It is something we see all too often in the diving industry. A group of students is assigned to an Instructor for an Open Water Course, but one of those students is feeling more nervous about this crazy idea of breathing underwater. Maybe this person is not as comfortable in the water as others, and they struggle with skills like flooding the mask or recovering the regulator. The Instructor sees the other students are progressing quicker, and does not want to hold up the entire group. So instead of taking the time needed to work extra with the nervous student, the Instructor instead may try to convince that person that diving is just not for them. In too many cases the student will actually believe this, giving up on diving and destroying their confidence.
Are Some People Just Not Meant to be Divers?
Many scuba diving professionals have the attitude that some people are not meant to be divers. Perhaps it is easy to adopt this attitude when someone is struggling with initial training more than others. But we strongly disagree with the notion that some people are not meant to be divers. Anxiety issues are common when first starting out. Some require a bit more extra time and attention than others in order to get over it. But we have dealt with enough cases to know that it is ALWAYS possible to overcome the anxiety. We have been lucky to have mentors in our path to becoming professional divers who think similarly. They taught us techniques for breaking down skills into their most basic parts. This allows a nervous student to slowly learn step-by-step on the way to successful completion of the skill. Sure it takes a bit longer and requires a bit more effort and patience. However, the reward is tremendous for both you as the nervous diver turned confident, and us as the Instructor that helps you get over that irrational fear.
An Irrational fear…
We do stress that when it comes down to it, most fears related to diving are irrational. Broken down into its most basic form, diving is actually a pretty simple activity. Sure it requires practice to become a good diver, but it is not as complicated as many people think. Also, the equipment is easy to use and designed to be fail safe. In fact, when examined statistically, diving accidents are exceedingly rare. But of course the thought of breathing underwater for extended periods of time is enough to freak out many people. The fear may not be rational, but it can lead to panic situations that may turn a safe activity into a dangerous one.
Our Patient Approach pHilosophy…
The key for us is recognizing the panicked tendencies in new divers. Then, we can patiently work with them to slowly remove the panic in a controlled environment. This often means extra time in the swimming pool. Our goal is that by the time you are in the ocean, you can enjoy it without worrying. We have done this many times in the past with our students. One prominent case was featured in a BBC Travel Documentary which you can watch here. You can also read our testimonials to see how many of our students appreciate our patience and clarity when we teach. In our eyes, patience is the best quality any teacher can have. It is a simple fact that everyone learns at a different pace and through different methods. Still feeling nervous? Please contact us and we will tell you more about how you can reach your goal of becoming a certified diver.