Boost your Skydiving Confidence
Monday, October 24, 2022
- Christy Frikken
- Mental Game
Feeling like your skydiving skills don’t measure up? Everyone has moments where they feel in the pits about their skydiving abilities and skills. Maybe you had a bad jump on a big way or you are anxious about an upcoming competition. Or perhaps you struggle to connect with your friends or join the quality skydives around your dropzone.
All of these scenarios make it hard to skydive with a positive and assertive attitude. However, if you are feeling down, there are things you can do in the short and long term to get to that happy and bold place that makes skydiving fun and productive. I’ll also share some common confidence traps you can avoid.
Act confident to feel confident
Fake it till you make it! Physically act confident by walking tall, smiling, and pretending you are a superstar. By assuming the role of a self-assured jumper, you’ll feel surer of yourself.
Ask for help
Are you in the self-confidence pits? Tell a fellow jumper, teammate, or coach. They can help by giving you a more realistic perspective on your abilities and a quick confidence boost. And sharing your concerns sometimes lifts the weight.
Make a confidence resume! A confidence resume lists times you rocked a skill, overcame an obstacle, or crushed a jump. You can reread this list when you feel anxious or nervous about your skills.
Visualizing is such a fantastic tool in skydiving. It works here too! Visualize yourself being successful on the jump. Don’t dwell on potential failures; imagine yourself handling them like a champ if errors crop up. Keep visualizing until it feels natural to see yourself rock your skill.
Do the Work
As a longer-term strategy, plan to give yourself the tools you need to succeed. A lot of confidence comes from getting excellent training. If you don’t do the work, it will be challenging to feel good about your performance.
Fear of Failure
When you think about your lack of confidence, are you just worried about not failing? Or are you trying to succeed? Make your mental images of success positive and exemplary instead of “not screwing up.”
You hear this pitfall in big ways frequently – just don’t get noticed. While attention from the organizer can be intimidating, this mindset makes jumpers scared to try new things. Staying inside your comfort zone means you fear mistakes.
Fear isn’t the path to greatness.
Are you worried about what others think of your skydiving? Comparing yourself to others or worrying about what they think of you is a confidence-sapping downward spiral. No one cares about your skydives as much as you do – and your friends want you to succeed because you want to thrive. They will like you regardless of your performance!
Another trap is comparing yourself to others’ success. I get asked, “why am I not better than that person when I have more jumps.” I also hear teams proclaiming “they should beat” this or that team based on some attribute. These comparisons lead to a roller coaster of emotions and are not productive. Instead, put your energy towards improving at your rate; you’ll learn faster and have more fun.
Bonus: Under 100 jumps
Being new in this sport is as hard as it will ever get confidence-wise. You don’t have a history of jumps to draw on, and when you make a mistake, it is a glorious spectacle like a colossal funnel or going bananas low. Staying confident will get easier to believe in your success as your mistakes will become less visually magnificent.
More importantly, learn to embrace your mistakes now! You are trying to master this bizarre and fantastic skill of flying. Everybody starts new, and you’ll get better. Let your confidence spring from the fact you will keep trying with a great attitude. You’ll eventually be a rockstar.
If you feel apprehensive about your skydiving skills, boost your confidence by:
- Making a confidence resume
- Asking others for support
- Acting like a rockstar even when you don’t feel like one
- Planning to improve
Make sure you aren’t falling into the trap of seeking approval, avoiding failure, or comparing yourself to others. Instead, let your confidence spring from an excellent attitude and enjoy the journey!
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Tags: 4way, 8way, competition