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Published: September 8, 2017
How To Mentally & Physically Prepare For Your First Parachute Jump
Skydiving is one of the most incredible experiences you'll ever have.
So how can you ensure you're mentally and physically prepared to make your first parachute jump and go on your first skydive?
Here at Skydive OC, we welcome first-time skydivers from across the country every day. Here are our tips to help you prepare for your first parachute jump.
1) Face your fear
Skydiving's awesome. But it's also pretty scary.
Yeah, we said it! You're jumping out of an airplane from thousands of feet in the sky; if you're feeling nervous about your jump, you're not alone.
Pretty much everyone who jumps for the first time feels those nerves. Whether it's through an existing fear of heights or a fear of falling or a simple fear of the unknown, you're pretty rare if the idea of skydiving doesn't get the butterflies going in your stomach!
One of the first ways to prepare mentally for your skydive is to face your fears. Accept that they're there. Accept that they're normal. Then own them - it's totally OK to be nervous.
To help reduce your nerves, try watching the skydiving videos on our site or flicking through our photo gallery. This will give you a better idea of what to expect - as often our fear comes from not knowing what's going to happen.
And rest assured, we have licensed, experienced skydiving instructors here at Skydive OC.
2) Be positive
It's easy to get lost in horror stories as you prepare for your skydive. The media just doesn't get excited by stories of skydives that go well, so they hone in on the jumps that haven't quite gone to plan.
It's important to remember that those negative stories in the press represent the tiny minority. As you can see from these statistics from the United States Parachute Association (USPA), skydiving today is safer than it's ever been.
So focus instead on the positives. Train your mind to think about what you'll get out of the jump, about the great experiences you'll have. Focus on the excitement you'll feel on the day as you travel to the drop zone. Focus on the nervous anticipation you'll feel as we get you kitted up ready for your jump. Focus on the incredible sights you'll see as we fly you to altitude. Focus on the immense adrenaline burst you'll get as you exit the aircraft and fall at 120mph through the sky!
Also, think about the way you'll feel afterward. There are very few things more empowering than making a skydive - especially if you're overcoming a challenge such as fear to do it.
By setting your mind on the positives, you'll be able to squash any negative feelings you have, thus better preparing you mentally for the experience ahead.
3) Get a good night's sleep
Sleep is really important. It's our body's chance to rejuvenate itself and believe us, you'll want to be wide awake so you don't miss a moment of your skydiving adventure!
Of course, this is easier said than done - especially if your mind is racing with excitement/nerves/trepidation about your jump. Try drinking a herbal tea, turning down the lights and avoiding the use of your cell phone before bed - all of this can help you wind down to a good night's sleep.
It's also worth trying to get down a bit earlier than normal the day before your jump. Like a kid on Christmas morning, you're probably going to wake up early on the day of your skydive, so prepare for that by grabbing an extra hour or two the night before.
On the same note, try not to arrive at the drop zone still sleepy. Give your body time to wake up in the morning, and have a good, healthy breakfast to set you up for the day.
4) Dress for the occasion
One of the most fun things about skydiving is the fashion trends it creates!
You'll see... when you arrive at the skydiving center, there'll be people in skydiving t shirts, people wearing crazy looking pants, and don't get us started on the jumpsuits!
The point is, skydiving isn't a sport for the fashion conscious. So ditch your dressy jeans and high heels, and opt for something more comfortable. The best advice we can give on what to wear for your skydive is anything you'd be happy to wear to the gym or out running; loose fitting, non-restrictive clothes, and sneakers or running shoes that won't leave you hobbling around like the end of a big night out! It's important you're comfortable, and that you are able to adopt the skydiving body position (which you'll learn all about in your brief).
5) Community support
Another thing we really love about skydiving is the community that surrounds it. There's such an amazing feeling of camaraderie when you're at the drop zone - and everyone wants to support everyone else.
One way you can use this to your advantage is to bring along your own support group in the form of friends and family. They're more than welcome to come along on the day of your jump, and they can enjoy the facilities and watch you as you come into the landing area, too. Having people who care about you there will give you the added confidence you need to make your first leap.
You'll also have the support of everyone here. From the staff to the fun jumpers, everyone wants you to have a great time. This is especially awesome on the airplane ride up; even if you've never made a jump before, you'll feel part of the pre-jump excitement that fills the aircraft as we approach our exit altitude. Expect whooping, high fives and lots of happy faces!
See you soon!