Making Oneself a Better Diver by Instructing

Thursday, June 23, 2011 22:00 | Filled in Dive Safety, Dive Training

Diver Training Underwater

Diver Training Underwater

I was thinking about my dive training evolution the other day. I was in the water with some students and guiding them around. As I was swimming around, trying to find different points of interest and making sure they were okay, it dawned upon me that I was becoming a safer and better diver as well. By being so concerned for my students, I was taking proper care to ensure that my equipment was working properly, my air supply was beyond my standard limits before ending the dive and I was paying more attention to my surroundings to make sure I was not getting lost. In general, I was paying attention to details that I may have glossed over earlier.


 

My desire to become a better diver started when I become recertified in 2008.  My general thinking is that if they teach something, then learning it will help my diving skills.  I went through my rescue and divemaster certifications, not because I was interested in becoming a divemaster or working in the diving profession, but because I knew that if I learned the materials and skills that those courses taught, I would better serve myself and my diving abilities.  The more I learned, I would become a better and safer diver.

 

Student Enjoying the Underwater World

Student Enjoying the Underwater World

Recently, I was at a quarry outside Raleigh, NC.  Fantasy Lake is a quarry that caters to scuba divers.  They have sunk cars, planes, a bus, boats and other cool stuff.  It is also a nice place to do some training and classes without having to worry about weather and sea conditions.  I had several divers with me doing different classes.  As I was going over the skills and doing the dives, I was reinforcing the skills I learned when I took that class.  Also, I was taking mental notes about what we were doing and what we were going to do to make sure that we were well within our safety limits.

 

I enjoy teaching others what I learned and I like pointing out the little aspects of a skill that make it easier.  While working through the Rescue Diver certification, I was explaining how to engage an injured diver.  As I did so, I reinforced the skills I learned and showed how to better tow and provide emergency support to an injured diver.

 

While taking a diver finishing his Open Water certification on the last open water dives in the quarry, I was acting as a dive lead.  Now, I have always admitted that I am not the best navigator underwater.  I usually get to the general location where I need to be, but tend to wander a bit.  I asked the student what landmarks he wanted to see on the dives and noted their position and direction from the map.  Because I was focused on not getting us lost and making the experience a positive one for the student, I took extra care to maintain my orientation and know where I was.

 

Slam Dunk at Fantasy Lake

Slam Dunk at Fantasy Lake

Being a better and safer diver, always means that you are having more fun.  Reducing the stress of being lost or knowing what to do in various situations, or just perfecting one’s skills like buoyancy helps a diver to enjoy the dive instead of worrying about the little details.  And, of course, diving is all about enjoying yourself and having fun.  Even when you are teaching and learning.

 

I discovered that I am teaching myself lessons as much as I am teaching the students.  Just because I am an ‘Instructor’ does not mean that I have learned everything that a diver needs to know.  I have reached a certain level of scuba diving competency, but I am rediscovering that there is still a lot to learn about being a better diver.

 

-Frank

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1 Comment to Making Oneself a Better Diver by Instructing

  1. Nick from New SCUBA Marketing says:

    July 6th, 2011 at 2:38 am

    My father, a college professor at one point, always told me “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach PE.” As a fellow SCUBA instructor, does that mean we opted to teach PE? I know when I was teaching at the colleges, SCUBA fell under PE…

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