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JohnMitchell

How do you teach turns?

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I had dinner with a tunnel instructor tonight and the talk turned to our AFF students visiting the tunnel to work on their belly flying skills. He said our teaching of tipping the shoulders in the direction you want to turn is too much for the tunnel. They teach using the hands alone a turning vanes. I wish we taught dropping an elbow the direction you want to go.

How does your DZ teach turns? And do you work in conjunction with a local tunnel? How's that working for you?

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JohnMitchell

I had dinner with a tunnel instructor tonight and the talk turned to our AFF students visiting the tunnel to work on their belly flying skills. He said our teaching of tipping the shoulders in the direction you want to turn is too much for the tunnel. They teach using the hands alone a turning vanes.



What did he mean by "too much for the tunnel"? Too fast of a turn?

If so, we can simply adjust how much we train to "tip the shoulders", just like we teach them to turn during "team turns", then tell them that during the release dive they don't want to do it so much.

Teaching both methods in the tunnel sounds great. I think they would learn a lot by turning too fast and learning what caused it.

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General note - I don't try to force a specific train on anyone. Philosophy is to observe the student and teach whatever my experience (or further observation) indicates will work best for them (or the net class - I can customize any students one on one if it doesn't click). It's about the student. One size does not fit all. (too many new instructors try to fit the student to their training instead of fitting the training to the student - fortunately it is a temporary condition for most)




If I'm teaching the shoulder tipping (that's my DZ direction, so I follow it as the primary starting point and it normally works fine).....I focus on a few simple points: straight spine, looking in the direction of the turn, and lifting that opposite elbow as the thought more so than dropping the leading one or just tilting. A broomstick works nice too across the shoulders as a tool (like a stock or water carrier).

If that doesn't work, or the student doesn't get it, I adjust until I figure it out for them - digging an elbow, etc all on the table - it's all about the student learning, not what I think works for me.

If that doesn't work, ok, then we can beat them with the broomstick :D


If I have them in the tunnel, I usually go straight to mantis so they don't have to unlearn anything later. If they are tunnel trained, then I let them turn during AFF with whatever they are trained on.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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rehmwa

General note - I don't try to force a specific train on anyone. Philosophy is to observe the student and teach whatever my experience (or further observation) indicates will work best for them (or the net class - I can customize any students one on one if it doesn't click).

I totally understand your philosophy. I don't do that as much since I'm at a fairly large DZ where students get passed from instructor to instructor and uniformity in training is desired. Like you, though, I monitor the student's performance during practice and modify my training approach until they learn the task correctly.

It's interesting that the "shoulder tilt" seems to be the preferred skydiver method while the "hand tilt" seems to be the preferred tunnel method. I was hoping to find common ground between the two schools to maximize transference of skills for our students that get tunnel training.

Thanks for the responses. :)

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When I was teaching students I typically used the shoulder dip, but also had good success with a "lift and reach" with the opposite shoulder/arm on people who tended to loose their arch with a shoulder or elbow dip.

If I had a student that had trouble dipping a shoulder or elbow I sometimes had luck with a "salute" turn in which the student pulled the turn-side hand to the side of the head while dipping to promote a dip in that direction.

I never found any one technique to be better than another. Always seemed that different strategies worked better with different students.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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chuckakers

If I had a student that had trouble dipping a shoulder or elbow I sometimes had luck with a "salute" turn in which the student pulled the turn-side hand to the side of the head while dipping to promote a dip in that direction.



thanks for sharing - this is going in my "options" bucket as something to try when warranted. I like the visual that "salute" gives me better than 'dig an elbow'. Mainly because I'm a bit of a fanatic with continuous and correct arching - teaching mantis camps for 15 years will do that. (elbow dig may encourage an ab crunch thought, salute encourages a stand up straight -

much closer to the 'junk down' thought that I push) drunk salute, peeing off a bridge, weekend at Bernie's, etc etc etc

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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John,
I'm a bit embarassed to even comment here but I am not commenting as an instructor (I have about 65 jumps now).
I was taught the "shoulder turn/dip" method and it works just great. Then this past winter I went over to IFLY Seattle for 10 minutes of tunnel time before this years season began, and Will (I'm sure you know him if you do tunnel in Seattle) signalled me to turn. Well, I turned/dipped my shoulder and straight into the net I went. He adamantly signeled "hands only" and then it was a breaze.
This makes me think that Shoulder turns don't work so well in the tunnel, thus hands only?
Pure coincidence this past weekend I had an opportunity to do a Solo, just by myself, smile and relax jump, so I tried the hands only turn..............it worked just fine, slower albiet, but just fine.
Maybe the environment is the most important part of what is taught. I won't be able to fly the tunnel much as it is 3 1/2 hours from where I live and jump (Ritzville) and my shoulder turns are ingrained in my tiny brain. Maybe when I get better the "hand" turns will become more important to me, but for now I still concentrate on getting back to mother earth without killing myself OR anyone else.

PS- we met at the WestPlains Memorial Day Boogie (could have been Labor Day Boogie) about a year and half ago. I know you won't remember me, I had about 3 jumps then and still a student.

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Back when I was teaching, I'd help the student to remember what to turn by telling them to look OVER their shoulder in the direction they wanted to turn. It cocked the shoulder in that direction. Then when it's time to stop (generally when you're facing the instructor again :)
Then we'd go over the whole propeller thing, dipping the opposite hop/knee, etc. But I had good results with that, with no spins. It was easy enough for stressed students to remember and succeed with.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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jdkalou

Well, I turned/dipped my shoulder and straight into the net I went. He adamantly signeled "hands only" and then it was a breaze.



Pure coincidence this past weekend I had an opportunity to do a Solo, just by myself, smile and relax jump, so I tried the hands only turn..............it worked just fine, slower albiet, but just fine.


Thanks for the input. When you turn, you're using energy to make yourself move. Use energy, it costs lift, right? Smaller, slower turns cost less energy, you stay off the net. Maybe that was the situation.

One thing I've found in the tunnel is that they keep the airspeeds low at first, actually making it harder to fly and maneuver, but less likely to cause injury if you mess up. As you get more control, they can up the airspeed and then you can really crank turns, maneuver, move up and down, wear a tight suit.

When I fly with my wife, she's small so they dial it way down and I'm on the net. So she arches, joins me on the net while we signal "faster" and then we can have some fun. ;)

Yep, I sure know Willo. He's a great guy. Sorry if I don't remember you. When I visit a DZ, I kind of make a point to not engage their students much.

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Back in the day when someone ask me how to turn. I would say: Turn around.
When they did, I would ask them how they did that? They never knew. I told them to do the same in the air.
U only make 2 jumps: the first one for some weird reason and the last one that you lived through. The rest are just filler.
scr 316

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jackwallace

Back in the day when someone ask me how to turn. I would say: Turn around.
When they did, I would ask them how they did that? They never knew. I told them to do the same in the air.

I remember being a noob in the 70's and getting that kind of instruction. Very few people really had figured out "how" they did stuff yet. :D

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JohnMitchell

*** Back in the day when someone ask me how to turn. I would say: Turn around.
When they did, I would ask them how they did that? They never knew. I told them to do the same in the air.

I remember being a noob in the 70's and getting that kind of instruction. Very few people really had figured out "how" they did stuff yet. :D

You already forgot about the 60's[:/]

I recall peeps coming back from the tunnel in Orlando about 15 yrs ago. They loved making turns from the mantas position.

Meh
One Jump Wonder

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Krip


You already forgot about the 60's[:/]
I recall peeps coming back from the tunnel in Orlando about 15 yrs ago. They loved making turns from the mantas position.

60's? Sorry, I was in grade school. ;)

Boxman, mantis, frog . . . so many different positions, so little time. ;):D

I find myself using all of them, trying to be well rounded. I know most of those tunnel instructors are pretty damn good. :)

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From a student perspective (20 jumps, 0 tunnel time) I was taught to tip the shoulder and look the direction I wanted to turn but when in the air my natural reaction was to just drop my elbow to turn. My instructor noticed this and said to stick with it if it feels more comfortable and helped me fine tune it the next jump. That is my experience fresh off AFF if it helps at all

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tred

From a student perspective (20 jumps, 0 tunnel time) I was taught to tip the shoulder and look the direction I wanted to turn but when in the air my natural reaction was to just drop my elbow to turn. My instructor noticed this and said to stick with it if it feels more comfortable and helped me fine tune it the next jump. That is my experience fresh off AFF if it helps at all

That is the way I'd LIKE to teach, but you're stuck with the syllabus of whatever school you work for. Thanks for the input. :)

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JohnMitchell

That is the way I'd LIKE to teach, but you're stuck with the syllabus of whatever school you work for. Thanks for the input. :)



I'll do whatever works for the student. Yes, I'll always start with the syllabus because they own the DZ.

But I really do hate to lead with anything that describes as "drop" anything. I see too often where 'drop a knee' or 'drop an elbow' will inadvertently also give an accidental ab crunch - now I have to train in two thoughts instead of one (1 - dig the elbow and 2 - don't forget to keep your junk down through the move while digging the elbow). As for me, keeping the junk low is top priority.

neat thing about teaching - finding what works for each of us (student and instructor)

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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AFF student trolling dropzone.com looking for tips on mastering turns and I come across my own JM starting this discussion....HAHA! Level 6 this Friday...and hopefully Level 7! Was going to hit the tunnel to work on a slight "leak" I am getting after I have stopped turning. After reading this I think it is best not to add any instruction outside of what I am receiving at Kapowsin as it would probably knock down my confidence a bit.

FYI - John and the rest of the crew at Kapowsin are just about the finest humans I have ever encountered - and the instruction is absolutely amazing. I've found forums with stories of unprofessional behavior at DZ's...All I have to deal with is which world class Skydiver is going to take me up for my next level....Andy, Luke, Khasha, John, Dennis...it's crazy how good they all are! Every time I pull in I instantly want to turn around and head home...but knowing they are going to take me on this journey gets me through the door every time! Damn this terrifying and addictive sport! Time to get these flips out of the way an finish AFF!

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Aww, thanks for the high praise. :$B|

Like we were talking the other day, many, many ways to make turns. I don't mind the tunnel teaching their way to any of my students. I actually use the techniques they teach as well. Always good transference of skills. See ya after we get back from LP. Vskydiver wants to jump with you. B|

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We taught the shoulder turn until this spring. Michael Wadkins came in for an AFF course and showed us the "new" single side turn, (just lower the elbow and and hand on one side) and we started using it. It seems to work better. Less uncontrolled over-turning, less "banana" turning, just plain better.
Thinking about it, much easier for the student to keep the spine straight.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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ufk22

We taught the shoulder turn until this spring. Michael Wadkins came in for an AFF course and showed us the "new" single side turn, (just lower the elbow and and hand on one side) and we started using it. It seems to work better. Less uncontrolled over-turning, less "banana" turning, just plain better.

I like the sound of that. And it works right into the mantis position. Now, if I can get management and a DZ full of instructors to change. . .

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ufk22

We taught the shoulder turn until this spring. Michael Wadkins came in for an AFF course and showed us the "new" single side turn, (just lower the elbow and and hand on one side) and we started using it. It seems to work better. Less uncontrolled over-turning, less "banana" turning, just plain better.
Thinking about it, much easier for the student to keep the spine straight.



This is going to be our new method (little do the folks at the dz know). This is what I do in the tunnel for turns, or side sliding. It's how I teach in the sky now. It is very easy and it works well.The instructor can exaggerate this method as they demonstrate it.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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