Rating Certification Course, USPA COACH (SDU FS LEVEL #1)


This Course is an introductory course for all USPA and SDU ratings. The course is directed towards initial group formation and canopy control.  The rating privileges allow the coach to perform one on one formation skydiving (FS) required for a students “A” license.  The USPA coach rating also allows coaches to be able to teach the non-specific areas of a First Jump Course.  This first rating is a “basic” coach rating which focuses on training the fundamental skills to perform group jumps safely.  This course does not train the coach to train the entire Basic Body Flight (BBF) program.  The complete BBF program included exit skills of dive floating, center turns, sidewards movements and superpositional movements.  Skydive University offers FS Level 2 (Advanced 1 on 1) for graduates of FS Level 1 or Coach Training camps for skydivers with over 200 jumps that want to achieve both ratings. 


The course includes topics such as teaching, analyzing and psychological routines for coaching.



The pre-requisites to attend the USPA/SDU Level 1 are:



·       be 18 years old

·       USPA membership

·       USPA B-license or FAI equivalent

·       have completed 100 jumps

·       have the USPA AFF proficiency card signed off 

·       assisted in one First Jump course

·       purchased a current (< 2 years) SIM.



Course Schedule:



Day 1

Module 1



Module 2

The Role of the Coach: Supervision, Equipment, Liability





Module 3

Teaching techniques
Practice kinesthetic, isometric, and balance drills

Practice Session #1


Module 4

 Psychology for performance enhancement (1)


Module 5

The coaching process
Perform jump #1, Module 3, Exercise 3


Day 2

Module 6

Physiology; stretching


Module 2 (continued)

Recap Safety assignments


Module 4 (continued)

Psychology: Stress and relaxation techniques


Module 7

Demonstrated Session 2: practice teaching

Demonstrate and discuss Session 3

Demonstrate Exits





Module 8

 FS progression: Matrix, Progression standards


Module 9

Skill Analysis: Biomechanics, Observation Plan, Video workshop


Module 5 (continued)

Perform jump #2, Module 3, Exercise 3


Day 3

Practical Evaluations


Module 10

Canopy coaching


Module 11

Recap, closure and Personal interviews

The coaching clinic is 3 day (28 hour) program. As a participant, you must attend the entire program in order to gain the maximum benefits from the program.



Course Activities:


Workshop Sessions

·       Introduction

·       Role of the Coach

·       Teaching for "skill development"

·       The coach process

·       Physiological techniques: warm-ups

·       Skill/video analysis

·       Debriefing


Skill Activities

·       Coaching Process (2 – 1 on 1 jumps)

·       Teaching

·       Debriefing

·       Positive communication

·       Skydiving Skills

·       Properly prepare for the jump to include canopy control tasking

·       Supervision in the boarding and inflight phase

·       Fulfill your role during freefall

·       Monitor your novices canopy control to landing

·       Perform a positive debrief

·       Skill analysis 



Course Evaluations:


Written evaluations

·       pass a written technical exam with a pass mark of 90% 

·       pass a coaches technique exam with a pass mark of 75%

·       pass the USPA entrance exam with a pass mark of 80% 


Perform two (2) evaluation jumps

The following is a description of evaluation jumps:


 2-way Evaluation # 1: Video jump with a course partner

The candidates will be paired up with an outside video and practice the exit and freefall role of the coach.

The specific task is to back up and adjust their vertical to the prescribed distances (horizontal and vertical) returning to neutral and providing the proper communication for the exercise.  The candidates will choose who will be he coach first and that person will act out being the coach from the middle float position with the acting student exiting from the front float position.  The “coach” is to exit non-gripped and be “side by side” with the “student” who is presented on line of flight and looking at the aircraft.  The “student” will then turn to the coach and move forward to dock. Once the dock is made, the “coach” will move back (15-20 feet) and down (6-10 feet) and give the signal for the “student” to proceed.  Once docked, the “coach” will move back (15-20 feet) and up (6-10 feet) and give the signal for the “student” to dock.  The two partners will now switch roles allowing the other candidate to demonstrate the drill.


2-way Evaluation # 2: Supervision jump with evaluator


The supervision jump will be a repeat of the above exercise with the partner “student” being filled by a course evaluator.  The candidate coach will have to demonstrate:

·       Proper preparation for the jump

·       Supervision in the boarding and in-aircraft ride to altitude

·       Apply positive psychology and focus strategies during the ride up to altitude

·       Fulfill your role during freefall, as described above

·       Monitor your novice’s canopy control to landing

·       Perform a positive debrief

 The debrief will be done on recall.  A video can be taken on the jump (recommended) for debrief reference and more importantly, the evaluator’s debrief of the candidate. 


Conduct a Presentation

Candidates will teach either Session 1 or 2 from the Basic Body Flight manual.  The presentation will take approximately 45 minutes.  The key issues are 1) to conduct the motor skills drills by the required repetition and holding times and, 2) to immediately correct any student body position errors that may occur.  There are a number of other criteria scored in the presentation that are averaged in the total end score.  The two key points must receive a passing score for the lesson to be passed.


Skill Analysis Test

The skill analysis test will require the viewing of one actual student jump completing an observation plan and a detailed analysis of all positive and improvement points of the students performance.  The test is one of the “coaches eye” and not limited to the improvement points the coach feels they would debrief the student on.


USPA IRM requirements:

Sit through and assist on one complete First Jump Course.


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