Published: May 13, 2019
Nervous About Skydiving?
Got skydiving anxiety? Of course you do. Being nervous about skydiving is nothing to be ashamed of. Luckily, with a little foreknowledge regarding how to mentally prepare for skydiving, we're absolutely certain you'll be able to overcome that little hurdle and (quite literally) throw yourself fully into the experience. So: Let's get your brain ready to skydive!
Nervousness the night before
Articles about how to prepare for skydiving generally begin with your feet touching the dropzone. Right? Well, ours is going to start a bit before that. As a matter of fact, skydiving anxiety generally hits people the hardest ages before you first smell airplane fuel. You're most likely to experience the worst of it in your very own bed! Most first-time skydivers have trouble sleeping the night before they jump.
When you notice yourself starting to do that rumination thing, put your worries to bed with pure mathematics. The actual USPA statistics about skydiving safety are clear on the fact that skydiving is way safer than driving. Millions of happy skydivers around the world have jumped out of "perfectly good airplanes" hundreds -- in plenty of cases, thousands! -- of times, entirely without incident. The fact is, that skydiving just wouldn't be so popular if it were as dangerous as your tossing-and-turning brain imagines it to be.
Nervousness at the dropzone
Got that nighttime skydiving nervousness handled? Cool. Get ready for the second wave!
When you arrive at the dropzone on the morning of your jump and start reading over the waiver paperwork, you might start biting your nails again. After all, that's some legal paperwork in front of you, and it covers even the most statistically insignificant skydiving risks. Right from that desk, you'll head over to your ground school; in that classroom, your instructor is going to take some time to introduce you to your skydiving equipment, including the emergency procedures.
Let's stop here and say that if you're not nervous about skydiving now, you're probably not that smart.
Luckily, there's a solution. Repeat after us: To skydive is to take a risk, but that's exactly why you're here. It's the challenge you signed up for! Also, remember that the Ozarks Skydive Center is a USPA member dropzone, solemnly pledged to maintain the very highest standards of safety, training and equipment maintenance.
Nervousness in the airplane
When you board our aircraft, we're aware that this might be the very first time you've ever been in a small aircraft. It's certainly true that it'll be the first aircraft you've ever boarded that you're expected to get out of in midair. Of course you're nervous!
Most of our tandem skydiving students report that their skydiving anxiety peaks when the door opens and they start moving towards that totally novel rectangle of blue. If you suddenly start saying "wait!" instead of "woo!" you won't be the first (or the last).
Instead of letting yourself get carried away by the freakout, just breathe. Slow it down by counting to five with every inbreath and outbreath. Paying close attention to your breath will help you stay connected to yourself so you can be fully present for your skydive, and enjoy it 100%.
Before you know it, guess what? Your skydiving anxiety will be a remnant of your past, pre-skydiving self. You'll be bounding around the landing area like a caffeinated baby goat, high-fiving everyone in sight. You'll suddenly see with utter clarity that your nervousness about skydiving was just part of the seasoning on the best dish you've ever served yourself.