Preparing for skydiving is more than just eagerly showing up at the dropzone ready for whatever. Although this tactic works for some, others require a bit more care to amp themselves up for their unforgettable adventure. The mental and physical aspects of preparation play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Let’s dive deep into how to prepare for skydiving – mentally and physically.
How to Mentally Prepare for Skydiving
1. Visualize the Experience
One of the best ways to prepare your mind for any stressful situation is to visualize yourself doing it beforehand. No, really, this visualization technique is used by professional athletes to help them mentally prepare. This gets the mind and body ready to take on any emotions or potential reactions that may arise. Then when the real thing happens, you are already mentally prepared and the shock factor is lessened. You can watch skydiving videos, pre and post-jump interviews, and read blog posts (like this one) to observe what the jumper is going through and put yourself in their shoes. Imagine the experience, dive deep into how you’re feeling, and picture yourself jumping for joy when it’s all said and done.
2. Embrace Fear
Being nervous or afraid of skydiving is totally normal and honestly, a bit expected (especially for your first time). We get it, you’ve never done this before – it might be scary but also exciting! We suggest learning into that feeling, embrace the fear and face it head on rather than ignoring it or pretending it’s not there. Look fear in the face and tell it “I see you. I feel you … but I’m doing it anyway!” Take nice, slow deep breaths in through the nose, feel your belly expand, hold for a moment, then release the fear as you breathe out.
3. Practice Mindfulness
In our normal daily lives, it’s important to practice mindfulness so we can be fully present in the moment and appreciate it just as it is. When it comes to skydiving, it’s even more important to stay focused on the present moment in order to truly take in the experience in its entirety. Not only because you’ll need to listen to the guidelines given by your instructor, but also because skydiving is an amazingly wonderful experience that can change your life in so many ways. Staying mindful and present throughout every step of your skydiving journey can help alleviate anxious thoughts and enhance the overall experience. Listen to the sound of the airplane, look at all the colorful canopies popping open in the sky and the happy faces of skydivers surrounding you, smell the jet fuel, taste the freedom in the sky!
4. Set Realistic Expectations
It’s no secret that skydiving is a highly misunderstood sport with tons of misinformation floating around, mostly due to incorrect portrayals in Hollywood. Setting realistic expectations for yourself is key. First, do your own research to find out the real statistics about skydiving. Second, take a trip to the dropzone you’re planning on jumping at and talk to some REAL skydivers. Don’t worry, we don’t mind – skydivers LOVE talking about skydiving. Ask them about their first jump and/or any advice they may have and know that each and every experience is unique.
How to Physically Prepare for Skydiving
1. Overall Well-Being
Before you book your skydive, do a well-check on yourself and make sure you are cleared to skydive. It’s important to be in good physical health before making a skydive. Please note that most dropzones have a weight limit (ours is 250 lbs) and an age requirement of 18 years old. If you have any medical issues that you are concerned about, we strongly suggest speaking to a physician before going skydiving.
2. Rest Is Best
Your body is about to be pumped full of a wonderful chemical cocktail of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. This takes a lot of energy for your body to produce, distribute, and process, so you’ll want to be sure that your body has the energy it needs to properly handle the flood of hormones coming your way! Make sure you get plenty of sleep before the day of your skydive and avoid anything that is going to be hard on your body. That means no drugs or alcohol in your system and try to take it easy.
3. Fuel Your Flight
Another way to prepare your physical body for skydiving is to provide it with the proper nutrition to take on the adrenaline rush. Keep your body hydrated and well-nourished before the jump with foods that provide sustained energy without causing discomfort. Eating a light meal before your jump is ok, just try to avoid heavy/greasy foods that typically make you feel groggy or gassy. Tooting in the airplane is a huge party foul!
4. Dress Comfortably
As always, you’ll want to dress for the weather while also keeping in mind that temps can be 30 to 40 degrees cooler up at altitude. Athletic clothing that you can easily add layers to are ideal for skydiving attire. Skydiving also requires a lot of bending, crouching, stretching, and sliding on your bottom for landing. Not to mention, you’ll be wearing a snug-fit harness that goes around and in between your upper thighs, on your shoulders, across your waist and chest. Be sure to wear stretchy clothing that you can move easily in and that won’t cause a potential snag-hazard on any of the gear.
By nurturing both your mental and physical well-being, you’re setting yourself up for a memorable and fulfilling skydiving journey. Even just doing one of these things will aid in the synergy between mind and body and guide you toward a successful and exhilarating adventure.
Feeling prepped and ready for skydiving? Book your skydive with our awesome team at Long Island Skydiving Center! Blue skies.