Paraclete hosts women’s leadership conference May 6th – 15th.  20 women from around the United states came together for a week of leadership training and mentorship.

I had the best of intentions of going out and try and write a daily blog…much to my chagrin did I not expect to be have very little time and to be so physically and mentally exhausted….  And so it goes. The first half of the conference has been absolutely amazing! Not only have I met some of the most powerful, thoughtful and intelligent women in the sport but have found so many that have been fabulous mentors and so willing to share their knowledge and experience. Not to mention that Paraclete hosts the leadership conference by supplying class rooms and staff support.

Day 1 –  AM Seminar:  Seminars Welcome and introductions. We were set up with individuals who we did not know and we interviewed them to find out more about them. This allowed us to explore and develop friendships with people we have not been involved with previously. This was a fun exercise that allowed us to break the ice with one another.

One group then went to a canopy control course with Maxine Tate from Flight-1. While the other group went to tunnel camp with Christy Friken, JaNette Lefkowitz, and Brianne Thompson. At the tunnel camp we flew:

  • 2 – 10 minute sessions working on individual flying skills with video debrief.
  • 3 – 15 minute sessions 4-way tunnel flying with debrief flying in varying slots. We would fly 5 dives that included 3 randoms/block and repeat each dive to work out any of the kinks.

This was both physically and mentally exhausting as I have not learned or memorized the randoms and blocks. I was also flying in a different slot than I had been previously been exposed to which allowed personal growth.  I went home stiff, sore and a little bit worried that I would not be able to physically handle another day like the first day that I had experienced. It was also so empowering to see the improvement in my flying abilities within the tunnel session. I even provided some comic relief getting into and out of the tunnel that left some shaking their heads and giggling, not to mention that is what I was doing about my performance. For a schedule of SDC Rhythm XP camps check out SDC Rhythm XPs website for future camps!

ladies practice 4 way while JaNette coaches position

Day 1 – PM Seminar:  The evening seminar was put on by Jen Sharp. She discussed the Cycle of Success including:

  • Establishing goals (long term, short term, smart goals)
  • Training (correct/accurate, use of mentors, visualization, use of media)
  • Finding balance between doing and thinking
  • Putting plan into practice
  • Skill analysis (make plan, breakdown, observe)
  • Debriefs (favorite part? Focus on positive and reinforce. Improvement with positive specifics. Goals met? Future- now what?)

Jen Sharp works with the conference members with a team building exercise using dominos

After an exhausting day, our heads hit our pillows and we passed out until the am only to repeat the same schedule. The good news is, we all learned so much in the first day and began to develop friendships that we will carry with us as we continue on in our skydiving careers. I was relieved that I woke up and was able to move and function well in the tunnel, not to mention, I actually did improve my flying more on the second day. Hooray for progress! Stay tuned for my future articles on the Women’s Leadership Conference…..until then Blue Skies!


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