Inspiration and dedication in Skydiving
An inspirational interview with Amanda Lampton, formal team member of US National Women’s skydiving team Phoenix XP. She currently has around 2500 jumps and she is a coach for the Women’s Skydiving Network. Now she is participation in 8-way, team Perris RIOT! With a solid preparation they flew an 8.3 average during the US nationals.
Her skydiving career started in 2003 with a tandem when she was still in college and until 2005 she jumped every now and then. She moved to California, for her work and started skydiving at Skydive Perris. In 2007 Amanda got brand new gear, left skydiving due to personal reasons, but kept the gear. So she knew it would be easier to start with this fun sport again!
After Amanda restarted skydiving in 2012 she came to the point she called “a fun jumper issue”. Amanda: “I was getting bored. Here in California we have many very good load organizers, but there was an intrinsic need for more. This was the period I considered stopping with skydiving. But then Christine Bruchac popped up and asked me to become a full-time skydiver with team Phoenix XP.” And Amanda decided to become a team member! Amanda loves the sport, especially the freedom of flight and the fact there is still a lot to learn, “There is still stuff to get better at!” Amanda quoted.
About inspiration, do you have people in mind who inspired you in skydiving?
“Christy Frikken is a woman with a great coaching style in my opinion, she can tailor it for every skydiver. I think that’s an amazing value she adds to her coaching. Next to that Hannah Betts pops up in my head. She is very proud of what she achieved in her life, as well in skydiving as in her career. She has set so many goals and reached them.”
And are there any men who inspired you?
“But of course! Dan B.C., who is a pivotal part of industry. The way he coaches, but also makes clear that it has to be fun.”
Believing in what you are doing is important
“Nowadays I’m not jumping that often. I needed to get my focus on other parts of my life, so I can have more internal focus. I know that what I do, I believe in. For that reason a small break in my skydive career is not a big issue. I know the time I have right now will improve my skills.”
Phoenix XP has Javelin team rigs, the brand is know for its high quality design and their development of gear. Amanda replies: “For that reason I am very happy being a Sun Path Athlete. We got measured by them and they were taking care of us in person. Women are more curvy at the hips than men and, if your measurements are different in comparison to other women, they make it the way it suits you. Sun Path believes in what they are doing: making the gear for champions and you notice it when you are wearing it.”
Getting inspired is sometimes mandantory to set goals. Getting inspired can be a goal to inspire others. Amanda is used to living in a men’s world, because of her study and work. For that reason she loves to inspire women to participate more in the sport of skydiving – because 87% of skydivers are men.
“At university I lived in a men’s world and nowadays I try to go to the women-centric events and try to speak with the female CEOs. I work as an aerospace engineer, and that’s quite a men’s world. I know it can be very inspiring to see your gender doing what you would love to do. For that reason I am a remote coach for the Women’s Skydiving Network (WSN).”
How can you describe your coaching style?
“In my work I’m used to solving problems. And that’s what I try to do in my coaching as well. I use my problem-solving ability to to dig down in the mechanics and combine it with my knowledge of psychology. My husband is a psychologist, so I can discuss and learn a lot about the mental part with him. As a WSN remote coach I combine both mental and physical elements to give the students input to keep on developing themselves in the sport, FS4 of course.
Inspiration for women, but also for men
Men and women have so much to achieve in skydiving. Amanda explained about the differences between men and women: “During coaching, training and discussions with my psychologist husband, I noticed the differences between men and women even more. Men tend to be very sure and confident about their actions and what they need to do. And if they think they can do it, they attack. But, on most of the occasions men are nervous as well. But sometimes I needed to tone men a bit down to be able to get nice results during coaching.”
“Women are very often feeling more insecure. Even when they know they can do it, because they have the skills or knowledge, there can be a lack of confidence. I noticed this of myself as well in team Phoenix XP.”
How did you make things work out for yourself and other women?
“Talking up can be a magical thing. Tell yourself you know how to do this, push yourself a little bit. You can do this to yourself as well as others. Skydiving is a male world, it can be hard for females to get the confidence to keep on developing themselves. But I think, Amanda explains, if we have more female instructors and coaches in skydiving, women have role models, examples to get inspired by. So they know they can achieve the skydiving dreams as well.”
“What you have done is a value!”Amanda Lampton
Dare to dream and achieve your goals
What about the goal you have achieved: jumping in a professional women’s skydiving team, Phoenix XP and going to international competitions. What was it like?
“There was a lot more hugging in this team,” Amanda laughs, “with the women’s team there was a lot more discussion where we were in the head, we discussed things more holistically and politically, trying to notice every detail. There is a lot more talking in female teams than in male teams.”
“The chance I got to train and compete in this team was an exciting opportunity. It was the chance to compete at an international level and to inspire women in the US to continue skydiving. And the representation of USA at the World Championships at Gold Coast 2018 was a great opportunity to show what women can accomplish. I’m happy there is a separate category for females in skydiving. In this way we can represent ourselves and lead the way for other women to start skydiving or competing at a higher level.”
“ Women deserve to be a bigger part of the sport, you add value and you can be and do amazing things.”Amanda Lampton
And what’s next?…
You achieved already so many things in your skydiving career. What are your future dreams or things you want to achieve in skydiving?
“Maybe I want to go back in a women’s team to reach out for the goal to win the World Championships, but also I would like to coach more. That’s something I really like to do. And for myself as a belly flyer it would be fun to learn to freefly. I think it will help me to reach and interact with the community of both disciplines.”
That sounds like a great plan Amanda! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you and hence get inspired to do more for women in skydiving!
Good luck Fanny with her entry in our SunPathlete Spotlight competition. View others here:
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