What skills did your instructor model?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by *dave*, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. *dave*

    *dave* Scuba Instructor

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    As an instructor, I've always felt that presenting a solid model for the students to follow was part of the job. A big part of that is modeling trim, buoyancy control and efficient finning technique.

    This video was shot a few years ago during the third pool session and I use it as a demo of the skills that will be introduced to new students. The instructor is wearing rental gear, just like the students.

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    Did your instructor model proper trim and buoyancy control during your course? Do you think it's important that they do?
     
  2. fisheater

    fisheater Divemaster Candidate

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    Yes and damned yes!!

    First dive, I was trying to dive like my instructor. Still am.
     
  3. Fish in a Barrel

    Fish in a Barrel Nassau Grouper

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    Ditto.

    It can be frustrating learning a new skill. It's good to have a role model to show you not only how it's done, but also to show that it can be done.
     
  4. rongoodman

    rongoodman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    No, not at all. The first time I saw any of these skills was in my first attempt at Fundies, or video online.
     
  5. SubMariner

    SubMariner Victim of The Pogrom ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I'm a little confused as to what this video was supposed to represent.

    If it's that the Instructor had good buoyancy control/trim. Yes.

    Meanwhile, was this an actual confined water session where the Instructor was teaching these skills & then having the student perform them to pass that particular module? Or just some play sessions where the Instructor was just wandering around randomly having students perform skills?
     
  6. ERP

    ERP Barracuda

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    My instructor discussed trim and bouyancy and spent additional time on the latter in each of the pool sessions.

    Having said that he had no expectation of anyone in the class being able to display either, during the class.

    I didn't see what good trim and bouyancy control were until after I was certified, when I first dove with a GUE tech certified diver. I still say this single revelation (seeing a good diver) is what makes fundamentals such an epiphany for many of the people who take it.
     
  7. ScubaSam

    ScubaSam Sister of Shenanigans ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Amazingly true!!!!
     
  8. *dave*

    *dave* Scuba Instructor

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    In the context of this thread, it's intended to show an instructor who is not teaching from their knees and is modeling good trim and buoyancy control. Sorry for the confusion, I thought that was clear.

    All skills displayed in the video would have been introduced in the previous pools session, I don't do modules. Each pools session starts with skills reviewed shallow and again deep. The video would be the deep review.

    Why do you ask?
     
  9. tkdgodess

    tkdgodess Scuba Instructor

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    Did your instructor model proper trim and buoyancy control during your course? Do you think it's important that they do?

    Yes. He was excellent. I remember looking at him at trying to emulate him. My Dad took OW with me, and had been diving before uncertified, and looked nothing like the instructor.

    I DO model proper buoyancy and trim in my OW classes. My classes are usually 4 or 5 students with a certified assistant. There is LOTS of time to have them be horizontal, neutrally buoyant, and finning properly in the time I have in the pool. After we finish required skills I have everyone ascend, give a reminder to watch me & assistant, noone touch the bottom of the pool anymore, and swim horizontally. If they are told what I expect they will do it. My last class has 4 really natural, fit young people with great attitudes. I went home smiling, they made my job easy.
     
  10. FireInMyBones

    FireInMyBones Divemaster

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    No, he did not. Not my OW Instructor. I did not see skills like that until my Technical training.

    I am grateful for instructors that demonstrate skill even in OW. I think it is very important that these skills be shown as early as possible.

    For some reason I can not "Thank" this post. So I will Thank you with words for this helpful post.
     
  11. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The "Thanks" feature has been discontinued on ScubaBoard (there's a thread about it in Site Support).

    My OW instructor did not do skills while hovering ... despite this, I felt he did a far more thorough job than a lot of OW classes.

    I learned this technique when I was a DM ... from a PADI instructor I worked with. He would either demonstrate, or ask one of his DM's to demonstrate, a skill while hovering. The students would ... as in this video ... first try the skill while kneeling, then progressively work toward performing it while hovering.

    That is now how I teach my OW class. I want the students to see the end-point, but my expectation is that they'll arrive at that end-point through a progression that takes them from the familiar into the "brave new world" of zero gravity.

    It works out pretty well ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  12. ligersandtions

    ligersandtions SoCal DIR

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    My OW instructor was on his knees pretty much the entire time, with the exception of the times he had to swim from one student to the next so each student could demonstrate skills (iirc, there were about nine students in our class, with an instructor, an assistant instructor, and a DM). The only other time I remember the instructor being in some other position than on his knees was when he was showing us what "hovering" looked like....rather than doing it in some position that one might use on a typical dive, he did it sitting up, cross-legged....almost like he was meditating or something. I still haven't the slightest clue why.

    I read about horizontal trim and neutral buoyancy and I tried to achieve that myself. It really took until I saw some experienced, well-trained divers to really understand what I was striving for. It was essential for me to have this mental picture burned into my brain.

    It would have been great for me to see a good diver in my OW class and start off that way. Thankfully, I found lots of experienced divers and mentors early in my diving.
     
  13. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Scuba Instructor

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    My OW instructor while good did not model buoyancy and trim. Why? His instructors and later CD's never did either. I did learn early on about being neutral and horizontal from a mentor though. THen I found this board. Then two of the guys I occaisionally dive with took Fundies. Then I switched shops/agenices and for the first time saw OW skills demo'd and being required of new students in midwater and horizontal. When they see them being demo'd that way they think that IT IS NORMAL. Had I saw it early on I would have thought so as well and not had to look like a monk praying on a platform. I could have looked like a diver from dive one. Like my students now do.
     
  14. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

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    All the skills in my OW class were demonstrated and done on the bottom. But during free swim, the instructor was neutral in the water column. I do not remember seeing him hover motionless, and his body position in the water column was whatever he wanted it to be. I remember thinking he was graceful.

    But the ability to sit in the water and not move -- that I didn't see until I started diving with NW Grateful Diver. That control was what headed me off to GUE training.
     
  15. skydiver30960

    skydiver30960 Angel Fish

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    When I think back to my OW course, I don't recall the instructor having impressive buoyancy. That being said, I don't recall him having awful buoyancy either. I don't recall ever really registering buoyancy in our pool sessions. In the open water sessions (Barbados, yeah, it was really trying :D) I recall his buoyancy being good while he led us around in the "touring" portion of our checkout dives.

    Despite this, I'm still impressed by the course he offered. I always felt my wife and I were safe (I know, I know, ignorance is bliss) and I feel we got a good education. We have habits that earn us compliments whenever we dive with others. One thing that I remember about his instruction (and that I figure must be a huge part of the instructors' course) was his underwater communication skill. During all the pool time and open water time he could communicate so clearly through hand signals and looks that I swear he was talking to us in complete sentences. I don't have much ambition (or hope) to ever be a scuba instructor, but I'd love to take the course just to get such a huge bolt of information on effective underwater communication.

    Ike aka "my sign language sucks"
     
  16. skydiver30960

    skydiver30960 Angel Fish

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    Something else that comes to mind watching that video: the instructor is practicing his skills while watching the student practice theirs. Not only is he working on buoyancy, but he is doing so while his attention is on other things. This way, he is learning to control his buoyancy without thinking about it, and since we "play like we practice" his buoyancy will be an unconscious action in the "real world."

    Ike aka "still not wanting to be an instructor though"
     
  17. Sas

    Sas Orca

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    My instructor had good trim and buoyancy though most of the time he was kneeling (as were the rest of us). Actually all of my instructors have had excellent trim and buoyancy (with my Cave instructor being the best). Buoyancy was discussed by my OW instructor but not trim. All skills were demonstrated by my instructor that I had to do. He also used frog kicking to get around and I thought that was interesting so copied him and I have always used that kick as my primary means of propulsion (along with helicopter turns and back kicking soon after OW).

    Despite having an instructor with good trim and buoyancy I wasn't good at either when I left my class though I was trying to look like that. My main issue was being mega overweighted so I really wish we'd spent five mins discussing weighting in OW!
     
  18. Garrobo

    Garrobo Great White

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    I forgot to put on a weight belt during my second day of pool instructions and just had a hell of a time staying down let alone trying to learn anything. Buoyancy was entirely lost on me until I started doing some ocean reef dives where I picked it up and refined it. Also, some of the discussions on this board helped out.
     
  19. SubMariner

    SubMariner Victim of The Pogrom ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Ok, here's the thing...

    As you know, skills like mask re & re and reg recovery are introduced in shallow water so the student who has a sudden panic attack or loses control can just stand up. With the student on the bottom & the Instructor not within easy reach of the student, if there is a problem (e.g. the student cannot locate h/h reg during the reg recovery) then what are you going to do about it from so far away? Esp if you need to replace the student's reg for them or give them your octo.

    IOW, my concern is with the safety of the student, not whether or not the Instructor is "modeling good trim and buoyancy control". If your student is on the bottom, then you should be on the bottom; if you're in mid water, then the student needs to be there too.

     
  20. fjpatrum

    fjpatrum Surface Interval Member

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    I can't view the videos but my OW instructors did everything on their knees, which I thought was odd. I asked them about it and they basically explained the concept of trim and buoyancy but said many people just find it too difficult to do in the short (PADI) OW courses they offered at their shop so they didn't teach that way. They did try to express the importance of buoyancy and trim while we were out of the water, though. It seemed like the experienced divers (in the videos we watched) just had an easier time and that's what I want, easy and enjoyable, so whenever I wasn't being evaluated on skills in the water I was trying to practice maintaining good position and the instructors mentioned some things to try and help me. As far as I know, I was the only person doing that in the class though.

    I don't know if it helped because while I asked a couple questions of the DMs and Instructor from my OW dives (different shop) I didn't think to ask about those particular issues. I asked about silting because I felt like I was doing a lot of it, partly due to being overweighted, but certainly due to inexperience. I still don't know how to properly avoid silting other than getting better buoyancy control, which I figure will take a few more dives at a minimum.
     

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