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kcb203

Any reason to get coach rating if not going into a skydiving career?

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I'm closing in on 100 jumps and curious if there's any benefit to getting a coach rating when I'm eligible. I've got a regular M-F 8-5 job that pays more than enough to pay for skydiving and I'm also busy with my kids activities (coaching soccer, etc.) I see myself jumping every other weekend except in winter with the occasional boogie thrown in, so don't see myself jumping more than 100-200 times per year.

The main benefit I see is keeping up with safety protocols and also getting to know the new jumpers at the DZ. I wouldn't mind pitching in occasionally if the DZ is in a pinch, but when I jump, I'd rather be having fun rather than jumping to earn a few bucks or a free jump ticket.

My DZ has instituted a beginner program this year where people with a few hundred jumps are organizing those just off their A license. I'd love to pay it forward when I'm in that spot, but don't think a coach rating is needed for that.

Any thoughts?

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Dont waste your and everyone elses time getting a coach rating if you dont wish to train students. Later on you can coach other license holders if you so wish but leave training students (that's what you need the coach rating for) to people who are motivated to do so.

It's safer and more productive to everyone that way.

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Too many people get coach ratings because they think it's a way to get free jumps, IMO.

A coach jump is a working jump, complete with thorough plan and debrief. Its not just an excuse to go and jump. I've seen lots of people with that attitude and it's a massive disservice to the student.

There is absolutely no need to get a coach rating. if you're not interested in instructing at the moment concentrate on fun jumping and the beginner program when you're ready.

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Eh, I think the two responses are a bit dramatic.

Plenty of people go through the coach courses and never end up regularly coaching students. Their course dollars spend just as well as the next guy. To a certain extent course directors need bodies to fill courses and make it worthwhile.

Even if you don't use the coach rating you are going to learn a lot going through the course. Having to teach something is a great way to identify gaps in your own base of knowledge. You don't need to teach students to have the benefit your overall skydiving.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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I'm gonna go a different direction...
There are going to be lots of times when you have the opportunity to get on a plane without your usual group of friends and acquaintances. There is going to be a student wanting to jump with ANY body. That could be YOU. But, only if you have a coach rating. You're right in saying it can be fun. The experiences can be priceless!
It's a great way to give back by encouraging a new jumper who might just pay it forward someday.

Go for it!

Jon

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jonstark

There are going to be lots of times when you have the opportunity to get on a plane without your usual group of friends and acquaintances. There is going to be a student wanting to jump with ANY body. That could be YOU. But, only if you have a coach rating.



Assuming that the OP jumps at Skydive Orange, VA, I doubt that this scenario will ever happen. Their student program is well organized and coaches don't just randomly switch between coach and fun jumps.

I got my coach rating there two years ago. Never made a single coach jump. Don't regret doing it. I wasn't sure whether I would want to work as a coach before the course and decided that it wasn't for me afterwards. You learn a bit about teaching, a bit about observing, recalling, and debriefing jumps (a useful skill for any type of skydiving), and you have some fun with instructors who are doing their best impression of a bad student. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in and money isn't an issue, then I would say go for it.

By the way, I had 325 jumps when I went through the course, almost all RW, and the evaluation jumps were still challenging. Personally, I don't think 100 jumps is enough to work as a coach. Going through the course for the sake of learning is another matter.

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I'm not active in the sport anymore, but had around 500 jumps and 5 years in the sport when I got my coach rating. I wound up not using it all that often for various reasons - competing priorities (team training, or wanting to do organized jumps), or often it was because there were others on the dropzone who relied on coaching / teaching $$ for all or a large portion of their income. I have a well-paid day job and could afford to pay for all of my own jumps.

All that said I'm glad I got it as I think it made me a better mentor. Even if I didn't go up on coach jumps all that often, I was able to use those teaching skills in more informal ways working with younger jumpers on the ground.

My personal advice would be keep jumping and building your own skills and experience as a jumper and (if you keep up at your expected pace) go for the rating in a couple of years. Yes, you are technically eligible to be a coach now, but I think you'll bring a lot more to the table with more time / experience around the DZ.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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I always thought 100 jumps was way too soon to get a coach rating, so take your time. Of course, kind friends of mine have helpfully pointed out that 100 jumps at a small Cessna dropzone are possibly more meaningful than 100 jumps at a big DZ with a ton of jumpers where you can bust out 10 jumps a day on the weekends, so your mileage may vary.

I got mine around 300 jumps (and I still am not sure I was ready). I have zero intention of making skydiving my career, but I got to know some students at my DZ and remembered how boring solos could be. I got my rating so I could join them on their "solos" and do nothing more than stay statics so that they could have a point of reference in the sky. I recently started jumping with them as a "favor" to the DZO (when, let's be real here, I get a lot out of it too), and I still have no intention of being an AFFI or TI, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of coaching. I feed off the student's energy and in return try to help the nervous ones feel a sense of calm.

I do it as a way to pay back all the instructors and coaches and mentors I've had. I likely don't get paid for it, although my DZO is very generous and pays for my jumps. The new crop of young students I mentor will ultimately jump with them too, and any way I can foster a sense of safety and proficiency benefits the sport as well as the student and myself. Like I said, I don't want to become a full time DZ employee, my desk job pays nicely, but there is a lot of personal satisfaction in coaching. I enjoy it and really love seeing students' progression, and feel some satisfaction in knowing that someday I may be on their 100th jump and see how far they've come. It's the same mentality that probably convinced a lot of my mentors to jump with me when I had a lot fewer jumps--they just like to help, and want to guide safe, talented jumpers.

That said, it's not for everyone. I was super nervous during my coach course, and teaching is a skill by itself, regardless of the material. My motivations were not career-driven, but rather driven by my desire to bring up the next generation of safe, reliable, happy, fun skydivers who do good things. So for me, there was a lot of value, but none of it is financial.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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These are all great comments. Another point I would make is that a coach rating has to be renewed each year for $30, plus there's getting someone to sign and verify that you've met the annual rating renewal requirements outlined in the rating manual.

If you're a working coach, this all makes sense and is easy. If you're not actively coaching it begins to be a pain in the ass the second or third time you go to renew. I ultimately let mine lapse.

All that said, I had a blast taking the course and learned an enormous amount.

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