Learning to Scuba Dive

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Today is day 5 for diving and the new guys, R and B, are improving by leaps and bounds. It is amazing how fast things come with each dive. Debbie and I are also getting better with each dive. Our comfort level is rising geometrically every day.

As I swim around I notice there are not many good divers. Most are ‘intermediate’ at best. Like any sport, people’s skill level seems to plateau after learning a vast amount the first few times out. It is very difficult to be really good at a sport and diving is not any different.

First, the participant has to be somewhat of a jock. You have to have an awareness of your body and where it is in space. This is particularly important diving. The space within which you are suspended is truly 3-D. You also have to know what action is required to make your body do certain things in that environment. If I bend my body this way and kick, what reaction will it have?

The next important aspect of being better at diving is awareness of the environment within which it takes place. How to move about.  How to minimize movement.  How to conserve air.  It took Debbie and me a long time and a lot of dives to learn this stuff. We learned from watching other divers we admired. We learned from dive masters that were as much instructors as group leaders. We learned from trial and error. So after about 150 dives we had acquired enough skills to dive comfortably and stay under water for more than 1 hour.

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Our novice friends are learning at a very quick rate. Before each dive, Debbie or I will impart one or two tidbits of knowledge we have gained over our diving escapades and on the next dive they try what we had mentioned and their diving climbs a notch. After 3 days, R and B’s comments after a dive are positive. After 4 days, the comments are somewhat joyous. After 5 days of consecutive diving they have very big smiles and are ecstatic about what they had just done.

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If you are about to embark on a journey of learning a new sport it is a good idea to hitch up with someone that is already involved in that sport to help guide you along a steepened learning curve. Make sure that the ‘helper’ is knowledgeable and preferably has some sort of teaching experience. Your enjoyment of the sport will increase leaps and bounds in a shortened time.

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