4-way Team Dynamic Tip: Rule of 2

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Great 4-way and 8-way teammates strike a balance between providing feedback and letting their teammates correct their own mistakes. If you want this healthy dynamic I suggest your team implement the ‘rule of 2’.

When you need fixing

When you are prepping a skydive, you make mistakes, especially on the first pass. Whether you are angling or rolling through the jump, your first shot at an angle could be off. Maybe you muck up a quirk you have been trying to fix later in the flow through. Maybe your creeper got stuck on a piece of gum. Either way you mess up that point and you know it right away. You fix it, but there is a sense of urgency to get through the page so you can make it right.

If your teammates chime in the second you make your mistake, it breaks your concentration. Eventually you get the sense they don’t trust you to know what you are doing. Irritating comes to mind. All 4-way jumpers like the chance to fix their own mess ups.

When your teammate needs fixing

Your teammate makes a mistake. You instantly see it and worry they are going to eff** it up in the air too. You want the team to be better, so you must helpfully fix it. If your teammate had broccoli in her teeth you’d say something too, right? That is what friends do! The team wants and needs feedback, and creeping correctly is part of that goal.

Balancing the two

So how do you communicate problems to your teammate without driving each other crazy with nitpicking? I have developed an easy rule of thumb for my students. If a mistake happens once, let it slide. The chances are they see it, and you should give them a page to make it right. Or if it happens on and off again, the second one might be a habit that needs reinforcing. It is worth stopping the presses and making your walkthrough as close to perfect as you can.

It seems super obvious once you say it, but you’d be surprised at how often I find 4-way teams who just pounce on every error. They are trying to be helpful and insightful, but it ends up driving even the mentally tough into defensive territory.

Once I get my teams to implement this policy, it gives them an outlet to help each other while letting each other correct themselves. Try it with your team, it works great!


Want to practice the rule of 2 with others? You can get private tunnel coaching with Christy here!

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In individual coaching, Christy has an expert eye for the most important thing to improve in your flying. When coaching a team, Christy emphasizes the basics and the repeated success of her teams shows how building from the basics leads to success.

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