Tunnel Time – I Think Therefore I Fly or Just Do It?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Do you like to break down your flying or do you just do it?

Balance these two concepts by crafting your tunnel session to include time for both. If you only break down things and operate in thinking mode, you are going to have a rough time when you do that cool five-point skydive. Your brain is going to be (rightfully!) thinking of the next point and that nifty leg slide you spent four hours working on is nowhere to be found. Conversely, if you only work intuitively you might not be refining your skills or experiencing forward progress in your flying. Even worse are those with undesirable technique who are just reinforcing bad flying by only flying intuitively.

To get the best of both worlds, design your tunnel sessions with a little time for both intentions. Break things down technically and practice improving your technique some of the time. Reserve a few sessions for applying those new skills without thinking. If you repeat the process, you should start to see those new flying skills exhibiting themselves when even when you are not focused on them.

Example Tunnel Session that Alternating Thinking and Doing

  • Forward-backward/ legs isolated (Think)
  • Sides / legs isolated (Think)
  • Slides with fall rate (Think)
  • Open 360 Open Box (Do!)
  • Verticals (Do!)

The first three flights focus on the mechanics of flight. The last two offer scenarios which practice forwards and backward in a do-it oriented situation.


Taking it Further

For those still not seeing their technical flying show up when they are in an application environment, a hybrid type of drill can help. To execute this, design a simple two way or responsive drill. Instead of just flowing with it like you normally would, pause extra long between each point or maneuver; quickly visualize the technical move between each point before you execute it. You can even design a great two-way skydive with this in mind if you have a willing partner.


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Christy's coaching offers so much more than simply learning the dive pool--to fly well, one needs to engineer appropriately, walk purposefully, clearly understand the formations, recognize the role each flyer plays, and think. But even more to the point, each person coached receives personal attention to develop their skill, celebrating successes and examining weaknesses.

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