The Dive Instructor

Here we are, it’s back to school time. So today we’re going to talk about instructors… sound like a good idea? Think back to school… some of us will have to think back further than others, obviously, but think back to school. We all had those teachers we absolutely loved and some that we were okay when we were out of those classes. Even the most studious student had teachers they weren’t totally happy with. It’s just life.

Now apply that to SCUBA diving. Each instructor teaches differently. They all teach the same material, but maybe in a different way. Or maybe they focus on one part more than another. While I personally have my Master Diver certification, which means I’ve taken many classes… this summer has been where I have really seen the difference in instructor teachings.

The last few years I have had the pleasure of helping out at the 5Mile Children’s try it sessions. I have also helped with the Wyandott Indian Tribe as well as some other side try it sessions. I have seen Deb, Grady, Justin, Dan, Doug, Chuck, and even Jared instruct these students. I have heard many times the joke about having more hair than ___________… insert Dan or Doug here. This is in reference for putting a mask on correctly.

So why am I bringing this all up?

Did you take classes with us? Did you go elsewhere for dive classes? Have you had many different instructors or always the same instructor? Do you plan on furthering your recreational diving career? So many questions, right? Haha, I threw another one in just for the fun of it.

I ask these questions though because of the point stated above. If you’ve only been certified and didn’t have the best experience, my suggestion is trying a different instructor. If you don’t feel comfortable, get extra practice. Every instructor teaches differently even though they teach the exact same thing.

Now let’s address Extra Practice…

That seems to be the next bear in the room. Practice makes perfect. You’ve heard that age-old adage, right? Well, it’s true. If you remember back to a previous post… Dan La Due made it a goal to dive every month after being certified to get more comfortable in the water. That was practice. Practice at putting together dive gear. Practice at feeling comfortable in the water. Practice feeling more comfortable.

While going through classes, don’t feel bad if it takes you longer to do something than the next person. Even if that next person is your spouse, significant other, friend, or enemy for that matter. Unlike other sports, this is not quite so competitive as building each other up. Perfect, right? Ooooh, there’s another question. Haha.

Take-home message

Don’t feel bad if it takes you 3 tries when someone else gets it in 2. I’ll tell you my biggest fear was taking my mask off and putting back on. I was afraid I wouldn’t get it cleared and I’d wash my contacts out. If I did that, I wouldn’t be able to see. Big fear. So, taking my mask off took a bit of coaching, even by myself in my head.

I tell you that because I’m sure we all have our fears. Sometimes you have to conquer them. And if it takes you 1 try or 100 tries, you did it no matter what!

The second take-home message, if one instructor isn’t your “cup of tea,” that’s okay. Find another one. We have 7. And if you had a bad experience elsewhere, come see us. We’d love to help you feel comfortable. Again, we have 7 instructors! And sometimes you just have to find the perfect one.

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