When I was still in school, I was a serious last-minute crammer before tests. Study ahead of time? Not my strong suit. So there I would be at 1 a.m. before a big exam, studying my tail off. 5 minutes before the test, still reviewing. At least I studied, right?!
When you are learning to skydive, studying has a huge payoff as well, whether you’re reviewing things at the last minute or (preferably) with more time to truly learn the new skill. When you’re learning something completely new like skydiving, practicing what you can beforehand and visualizing proper performance are key to helping you get it right the first time (or at least with a minimum of effort!). But now we reach the sticky point: What do you study?
Here’s where you can be proactive about your education: Ask your instructor to talk you you about what your next dive flow will include, and how to practice it effectively at home. Keep in mind that if you stop jumping in the middle of a busy day and your instructor starts to jump with someone else, that person will take priority on the instructor’s time. However, if your instructor has even a few minutes to help you out, he/she will be glad to help you prepare for your next dive so you can practice correctly at home. Practicing correctly is essential; the last thing you want to do is drill something incorrect into your head and take that into the sky.
Make sure you have your instructor’s input before practicing at all, and once you know what to do, think about it, practice, and visualize so you rock out your next jump!