Anticipation is thinking about what is coming next on a skydive. Knowing the next point before the current formation gets keyed helps you manage your movement and react quickly.
Because of this, anticipation is the key to speed and high scores. So how can you improve this magical skill? Here are four ways you can improve it.
To improve your anticipation, start by visualizing consistently between your training camps. Since anticipation is mental, visualizing helps tons here, and you can do it as much as you want for free!
Visualize style – the matrix
I recommend a style of visualizing I call “the matrix” for improving anticipation. This style trains your brain to think ahead and have the next point in mind before the prior one is complete.
Pick a skydive to work through. While thinking about your move to a formation, super slow-motion it before getting to your slot. During this slow motion, think of the upcoming point. Resume regular speed, finish the formation, start moving directly to the next point. Slow the pace again just before completion. Repeat.
Two on two
If you have access to two coaches, try two on two. Flying with two people faster than you will press the pace and lift you out of your comfort zone. Then, once you experience a faster speed, you can recreate that anticipation with your team.
Finally, good old speed work! Some phases of your training might include speed work. There are various ways to do this, but the ultimate goal is to push past your regular pace into something too fast for your team (warning, it will get sloppy!). Then, when you scale back later to smooth, your anticipation should be higher.
Kick up your mental anticipation by visualizing the skill like the “Matrix,” trying some two on two, or doing speed work. Improving your mental speed will boost your average!