #11 of 177 (4468 views)
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Re: [Goody_23] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

A problem revealed itself duing a skydive. A solution to the problem was discovered. The student went on to be successful and developed a response to the problem that worked for him.
Isn't that the primary reason we seek out instructors?

Some instructors are mental mechanics, while others take the easy road and don't facilitate achievement because it's just "too hard" to try to find avenues for success.Wink


monkycndo  (D License)

Nov 8, 2010, 4:56 PM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

I have had students with the same problem in the air. They were so focused on the new tlo, they forgot to breath. Now I have them practice each step saying it out loud, both on the ground and again in the air. Each time they say something, they also breath in, they have to. Does wonders. WS students tend to be amped up and do things too quickly. Having them say it out loud slows things down and makes them smoother. Seeing them say it on the video debrief is a hoot. Each student is another opportunity to bring a new bird into the flock. It is our responsibility to provide good personal training to give them the every opportunity to succeed.


Ron

Nov 8, 2010, 5:02 PM
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Quote:
Some instructors are mental mechanics, while others take the easy road and don't facilitate achievement because it's just "too hard" to try to find avenues for success

Some instructors are more interested in making themselves feel like the best instructor in the world than be honestly concerned about the students safety and well being.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 8, 2010, 5:50 PM
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Re: [monkycndo] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have had students with the same problem in the air. They were so focused on the new tlo, they forgot to breath. Now I have them practice each step saying it out loud, both on the ground and again in the air. Each time they say something, they also breath in, they have to. Does wonders. WS students tend to be amped up and do things too quickly. Having them say it out loud slows things down and makes them smoother. Seeing them say it on the video debrief is a hoot. Each student is another opportunity to bring a new bird into the flock. It is our responsibility to provide good personal training to give them the every opportunity to succeed.

Yep, you know we both do the same thing...Tongue But with this student...all failed on both FFC jumps. This person was a lot like that larger student we swapped back in Sept. Wish I'd seen the mint strip back then.Laugh


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 8, 2010, 6:11 PM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I guess some people are just more interested in the students money than the students safety.

Maybe DSE though it best to work with the guy instead of refusing him and having him head on down the road to some other guy who would let a student WS'er make a jump without his leg straps on..... You know those who are truly in for the money over safety!


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 8, 2010, 6:16 PM
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

On a side note to remind folks, gum is not advised I know of one student who gasped and choked her self released one toggle in the panic that set in and ended up dead. So please don't let or give your students gum or other large items they can choke on when they leave the ac.


dudeman17  (D License)

Nov 9, 2010, 7:45 AM
Post #17 of 177 (4209 views)
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:

It does not take a genius to know that a guy that is so wound tight that he can't breathe in freefall is in over his head and should not be given more complex/dangerous tasks till he is comfortable enough with the basic ones.

I guess some people are just more interested in the students money than the students safety.

It's obvious that you have never met Spot. While I don't know him THAT well, what I do know of him is that I would never suspect him of being more interested in someone's money than their well being. He's a good man to have around, he truly cares. (And I've been an instructor for 20 years.)

As for someone being wound up, it's also obvious that you have never been on even a highly experienced skydiver's first base jump.

Take a deep breath yourself, pal.


Ron

Nov 9, 2010, 8:37 AM
Post #18 of 177 (4178 views)
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Re: [dudeman17] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

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It's obvious that you have never met Spot.

It is obvious you don't know that.

Quote:
I would never suspect him of being more interested in someone's money than their well being.

He took a guy with a problem in basic comfort and instead of fixing the underlying problem continued to teach an advanced skill set... Adding complexity to an already overtaxed person. Most instructors know that taking a nervous person and adding more complex tasks is not a good method of instruction.

Quote:
As for someone being wound up, it's also obvious that you have never been on even a highly experienced skydiver's first BASE jump.

It is clear you don't know me. I guess if the exp jumper was having a panic attack on the platform, you would just push him off?

Quote:
Take a deep breath yourself, pal.

Hey, if you think taking a guy that was so overtaxed as to not be able to BREATHE on a regular jump and adding wingsuit flight into it as a good thing.... You need to take a few of DSE's "Breathing strips" and think about why you teach... Is it for the student, or for your own ego?

You might want to see who started to bash who first. All I said was a guy that was not breathing in regular freefall was not ready for the added stress and complexity of a wingsuit jump. DSE got his ego upset and went off.

You can think all you want... I don't risk my students safety just to feel like a good instructor.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 9, 2010, 9:17 AM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh I didn't "go off" Ron, I'm laughing at you.
Armchair instructing...That's funny stuff.
I can only imagine what you'd say if you knew that a couple of us are working to help a paraplegic guy figure out wingsuit flight, too.
He should stay on the ground because his legs don't work?
Students present unique challenges.
Yes...it fulfills my ego to find solutions to their challenges and help them achieve their goals. You s
pit out the word "ego" like it's a bad thing.
But if it props _your_ ego to be able to armchair quarterback a wingsuit student...good on ya! Tongue


Ron

Nov 9, 2010, 9:22 AM
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I didn't "go off" Ron, I'm laughing at you.

Same response I had to your post, actually. That your ego would not let you do what was safest for the student. That you had to prove to YOURSELF that you were smart enough. And then you had to create a post to the world to show how smart you think you are.

Quote:
I can only imagine what you'd say if you knew that a couple of us are working to help a paraplegic guy figure out wingsuit flight, too.

I would say, "Cool, I hope it works out."

Quote:
But if it props _your_ ego to be able to armchair quarterback a wingsuit student...good on ya!

That pic just proves your ego took a hit...and yes, I would say that to you in person.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 9, 2010, 9:57 AM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate you correcting me. I feel silly about the student's success because the risks truly did outweigh the benefits. His joy and achievement was not worth the potential dangers a Listerine strip presented and was not worth the potential dangers that a tense body might experience.
After all the drills we did on the ground, I truly thought he'd breathe in-flight. I'm so embarrassed I didn't see the signs that said "He's gonna have problems because he's not gonna breathe." I'd like to know more about how you teach so that you're 110% confident that your students will perform perfectly, thus never requiring corrective training.

I feel even more silly that I thought others might benefit from how I managed this student. Mea culpa, I'm embarrassed.

I just don't know what I was thinkin'. <slap on side of head>

I'm curious, what was the specific danger presented from your perspective? He did great on his tracking dive prior to the first wingsuit skydive, which is when he and I both discovered that he was holding his breath (and couldn't hold it for the whole wingsuit dive due to the longer time). We assessed his skills, it appeared he was fine. What signs did I miss, and how should I have prepared to deal with those signs?
In other words, I couldn't put him back in the plane after that FFC exit.
What would YOU have done?


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Nov 9, 2010, 10:43 AM
Post #22 of 177 (4099 views)
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Re: [DSE] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
He later told me that he doesn't breathe in RW skydives.

In reply to:
What would YOU have done?

The issue is the student taking on the WS dives if he's so tense in basic RW. He's biting off something he shouldn't have if he had done an honest self assessment. I think Ron's point is noticing the issue and exploring it to see if it's just a wingsuiting response, or a general skydiving fear the student is demonstrating. Bad on the student for deceiving the instructor, tricky for the instructor to always find that out for advanced skills testing.

Optimally? Get him comfy in RW dives first - the strip idea is a great one, thanks. Then move on to more complicated dives. But......


HI Ron - It's hard for me to blame the instructor for not ferreting out the student's base discomfort if the student won't fess it up and might actually be actively hiding it. In any case, DSE found a neat trick and, in the end, helped a student fix an issue for all his skydives.


dudeman17  (D License)

Nov 9, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I'm starting to get a pretty good laugh out of this myself. Look, I don't know the WS student or what was happening at the time, but from Spot's original post it didn't sound like anyone was having a panic attack, it just sounded like they encountered a problem and that Spot did in fact find a fix for it, and was just sharing it for others' benefit.

As for why I teach, I'm pretty confident that my motives are in the right place, and I'm sure that anyone I've ever worked for or with would back me up on that. I've never pushed a panicking person into or off of anything. In fact, I've suggested to several people that skydiving wasn't right for them, and I've made the same suggestion to many skydivers about base jumping.

Sounds like you're the one with the reactionary ego. Maybe you're just jealous of something, I dunno. But tell you what - you just chill where you're at, and we'll be just fine out here.


Ron

Nov 9, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
I'd like to know more about how you teach so that you're 110% confident that your students will perform perfectly, thus never requiring corrective training.

Your condescending attitude aside.... I'll answer that one.

I am never 100% confident they will do as instructed. I do attempt to make sure that they are comfortable with basic skills before I add on more complex skills.

For example, I don't teach people to perform burble hops before they can do basic forward/sideways movement. I don't put people in 4ways till they are relaxed in two ways. I don't ask AFF L4's to dock on me and take grips, I don't start piece flying till they can fly themselves.

Quote:
I'm curious, what was the specific danger presented from your perspective?

Aside from the physical issues that holding ones breath creates (adding stress)....Just look at the mental issue. This person is so agitated by a normal skydive that they are unable to perform the normally *automatic* breathing response... That is pretty stressed out.

Somehow you think that a person in that level of mental overload is going to be able to perform the much more complex skills that flying a WS creates? In this case they did, but what if something goes wrong?

If the person is so uncomfortable that they are unable to *breathe*.... You think they are in a good mental state to deal with a problem, much less a problem that is unique to flying a WS?????

Now, I am no WS expert... But I do know that a student that is so overloaded that they can't perform a normally *automated* response is not going to be mentally as sharp as a relaxed student. And I know that a WS has dangers above and beyond a normal skydive.... So the idea of putting a student that is mentally maxed out on a normal jump on a complex jump seems like a very bad idea.

I shoot a lot.... Take a person who is just barely able to hit a target and safely handle a weapon standing still and ask them to draw and walk while shooting a machine gun while being timed... You are creating a dangerous situation that is stacking the odds against the student.

The student must be comfortable with the basics before you add complexity. This is why we don't have AFF L3's doing front flips.

If you had taken this student and had him do some regular two ways working on relaxing (even with your little trick) THEN started the WS training... I'd have said that was a great job (and the little strip trick is an interesting angle... I have used a feather on a nervous Tandem student...think Dumbo).

But to me..... And all I stated earlier... Is that a student that is so mentally maxed out that they cannot *breathe* on a normal jump is not ready for the added complexity of a WS jump, or a camera jump, or a vertical drill, etc.

I base this all on teaching skydiving for ~16 years, having taught martial arts for 5, being a corporate training instructor at a fortune 500 company for several years, and teaching shooting to hundreds of people... etc.

I have seen how an mentally overloaded student reacts to an emergency in a complex situation... Most times it does not go well, sometimes it goes very badly.

And a massive clue that the student is mentally maxed out is them overriding a basic automated response....like breathing.

Quote:
What would YOU have done?

Done a couple of regular two ways with him trying to get him to relax and breathe in freefall before adding complexity.

Think of it this way... He is so stressed on a regular jump that he can't *breathe* and you think the solution is to add the stress of a WS?


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Nov 9, 2010, 11:47 AM
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Re: [Ron] Small but effective trick [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Think of it this way... He is so stressed on a regular jump that he can't *breathe* and you think the solution is to add the stress of a WS?

A 50 second freefly skydive is much easier to get away with no breathing vs a 90 second WS flight.
The issue was hidden/inobvious during his assessment dive (tracking) and didn't become apparent until after he'd exited the aircraft in a wingsuit.
He wasn't entirely aware of his problem before this jump either.

Call it ego, call it whatever. My student had an issue. We found a solution.
I figured someone else might benefit from the solution.
You figured I'm a moron and an arrogant prick for trying to help a student achieve their goal.
Somewhere in between is likely where you'll find the answer.

Curious how silent you were when an "instructor" failed ot do gear checks and the student died but a Listerine strip has your ass in flames.Crazy


(This post was edited by DSE on Nov 9, 2010, 12:00 PM)


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