Just joined a kick-butt team this season? Don’t forget to implement these five habits as part of your team culture to make your season smoother!
Plan your jumps
It only makes sense to plan the jumps for most of your training days. Providing the skydives gives the team a chance to visualize them beforehand, consider engineering options if appropriate, and look at some video when needed. Not doing so adds workload to the day of, leaves the jumps less prepared, and increases the chances that the jumps are not part of a more over-arching season-long plan.
Pre-planning shouldn’t rob you of any flexibility, of course. If the team captain or the coach wants to adjust mid-day, no-one is beholden to the pre-made plan. The worst-case scenario in a ditched plan is that the group got in some extra visualizing.
Make an in-between jump process
Little stuff adds up with teams, and the minutes wasted between jumps looking for your piece partner can suck a lot of time over the day. This problem is solvable by agreeing on what the in-between jump process is. When and where are you meeting each jump? Restroom breaks before or after prep? When do you gear up? Is it appropriate to break for lunch? How will you let each other know when you need to run off (to the Bombshelter, the loft, or your car)?
Share the workload
Even if you have a coach, there are many small duties and decisions to be made. Taking turns manifesting, choosing a start time, and making weather decisions balances the workload. Check out Mikhail Markine’s excellent article here for more tips. http://www.skydivemag.com/article/rotating-captain
Always have an up-to-date highlight reel
A highlight reel is an effective and fun way to keep up with your improvements. I’m certainly a fan of visualizing as a between camp assignment, but watching your own best tidbits is way more fun and just as effective. Remember not only to include your best exits and blocks, but also great sequences of skydives, whether it is a single transition, a couple of pages, or a full jump.
The trick here is to plan early in the season on how this will be done and keep up on it. Once you are 20-30 jumps behind, the task becomes intimidating and is much less likely to get done.
Decide how to handle end of camp bills
Tired after a long four days of jumping, the end of camp chaos begins. Is everyone paying for the packing together or separately? One check to the video and the coach or multiple? Who figures out the adjusted costs of that fill-in you had for two jumps? No matter what you do, there always seems to be a complication or two, but teams with a plan and a designated person (ideally with a spreadsheet in the ready) can reduce some of the post-camp crazy.
Don’t overlook these ground-based habits when you start your group, and you’ll have better camps and smooth season-long experience!
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