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Anna Moxnes, World Cup FF gold medalist, and six times National Champion, shares her tips for excelling when it counts…

If Anna’s jumping, she’s happy 🙂
Photo by D Squared

Anna has 7,500+ jumps, she is currently rocking freefly competitions with Zion, the Norwegian National team, and 4-way Dynamic with the Joyriders, winning medals galore. Skydive Mag asked Anna to share her accumulated wisdom from decades of competition…


Anna, what attracted you to competition at first? 

Those were the guys that looked like they were doing the most jumps.

What keeps you still fired up to compete after all these years?

It still scares the shit out of me, and I think that’s very healthy, I am also a complete flying nerd and on a continuous search for understanding more about flying, how it’s so different for everyone but yet connects us. 

Anna and Kristian Moxnes, training before the World Cup 2019 in Skydive Arizona, Team Zion
Photo by team member Andreas Mosling

What makes you competitive? Could you enter a competition and not care who wins?

Fuck no 😉 I think if you are going to do anything in life you need to do it with intention, and if your intention is not to be the best at what you do, why would you choose that thing in the 1st place? Now that does not mean I think winning is the most important thing. Far from it, I just believe if you do not set out with the intention to be your best it’s going to be a very different journey. Not everyone can win, but if no one is really trying no one really wins either so I would say it is a duty to care who wins. 

If you never really care, you will never really fail, and if you never REALLY fail you can never win!

If you never really care, you will never really fail, and if you never REALLY fail you can never win

Skydive Voss is the perfect background for Zion’s training
Photo by Andreas Mosling

Would you rather win but not fly your best, or lose but having flown your best?

Ooh… good question… when you win and you didn’t fly your best you take it of course, but losing when you know you flew your heart out is for sure a slap in the face. Both of these options are part of the game and you will experience both, and you must be able to emotionally navigate them both well… and what would I rather… answer #3 – I prefer winning when we’ve flown our socks off 🙂

Is the atmosphere among rival competitors friendly or combative? Cutthroat or supportive? 

It’s AMAZING! 🙂 Skydivers are the coolest people in the world… FACT, it’s a little more feisty in the tunnel comps I would say but the whole premise of the competition changes the energy anyway since we are all right there in the room together.

What was your scariest competition moment?

We were at a tunnel comp in Prague with the Joyriders, we had trained really hard and it was my first big pressure competition… we went to the supermarket on day 1 to get some snacks… round 1 was approaching in the afternoon and as we walked around the supermarket I thought I was going to actually have a heart attack and pass out. I didn’t… and we had quite an incredible day.

That pre-round tension – waiting to fly D4W in the Clash of Champions, 2015
Photo courtesy of Inflight Dubai

What was your favourite competition moment?

Our first ever World Cup outdoor competition, I had the right mix of experience, inexperienced training and nerves, our round 1 was a sunset jump and it was like time stood still at exit and then moved at a mystical pace… I believe we call this flow 🙂

And your funniest competition moment?

The USA team came over to us to try and psych us out at our first world meet. The captain said.. ‘so, seems we have been asked to leave the competition, since no guns allowed’… then kissed his biceps. I laughed my ass off. 

How do you cope with the pressure of competition, the fact that this jump matters?

Train hard, then train some more, arrive early, and be competition current.

Anna’s joy in life, love and skydiving shines out of her 🙂
Photo by Andreas Mosling

What if you are not feeling in the best mental state on competition morning, do you have any tricks you can share? 

I think this comes back to training too… on the days you feel fully shit (there will be many) go train anyway… then you will understand where the magic lies. Turn up and get out of your head, it will always go well… or at the very least far better than you expected. 

As for an actual comp hack, I would say having a guided meditation is usually a solid fix, along with some yoga or any kind of movement really. Oh, yeah, plus coffee and 2 boiled eggs… ready to rage. 

Any other headspace tricks you can share? 

We cultivate a very strong way of communicating in the team so there is no misunderstanding that could lead to negative headspace… so I’d say, tirelessly work on a communication style that supports your whole team to feel confident, supported and always in their best headspace at game time.

Zion Freefly Team 2021 – Kristian Moxnes, Anna Moxnes and Andreas Mosling (cam)
Photo by Roy Wimmer Jaglom

How do you feel before and after round 1? 

Round 1 is the hardest… hands down! I always get a little relief after it’s done..it reminds me of when I used to play rugby, every single game I would wanna puke before we ran out on to the pitch – especially when the other team were giants from Canada – but once you have taken that first hit.. no matter what… good or bad… you are in the game and now it’s time to focus and play your training. 

How do you cope on a weather hold? Waiting, doing nothing, but you have to be ready to fly your best on a 5-minute call

Stay lightly active, listen to podcasts, eat very lightly if at all, move. Sleeping or large meals are not recommended at least not for me.

In a draw there can be a ‘bogey’ round you just don’t like – how do you deal with this? 

I always just always expect it to be there 🙂 

Ann’s all eyes for Kristian, her teammate and hubbie 🙂
Photo by Andreas Mosling

What if you make a mistake, how do you pick yourself up for the next jump?

You have to think forward, this is a very tough one and it comes with experience, so know that every mistake you make is in fact training you to. Like I said, you cannot win unless you fail. Process it and move on. Like life really 😉 

How about if one if your teammates makes a mistake?

Support them, it’s no big deal… move on immediately. 

What if a judging call goes against your team and you feel it’s unfair? 

Move on, fly cleaner, be better, don’t leave room for judging mistakes

How does the feeling vary when you are on home turf or at a new DZ ? 

I actually prefer an away court.

Zion, happy to put Norway on the podium at the World Meet, 2018
Andreas Mosling, Anna Moxnes and Petter Stensvold

Do you have any tips for taking the step up from National to World level? 

Get an amazing coach, it really is that simple. and remember the best flyer on your DZ is not necessarily the best coach (can be also true that they are). Especially for your first world level competition, you will benefit so much from an experienced coach for overall support. 

How did lockdown affect your training?

It’s been tough to say the least but it’s just another challenge to reflect on. I can say I am physically stronger than I have ever been but with the least jumps in a year I have EVER done (except for my 1st year). So we switched focus to building individual skills in the tunnel and our flying has certainly improved, I am very excited to get back in the sky and put this routine together… It will be a culmination of 15 years of dreaming/learning. 

Do you have any tips for competitors entering meets feeling unprepared ?

Train more 🙂 You will next time since that feeling of being unprepared SUCKS.

Joyriders, being congratulated on winning gold, Austin Gunslingers, 2014
Image by Dave Rhea

How different are the dynamics if a team has invested heavily in training versus a scratch team? 

Of course, very different, but scratch teams are GREAT fun… do them.

What are the traps that teams can fall into when they enter a competition?

Trying to do everything at once, overestimating their ability, thinking as an individual rather than as a unit, limited understanding of how much you need to commit to the process to get the results. 

How do your teammates react to competition? 

All my teammates are fierce competitors and we all react differently but I would say the perfect mix is when we are together. We are all very secure in the knowledge that no matter what happens we are there for each other, good bad beautiful ugly… this for me is the real win. I love all my teammates with my whole heart.

Who has the best competition headspace?

Amalie Hegland Lauritzen, Kyra Poh, Amy Chmelecki, Andreas Mosling, Kristian Moxnes, Domi Kiger. 

What’s their secret?

So sweet, so lovely, so calm… actually fierce as FUCK. 

How different are wind tunnel comps compared to skydiving? 

I find the intensity different because of the crowd and the general tunnel energy, but also the sky is my home so I generally just feel happier there… tunnels have always given me a weird anxiety/excitement mix just the walk from the carpark makes me over excited. 

Anything you would like to add for our readers?

If you got this far, thanks for reading, I feel rather honoured to have been given a shot at this life… I’m so grateful to be able to share any “how to” with as many people as possible. I realise I stand on the shoulders of giants, there are too many friends and coaches to mention but to all my skydiving family, yes.. that includes you.. I love you.. thank you x

“We are there for each other, good, bad, beautiful, ugly… this for me is the real win”
Photo by Irina Demeshchenko

World Cup 2019 – Zion’s Winning Free Routine

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Anna Moxnes 

Anna Moxnes, by D Squared
  • Professional Skydiver/Vocalist/Performer 
  • Born, Hereford UK
  • Lives, Voss Norway
  • Norwegian National team member of Zion Freefly
  • Founding team member of airsports team Joyriders 
  • Creative director and founder of The EdgE agency
  • 6 x world record holder (Skydive, Freefly)
  • 6 x Norwegian national champion (Freefly, skydive Team zion)
  • Current World Cup champion (Skydive, Freefly, Team Zion)
  • (British, Norwegian)
  • Started skydiving: 2004 –Empuriabrava, Spain
  • Home base: Voss, Norway
  • Jump number: +7,000
  • Tunnel time : +500h

Achievements

  • 2014: Norwegian national team assignment (Freefly Skydiving)
  • 2014: Norwegain nationals –freefly–Team butterflies ; Silver (Camera Flyer) 
  • 2014: WWXP –Joyriders –D4W (tunnel) : 5th place (+event organizer)
  • 2014: Norwegian freefly record –Event organizer 
  • 2014: Charlewars –Joyriders –D4W (tunnel): 6th place (+event organizer)
  • 2014: Austin Gunslingers -Joyriders -D2W : Gold / D4W: gold (tunnel)
  • 2013: Knights of Prague -D4W (tunnel)-Joyriders -quarter finals (+event organizer)
  • 2013: Woman Vertical Skydiving World record co-organizer : 63 way 
  • 2013: Voss Valhalla -D4W -Joyriders – quarter finals 
  • 2013: Bedford World Challenge -D4W -Joyriders : 4th place 
  • 2013 : World record holder – Freefly –Chicago USA –138 way 
  • 2013 : State record holder – Freefly –Chicago USA -142 way 
  • 2013 : British record holder – Freefly –UK –39 way 
  • 2012: Nordic record holder –Freefly –Seville – 48 way 
  • 2011: Vertical European record holder – Empuriabrava -80 way 
  • 2011: British women’s freefly record – Event organizer 
  • 2010: Women Vertical World Record holder – Eloy -41 Way
Anna by Roy Wimmer-Jaglom

Anna is proudly sponsored by Performance Designs, UPT, Cookie, Vigil, Boogieman, FNLF (Norwegian sports federation), Skydive Tønsberg, Skydive Deland, Skydive Voss, Voss Vind, LnB, The EdgE Agency, We Norwegians.

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Meet: Lesley Gale

Lesley has been in love with skydiving for 35 years. She is a multiple world and national record holder and a coach on 20 successful record events worldwide. She has over 100 competition medals spanning more than 25 years and has been on the British 8-way National team at World events. She started Skydive Mag to spread knowledge, information and passion about our amazing sport.
Lesley is delighted to be sponsored by Performance Designs, Sun Path, Cypres, Cookie, Symbiosis suits and Larsen & Brusgaard

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