like time & money, common goal, good team work skills, chemistry & character you will now have to start the search. Unfortunately, the pool of possible candidates becomes smaller and smaller as the amount of commitment, time and money increases for each individual team member. The most obvious strategy is of course to directly approach the jumpers you already know. This is quite easy and a big advantage is that you can estimate the “soft” factors quite well in advance. We were lucky and found Kathy this way. She used to jump in a team on our home DZ, but then decided to leave it after the German nationals in 2019. When we looked for a new team member, we already knew her and asked her if she would like to join SKYNAMITE.
– often good people are already committed to a team, which makes things a little bit more difficult again: Is it OK to “steal” a member of another team? Our opinion is: No, it’s not. Of course, you can say that a team member can’t be poached at all if everything is going well in his team. But if you can entice them with a higher average score or being in the national team… In such a situation, it is better to approach people “passively” – i.e., with posts on social media or articles in the national association’s magazine. Hereby you give the “desired” person the option of approaching you on his own.
Finally, good word-of-mouth recommendation can also help – like in my case: when Team SKYNAMITE was looking for a new tail three years ago, I jumped almost exclusively in another country. Neither did I know the team (or them me) nor did I actively read the associations magazine. Nevertheless, many years ago during a tunnel training I met a skydiver affiliated with Team SKYNAMITE and he contacted me later via social media. After a few phone calls, Skype meetings, getting to know each other in person off the DZ and a try-out training, the team and I were confident that it’ll work out well.
In the current situation of the pandemic, we unfortunately see a lot of movement in the lineups of various teams. It has not been easy to keep a team together without training and competitions. But maybe this is exactly what’s needed to reconsider what you want and what you are willing to invest, and hopefully new successful teams will rise from this very special situation!
– To be continued –