Ask the Right Questions

By Steve Lewis

Choosing an instructor? Well, there are ratings of blog entries and posts on various scuba forums giving advice.A

Much of it is good; some of it is excellent. It can certainly help put you on the road to making a good selection, the right choice.

Of course, it would be great if more advice targeting at the folks who are thinking about taking up scuba diving for the first time and are looking for basic scuba instruction. Because, if we back a loser in the achoosing an instructora sweepstakes at that point, the whole learning to dive experience can be awful. The beginning is when we need help situate expectations and gathering advice on how to get value for our fund and efforta | or what constitutes value for fund and attempt. However, average punters off the street tend not to read blog entries about diving and donat visit scuba forums much. I certainly didnat, did you?

Online advice is more focused on the community members who already have the knack of breathing underwater, certified divers looking to expand their horizons. In short, it seems primarily aimed at people searching for a technical diving instructor.

Thereas not much to add to the stuff thatas already out there. Besides the usual afind an instructor that does the type of diving you aspire toa and awho sports a good track record and has experiencea, thereas not much to add. Except maybe a suggestion that personal chemistry is important; actually, personal chemistry a liking the instructor, feeling comfortable with him or her, and seeing eye-to-eye with how your instruction will progress with them a is really a primary concern. Itas difficult to learn from someone you detest regardless of how many world records, advanced certifications, and mind-blowing dive photos they have on social media, because you think their position sucks.

But there is an important something in the instructor/ student mentor/ mentored equation to be aware of, and anyone in the market for a tech teacher should consider.

The missing element a the variable that stimulates solving the equation possible a is you: Are YOU the right person to sign up for advanced develop? Are your motives sound; are your goals sensible; is your attitude good; are you open to change?

If you are on the hunt for help opening up your diving horizons, and before you start asking questions of potential teachers to get you there, letas first look more closely at a few you might ask yourself.


Firstly, why on earth do you want to spend the money and time and effort on technical diving? What possible reason do you have to subject yourself to higher risk, a serious time commitment, and a significant drain on your retirement fund?

If the gues flying around in your head right now is, aI wanna be cool and dive truly deep, a reconsider your options.A

If youare thinking instead, aWell, thereas this wreck/ cave/ coral reef/ wall dive that I wanna find and it happens to be deeper than standard depths, a you are potentially onto something valuable.

Reversing the equation for a moment, and concentrating on the questions that the better teachers ask prospective students, the best answer to the whatas-your-motive question is to want stuff thatas experiential. aI wanna experiencea | blah, blah, blah, a aIad love to feel the sensationa | blah, blah, a aI have a sense that it would be mind-blowing to seea | blah.a These are winning motives for a student.A

If your main motive for tech diving is to hang another certification on the wall at home or to get a thousand likes on your social media profile, so be it. But be aware, you may be missing an important point, an important safety point.

Attitude…good and bad

Letas start with something called the Dunning-Kruger effect. You may already know that is a acognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their abilities to perform a undertaking much greater than it actually is.a In other terms, when we donat know how high the standards are, we tend to think we can meet them; even that we can excel. However, the reality can be a stark and loud wake-up call.

You probably already know, good buoyancy isnat a fin pivot or cross-legged hover. And you may also understand that mastering the simple, basic, and entirely necessary in-water skills takes time and practice a and patience.

To get the most out of any relationship with your tech teacher, be prepared to learn. Be prepared to be humbled. Learn to chuckle if you looks just like a drowned muppet in the water. Youall learn faster.

Mental road blocks to learning include: A

Anti-Authority( Donat keep telling me, I know better) Impulsivity( I supposed I could learn cave diving in a weekend !) Invulnerability( All this accident analysis and convenience zone stuff is penalty for most people, but none of that stuff will happen to me) Macho( I can bench press twice my body weight, I can do anything) Resignation( Whatas the use allA this discussion about getting abilities perfect? That isnat gonna assistance anything) Rank Stupidity( None of this makes any sense, I simply wanna tell my friends that I dive employing lots of gear and breathing cool gases)

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