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If you’re sitting at your computer reading this thinking, “there’s no way I can do a skydiving world record,” this article is for you. If you’re dreaming of being part of a skydiving world record, but aren’t sure how to go about, then this article is for you, too!
Whether you’ve only made one jump or are a seasoned jumper, the one thing you need to prep for a world record is having the idea, the dream, and the goal to do it. And once you’ve set your mind, there’ll be no stopping you! Let’s set the stage.
CATEGORIES OF WORLD RECORDS
There are a lot of different disciplines when it comes to world record skydiving – So you’ll need to know what kind of world record you’d like to set as there’s a specific skill set needed for each category. There are records for the largest formations built for flying in a group belly-to-earth, flying in a head down or head up orientation, for building many points in sequence (called sequentials), for building the largest formation under parachute (called CRW), for being the youngest or oldest, for making the most jumps in a day, and the list goes on.
The overseeing organization that tracks all airsport world records is called the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.
In order to get to world record level, you must train for it. Jumping as much as you can, getting coaching, adopting a mentor, participating in camps, challenges, and progressing your skills to be able to exit the airplane proficiently, to approach the formation safely, to take the grips on a formation, and to leave the formation safely.
A great tool to help with stability and learning freefall fundamentals is the wind tunnel. Although you cannot practice exits or break offs from a formation (or fly your canopy for that matter), you can gain skills necessary to hone in taking grips, flying on level, and cueing your cross partner.
In skydiving, it is not mandatory to lift weights and be in the best shape of your life. However, it helps. Physical training, eating well and hydrating yourself are great opportunities to enhance your physical prowess. Outside of skydiving like running, swimming, yoga, hiking or cycling are great opportunities to cross train. Building your physical fitness in any sport will give you the edge of enduring long, strenuous days that often occur during world records.
World record events call for long days (early mornings, late evenings), and patience (waiting in between jumps, possibly hot, waiting out weather). In many sports, especially skydiving, you’ll hear over and over this saying, “Skydiving is 90% mental, 10% physical.” It’s the ability to adapt to change and staying focused. The ability to stay level headed through the load of adrenaline, doing what no one has ever done before. It’s to do your job, no matter what.
From Canadian journalist, Paul Chaisson, he describes this mental aptitude as ‘mentally tough:’
Research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences has found successful Olympians have a high degree of self-confidence, are able to block out distractions, manage their arousal level, are goal-oriented and demonstrate a healthy form of perfectionism.
It takes everyone a different amount of time to gain the skills necessary to knock out a world record. Creating a balanced training regime along with cross training, being mindful of what you eat, and being patient along the journey will help you gain the benefits of a top athlete. However, it’s your mindset that will help you achieve your goal – desire, determination, and commitment of the reward that will remind you why you’re putting in all of this effort.
HERE is a great resource of the Nine Mental Skills of Successful Athletes.
IT STARTS NOW
You don’t have to already to a professional to want to be a world record holder, but one thing is for sure: every skydiving world record holder today, started with their first jump!
If you’re ready to make the leap, we’re ready to welcome you to the skies. If you’re looking for the right place to train, Skydive Ramblers has many events, coaches and mentors that can help you along your way.
The stage is set, what are you waiting for?