Choosing a professional instructor
Whatever dive class you take, there are some simple rules of thumb to follow when choosing an instructor. These will make sure that you are undertaking training that will be worthwhile and take you further towards your diving goals. You are paying for education, you should receive it.
- Meet up with the instructor. See what kind of style they have - does it suit you. Will you gel ? Do their characteristics match the way you learn ?
- Does the instructor offer a class that will progress your diving capability in the area you desire ? Are they skilled in the area of diving that you are seeking instruction ?
- Is the instructor an active diver ? Sadly, many instructors only teach and do not dive outside of classes. Make sure they can offer you training based on their experience.
- If you are already a diver seeking advanced training, go for a dive with the instructor. Get a feel for their ability and what they can offer you.
When you have undertaken training, evaluate your learning experience. Did it provide you with the skills and confidence you expected ?
A good instructor :
- Will give a clear dive briefing so that you know exactly what is required of you underwater.
- Will demonstrate a skill neutrally buoyant, static in the water so that it is easy for you to follow and repeat. If the instructor is struggling to perform the skill, it should set alarm bells ringing.
- Will fix problems underwater through effective communication, saving time and maximising learning.
- Will provide a thorough and clear debrief identifying what you did well but also highlighting any weaknesses - because not everything can be fixed underwater immediately.
- Will give you clear solutions to those weaknesses in order for you to improve. If they just offer a high five and tell you to practice more - it is not instruction.
Your choice of instructor will likely be based on many factors. However, choose an instructor who is an active diver with many years of experience beyond the level of training that you will undertake. This will ensure that you are more likely to obtain a strong, practical skill set to enjoy the dives you wish to experience.