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CQ Notes from an old paddles

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
OK, last one, until I think of another one. This one was the best, though...

Be the Ball Danny

This one had a 100% success rate with students going to the boat in intermediate (T-2’s), which I still find amazing. I only brought it out for students who specifically came to me with concerns. They were ready to listen and practice.

To get to this point they had to pass the beach check, main criteria being that they were safe and responded to LSO directions promptly, without reservation or evasion. But if they did, I never had one DQ that followed this path. Not a huge sample size, but again the ones that came to me for help were typically pack or pack-minus players, and our overall DQ rate was very much non-zero.

The interesting thing is, it had nothing to do with ball flying or pattern work. It was all focused on head game. The grey matter. Calming it down and letting it do its thing.

The three key elements were:
  • Relaxation training
  • Mental visualization
  • Triggering relaxed state
I used this back when I was in my squadron tour, and brought it forward to the training command. Got the core of it from the book Peak Performance by Charles Garfield. I think it is out of print, but the underlying idea is in lots of books. One of my studs over-borrowed the book, so I had to order another one (used) years later after Amazon was invented.

The first two are done back on the beach or in the stateroom, the third in the cockpit somewhere in the overhead stack, or before you push at night, or even on downwind.

Relaxation Training

This one is just what it says, learn to relax. This is similar to all of the mindfulness and meditation stuff going on these days, but it is not quite the same. The focus is on the relaxation here. The best drill to get it going is to just sit back in the barco-lounger in a quiet space and work your way mentally over the body, identifying each muscle and relaxing it. Foot to head. Put your awareness on a spot, feel what its state is, and then relax it. On and on.

The key point to all of this is it is impossible to have a tense mind and a relaxed body. Just doesn’t happen. Now, the relaxed body is not really the target it of this exercise, the mind is. But as the body relaxes, the mind follows. It just does. So what you are really doing here, is relaxing the mind and putting it into a chill, receptive state, through the body.

Mental Visualization

Once in the relaxed state with a quiet mind, you use mental visualization to rehearse your ideal performance. First, practice just visualizing flight actions. Always involve movement, so visualize (for example) rolling in off the 180, or rolling wings level in the groove, in as much detail as possible. The power comes off, the sound of the motor changing, gauges move, the seat of the pants feeling, sight picture, etc. Practice seeing things, always working to get in more detail. Always movement.

Then visualize the good ones. Go back to your brief moments of excellence, and revisit them. What did it look, sound, feel, smell like? As much detail as possible, always including dynamic change.

Finally, use the visualization to practice. Fly 10-20 laps around the pattern in your mind, in as much detail as possible. Let the winds change and you adjust. Other aircraft in the pattern. Paddles talking to you, etc. Do the reps.

The thing is, proven by science, these reps are almost as good as the real thing. You work to learn to do something in the mental rehearsal, and practice it in the airplane. Learning does not go on in the airplane. Practice does. That’s an exaggeration, but not overly.

Triggering Relaxed State & Letting Go

Your best performance comes when the mind is relaxed and open, ready to respond, and the body is relaxed and calm, ready to act. This one is about triggering yourself into that state. The time to execute, for a carrier landing, would be while holding overhead in the stack, or strung out behind the boat for a Case II/III, but you can also do it on the downwind out of the break, once you’ve done it a lot.
  • Visualize the event: run a quick mental rehearsal of the upcoming pass, a refresher from all of your mental rehearsing
  • Quiet your mind & relax: do a quick body check and feel what is tense, let it all flow down out of your feet and out of the aircraft. If you can close your eyes for a few potatoes, all the better.
  • Be present: bring your awareness on to the sounds and feelings of flying, the forces in the seat of your pants, the sounds and the quality of the sounds of the motors, the air flowing over the aircraft, etc.
As a Lead-Safe for CQ, I would start all of my flight briefs with lights dimmed and some relaxation talk, then I would walk the students through the flight with their eyes closed, only having them open if I needed to draw something on the whiteboard. Mentally execute the whole evolution, then climb in the cockpit and do it.

It was much later that I saw some documentary on the Blues watching them fly their show in the conference room, eyes closed and hand flying, then in the airplane. I thought, “Yep, if it works for them…”
 

Python1287

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
OK, last one, until I think of another one. This one was the best, though...

Be the Ball Danny

This one had a 100% success rate with students going to the boat in intermediate (T-2’s), which I still find amazing. I only brought it out for students who specifically came to me with concerns. They were ready to listen and practice.

To get to this point they had to pass the beach check, main criteria being that they were safe and responded to LSO directions promptly, without reservation or evasion. But if they did, I never had one DQ that followed this path. Not a huge sample size, but again the ones that came to me for help were typically pack or pack-minus players, and our overall DQ rate was very much non-zero.

The interesting thing is, it had nothing to do with ball flying or pattern work. It was all focused on head game. The grey matter. Calming it down and letting it do its thing.

The three key elements were:
  • Relaxation training
  • Mental visualization
  • Triggering relaxed state
I used this back when I was in my squadron tour, and brought it forward to the training command. Got the core of it from the book Peak Performance by Charles Garfield. I think it is out of print, but the underlying idea is in lots of books. One of my studs over-borrowed the book, so I had to order another one (used) years later after Amazon was invented.

The first two are done back on the beach or in the stateroom, the third in the cockpit somewhere in the overhead stack, or before you push at night, or even on downwind.

Relaxation Training

This one is just what it says, learn to relax. This is similar to all of the mindfulness and meditation stuff going on these days, but it is not quite the same. The focus is on the relaxation here. The best drill to get it going is to just sit back in the barco-lounger in a quiet space and work your way mentally over the body, identifying each muscle and relaxing it. Foot to head. Put your awareness on a spot, feel what its state is, and then relax it. On and on.

The key point to all of this is it is impossible to have a tense mind and a relaxed body. Just doesn’t happen. Now, the relaxed body is not really the target it of this exercise, the mind is. But as the body relaxes, the mind follows. It just does. So what you are really doing here, is relaxing the mind and putting it into a chill, receptive state, through the body.

Mental Visualization

Once in the relaxed state with a quiet mind, you use mental visualization to rehearse your ideal performance. First, practice just visualizing flight actions. Always involve movement, so visualize (for example) rolling in off the 180, or rolling wings level in the groove, in as much detail as possible. The power comes off, the sound of the motor changing, gauges move, the seat of the pants feeling, sight picture, etc. Practice seeing things, always working to get in more detail. Always movement.

Then visualize the good ones. Go back to your brief moments of excellence, and revisit them. What did it look, sound, feel, smell like? As much detail as possible, always including dynamic change.

Finally, use the visualization to practice. Fly 10-20 laps around the pattern in your mind, in as much detail as possible. Let the winds change and you adjust. Other aircraft in the pattern. Paddles talking to you, etc. Do the reps.

The thing is, proven by science, these reps are almost as good as the real thing. You work to learn to do something in the mental rehearsal, and practice it in the airplane. Learning does not go on in the airplane. Practice does. That’s an exaggeration, but not overly.

Triggering Relaxed State & Letting Go

Your best performance comes when the mind is relaxed and open, ready to respond, and the body is relaxed and calm, ready to act. This one is about triggering yourself into that state. The time to execute, for a carrier landing, would be while holding overhead in the stack, or strung out behind the boat for a Case II/III, but you can also do it on the downwind out of the break, once you’ve done it a lot.
  • Visualize the event: run a quick mental rehearsal of the upcoming pass, a refresher from all of your mental rehearsing
  • Quiet your mind & relax: do a quick body check and feel what is tense, let it all flow down out of your feet and out of the aircraft. If you can close your eyes for a few potatoes, all the better.
  • Be present: bring your awareness on to the sounds and feelings of flying, the forces in the seat of your pants, the sounds and the quality of the sounds of the motors, the air flowing over the aircraft, etc.
As a Lead-Safe for CQ, I would start all of my flight briefs with lights dimmed and some relaxation talk, then I would walk the students through the flight with their eyes closed, only having them open if I needed to draw something on the whiteboard. Mentally execute the whole evolution, then climb in the cockpit and do it.

It was much later that I saw some documentary on the Blues watching them fly their show in the conference room, eyes closed and hand flying, then in the airplane. I thought, “Yep, if it works for them…”
This stuff aligns well with the psychological article “Ball Flying And Baseball” on the LSO School reading list (an article that is quite excellent).
 

taxi1

Well-Known Member
pilot
That's a cool article, link here for the lazy, https://www.innerairmanship.com/blog/2015/11/22/ball-flying-and-baseball/

One thing the article has in common with the book I cited, is that 90% of the article talks about the stuff, selling it to you, and 10% tells you what to do. When I had the students come to me, they had already drank the kool-aid and were ready to learn, so we could jump right into "do this, then this then this, don't worry about why."
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
It makes an Airwing very whiney about getting Fair passes.
Agreed, though I always thought that reaction was a little ridiculous. Who the F cares if it wasn't scary. Sometimes paddles gets it wrong, but the number of times they throw a bone on a pass you assumed was a goner tends to make up for the random fair that you didn't like. At least that was always the case for me, PLM or not.
 

Farva01

BKR
pilot
Agreed, though I always thought that reaction was a little ridiculous. Who the F cares if it wasn't scary. Sometimes paddles gets it wrong, but the number of times they throw a bone on a pass you assumed was a goner tends to make up for the random fair that you didn't like. At least that was always the case for me, PLM or not.
Yeah I just crushed the ace today. Good thing I had my bongo buck.

But it was a BFM flight on a 1 hour cycle on a beautiful day off of Hawaii. Broke a half mile in front of the ship. Days like today are why I do this job.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
Yeah I just crushed the ace today. Good thing I had my bongo buck.

But it was a BFM flight on a 1 hour cycle on a beautiful day off of Hawaii. Broke a half mile in front of the ship. Days like today are why I do this job.
Agreed. As long as you don't crash on the BFM cycle you are winning. That's the real best flight in the navy, I don't care who you talk to. But wait, who put old bones farva into a BFM? Sounds like skipper is stealing flights from JO's again, classic Farva mwahaha

Enjoy crushing the noobs. I already miss that shit.

Also, reminds me of my last line period. Tagged the ace on event one, day one. GFD. Did it again a couple days later and good paddles gave me the puppy eyes like "hey man, you might want to buck up". I was like naw dawg, checks already deposited, can't cash it again.

On the subject of grades, I know you have a lot more years and traps doing this than me (god damn, you flew T-2s and shit), but when it is all said and done and you know you aren't going back, when you sit back and recce that you are 1) still alive, and 2) were fortunate enough to fly grey (and camo) jets for a career, the grades don't end up meaning shit (I say that for the kids, but please, don't be scary guys). I hope you are living up this tour, you deserves it.
 
Last edited:

AIRMMCPORET

Plan “A” Retired
OK, last one, until I think of another one. This one was the best, though...

Be the Ball Danny

This one had a 100% success rate with students going to the boat in intermediate (T-2’s), which I still find amazing. I only brought it out for students who specifically came to me with concerns. They were ready to listen and practice.

To get to this point they had to pass the beach check, main criteria being that they were safe and responded to LSO directions promptly, without reservation or evasion. But if they did, I never had one DQ that followed this path. Not a huge sample size, but again the ones that came to me for help were typically pack or pack-minus players, and our overall DQ rate was very much non-zero.

The interesting thing is, it had nothing to do with ball flying or pattern work. It was all focused on head game. The grey matter. Calming it down and letting it do its thing.

The three key elements were:
  • Relaxation training
  • Mental visualization
  • Triggering relaxed state
I used this back when I was in my squadron tour, and brought it forward to the training command. Got the core of it from the book Peak Performance by Charles Garfield. I think it is out of print, but the underlying idea is in lots of books. One of my studs over-borrowed the book, so I had to order another one (used) years later after Amazon was invented.

The first two are done back on the beach or in the stateroom, the third in the cockpit somewhere in the overhead stack, or before you push at night, or even on downwind.

Relaxation Training

This one is just what it says, learn to relax. This is similar to all of the mindfulness and meditation stuff going on these days, but it is not quite the same. The focus is on the relaxation here. The best drill to get it going is to just sit back in the barco-lounger in a quiet space and work your way mentally over the body, identifying each muscle and relaxing it. Foot to head. Put your awareness on a spot, feel what its state is, and then relax it. On and on.

The key point to all of this is it is impossible to have a tense mind and a relaxed body. Just doesn’t happen. Now, the relaxed body is not really the target it of this exercise, the mind is. But as the body relaxes, the mind follows. It just does. So what you are really doing here, is relaxing the mind and putting it into a chill, receptive state, through the body.

Mental Visualization

Once in the relaxed state with a quiet mind, you use mental visualization to rehearse your ideal performance. First, practice just visualizing flight actions. Always involve movement, so visualize (for example) rolling in off the 180, or rolling wings level in the groove, in as much detail as possible. The power comes off, the sound of the motor changing, gauges move, the seat of the pants feeling, sight picture, etc. Practice seeing things, always working to get in more detail. Always movement.

Then visualize the good ones. Go back to your brief moments of excellence, and revisit them. What did it look, sound, feel, smell like? As much detail as possible, always including dynamic change.

Finally, use the visualization to practice. Fly 10-20 laps around the pattern in your mind, in as much detail as possible. Let the winds change and you adjust. Other aircraft in the pattern. Paddles talking to you, etc. Do the reps.

The thing is, proven by science, these reps are almost as good as the real thing. You work to learn to do something in the mental rehearsal, and practice it in the airplane. Learning does not go on in the airplane. Practice does. That’s an exaggeration, but not overly.

Triggering Relaxed State & Letting Go

Your best performance comes when the mind is relaxed and open, ready to respond, and the body is relaxed and calm, ready to act. This one is about triggering yourself into that state. The time to execute, for a carrier landing, would be while holding overhead in the stack, or strung out behind the boat for a Case II/III, but you can also do it on the downwind out of the break, once you’ve done it a lot.
  • Visualize the event: run a quick mental rehearsal of the upcoming pass, a refresher from all of your mental rehearsing
  • Quiet your mind & relax: do a quick body check and feel what is tense, let it all flow down out of your feet and out of the aircraft. If you can close your eyes for a few potatoes, all the better.
  • Be present: bring your awareness on to the sounds and feelings of flying, the forces in the seat of your pants, the sounds and the quality of the sounds of the motors, the air flowing over the aircraft, etc.
As a Lead-Safe for CQ, I would start all of my flight briefs with lights dimmed and some relaxation talk, then I would walk the students through the flight with their eyes closed, only having them open if I needed to draw something on the whiteboard. Mentally execute the whole evolution, then climb in the cockpit and do it.

It was much later that I saw some documentary on the Blues watching them fly their show in the conference room, eyes closed and hand flying, then in the airplane. I thought, “Yep, if it works for them…”
Pretty much what I do when riding my motorcycle.👍🏍
 

Attachments

Farva01

BKR
pilot
Agreed. As long as you don't crash on the BFM cycle you are winning. That's the real best flight in the navy, I don't care who you talk to. But wait, who put old bones farva into a BFM? Sounds like skipper is stealing flights from JO's again, classic Farva mwahaha

Enjoy crushing the noobs. I already miss that shit.

Also, reminds me of my last line period. Tagged the ace on event one, day one. GFD. Did it again a couple days later and good paddles gave me the puppy eyes like "hey man, you might want to buck up". I was like naw dawg, checks already deposited, can't cash it again.

On the subject of grades, I know you have a lot more years and traps doing this than me (god damn, you flew T-2s and shit), but when it is all said and done and you know you aren't going back, when you sit back and recce that you are 1) still alive, and 2) were fortunate enough to fly grey (and camo) jets for a career, the grades don't end up meaning shit (I say that for the kids, but please, don't be scary guys). I hope you are living up this tour, you deserves it.
I am not worried about my grades because I know what my capabilities and limitations are behind the boat. However, I need to set the standard for my ready room, and performance behind the boat is certainly a part of that.

But I am having a fucking blast. Miss your musk buddy.
 

FrankTheTank

Professional Pot Stirrer
pilot
Yeah I just crushed the ace today. Good thing I had my bongo buck.

But it was a BFM flight on a 1 hour cycle on a beautiful day off of Hawaii. Broke a half mile in front of the ship. Days like today are why I do this job.
Shit, even in the S-3 we would break at the round down. Unimpressed.. Sorry..
 
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