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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Diver Training? 5 tips to get the most out of it

Well, we have had a bit of a break from blogging over the past couple weeks, as things have been hectic over here in Cyprus with dive training courses and safari diving,  Now, however, the winter season is upon us and things are starting to settle down a bit.

Conducting all these dive courses over the past weeks has brought, once again, to the forefront of our minds the problems that divers often have with training courses, regardless of level. From a Try Dive, PADI Open Water to TDI Advanced Nitrox and even Trimix courses, how can you get the most out of your Dive Training?

1. BE INTERESTED!


To get the most out of any kind of training, you simply have to be interested in the subject matter.

Before beginning any Open Water Course, we advise the student to take part in a try dive session to make sure they enjoy Scuba Diving before investing in the manuals and possibly equipment. There is nothing worse than spending a whole lot of money to realise that this isn't the sport for you, even if those people are few and far between.

Equally, although it is nice to have a common sport in families and partnerships, if your husband, daughter, friend etc. really isn't interested in Scuba Diving, they won't get out of the courses what you want them to. 

Everyone should try it! Most people love it! But don't force it.

Technical Diving and Sidemount Diving are another aspect of the same thing. We have seen a number of divers coming to Cyprus who just want to scuba dive but because Tech diving and Sidemounting have taken off in such a big way, they are worried about being left behind.

This Diving is NOT for every Diver and if it isn't something that really interests you, then leave it alone. There are plenty of dive sites for recreational diving, and plenty of training courses you can take to maintain your interest and keep learning, so stick with what you enjoy.


2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR


When we teach Scuba Diving, an instructor will usually brief the dives and the skills on land before getting in the water. Once in the water, we will demonstrate the skills for you so you see how they should be done before you try them yourself.

Listen to the briefings and try to visualise yourself doing what the instructor says. Even mimic the action on land before getting in the water to start building that muscle memory from the beginning. The instructor will also be able to give you tips drawing on his experience of where other students go wrong and paying attention to this will hopefully, prevent you from doing the same thing.

3. RELAX


Dive Students, of all levels, often try and race through new skills in an attempt to get them over and done with.

The problem is that when you rush through a new skill, you do not give yourself enough time to consider what the next action should be and it tends to go a  bit wrong.

When you relax and take your time over completing a new skill, you give your brain time to process what comes next and you are more likely to get it right. And, if the skill is an emergency drill that needs to be completed as fast as possible, such as shut-downs on a twinset, don't worry. As you practice the drill and it becomes muscle memory for you, the speed will come but get the steps correct to begin with.

4. DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP


If you are learning something new and just don't feel like you are "getting it", it can be very frustrating and it is very easy to start to feel like you cannot do it!

The reason we take a course is to learn. If we could already do it, why would we need to pay someone to train us and of course, learning something new will inevitably mean doing something until you can do it right.

People also learn at different paces and in different ways, so a good diving instructor will be able to help you grasp those diving concepts regardless of the kind of learner you are and how long it takes you.

5. ASK QUESTIONS


Again, this comes down to learning something new and the old adage that "there are no stupid questions".

You are paying your instructor to teach you something and so if there is something that you don't understand or you do not know, ask them and they will happily answer any questions you have.

We extend that for our student divers and everyone who leaves Scuba Tech knows that if they ever need information about equipment, training or scuba diving in general, we are always at the end of an email or the telephone.