Tom Pfeifer, chairman of the coaching and working committee of a sport
parachute association, says it's important to know the difference between
a skydiving instructor and a skydiving coach.
"An instructor takes the average Joe from the street and teaches him to
skydive," says Pfeifer. "A coach takes a person who knows how to skydive and
makes them better at it."
There is one big reason to become a skydiving instructor -- a pure love
of the sport. Al Gramando, owner of a company that sells skydiving equipment,
advises anyone who thinks they'll make oodles of money as a skydiving instructor
to think again.
"You have to do this because you choose to do it, because you want to do
it," he says. "Most instructors live in a camper and don't have a lot of personal
possessions. But they're doing what they love."
Instructor Madolyn Murdock says teaching students offers her the ultimate
"Some people shy away from becoming an instructor," says Murdock. "They
don't want to make all the decisions, to take the responsibility. But it seemed
like a natural progression to go from a novice jumper to becoming a jumpmaster
and then an instructor."