The Rating Corner

Improving Your Time Management

Each year, the second Saturday in March—USPA Safety Day—signals the time that many DZs, especially those in the northern hemisphere, begin thinking of the upcoming skydiving season. Spring is the perfect time to plan improvements to your student program even if you think your current program is working well. more »

Avoiding Negative Training Transfer

Most skydiving instructors learn about the whole-part-whole training method for the first time when attending an instructional rating course. Using the whole-part-whole method is an outstanding way of teaching the first-jump course; however, instructors can also accidently teach bad habits while using it. This is known as “negative training transfer.” The good news is that it is easy for an instructor to reduce the possibility of this happening by incorporating four steps that create muscle memory. more »

Updated License Tests | AFF Standization Meeting

License Tests
As of January 1, 2015, every student must complete the USPA-developed, 40-question written exam as part of the requirements for receiving an A license. USPA created new A-License Proficiency and A-License Progression Cards that include a signature line and area to record the written A-license test score. USPA recently distributed the new test to all Safety and Training Advisors, as well as Group Member drop zones. A USPA Instructor, Instructor Examiner, S&TA or board member must administer the test. more »

Tandem Emergencies

As a tandem instructor, are you fully prepared to handle emergency situations? Each of you reading this is probably nodding your head up and down and thinking, “Yes!” However, several recent incidents seem to indicate that we are not as prepared as we should be. Maybe now is a good time for you to spend some time with your fellow tandem instructors and go through some refresher training? more »

Using Cue Words for Efficient Practice

Cue words can help you become a more effective coach or instructor. A cue is simply a short command given during the practice section of a dirt dive to guide your student’s performance. The effectiveness is in its brevity. Here is an example: more »

Rules, Reasoning, Liability and Ethics

Does an instructional rating holder have more liability than those not coaching or instructing? more »

Creating an Emergency Grid System

Four years ago, Chicagoland Skydiving Center relocated from its longtime home to its current location in Rochelle, Illinois. The drop zone had a challenge on its hands: It needed to educate a new community about skydiving and establish an effective system of communication with the police, emergency medical services and fire department. more »

Separating Landings

It’s been seven years since the USPA Board of Directors mandated that all USPA Group Member drop zones separate those making high-performance landings from those flying standard landing patterns. The Group Member pledge now includes the following requirement: more »

Procedure Versus Style

As an instructor, you’ve probably been there: The first-jump course students are still in the classroom, and it’s late afternoon already. “He loves to hear himself talk,” another instructor murmurs in your ear. “True,” you think sarcastically to yourself, “but at least he covers the information, unlike some people I know.” more »

Maintaining Professionalism

Attitude, experience, proficiency, knowledge, judgment, responsibility and professionalism: These are the seven qualities that the USPA Instructional Rating Manual states that a coach or instructor should have. Earning a USPA rating and training students to skydive means that you need to step up your game on every level. more »