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*dave*
June 16th, 2010, 02:09 PM
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.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/diverdave/th_ASF_0005.jpg (http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/diverdave/?action=view&current=ASF_0005.flv)

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

fisheater
June 16th, 2010, 02:31 PM
Yes and damned yes!!

First dive, I was trying to dive like my instructor. Still am.

Fish in a Barrel
June 16th, 2010, 04:20 PM
Yes and damned yes!!

First dive, I was trying to dive like my instructor. Still am.

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.

rongoodman
June 16th, 2010, 04:32 PM
No, not at all. The first time I saw any of these skills was in my first attempt at Fundies, or video online.

SubMariner
June 16th, 2010, 05:00 PM
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.

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?

ERP
June 16th, 2010, 05:12 PM
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.

ScubaSam
June 16th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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.

Amazingly true!!!!

*dave*
June 16th, 2010, 05:18 PM
I'm a little confused as to what this video was supposed to represent.



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.

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.



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?


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?

tkdgodess
June 16th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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.

FireInMyBones
June 16th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/diverdave/th_ASF_0005.jpg (http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/diverdave/?action=view&current=ASF_0005.flv)

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

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.

NWGratefulDiver
June 16th, 2010, 06:14 PM
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.

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)

ligersandtions
June 16th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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.

Jim Lapenta
June 16th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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.

TSandM
June 16th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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.

skydiver30960
June 16th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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"

skydiver30960
June 16th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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"

Sas
June 16th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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!

Garrobo
June 17th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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.

SubMariner
June 17th, 2010, 12:08 PM
View Post
I'm a little confused as to what this video was supposed to represent.


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.

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?

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?

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.

fjpatrum
June 17th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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.

*dave*
June 18th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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.



While this is off topic and a pm or post in I2I would have been a more appropriate place to discuss this, the thread isn't going anywhere, so.....

You have indicated it is unsafe for an instructor to be in the column while a student is on the bottom. As a professional, you have an ethical obligation to report such dangers. In order to expedite that process, my name is David Herbert and my SSI OWI# is 24940.

As to your concern regarding separation..... It takes less than a second to gain control over the student. On reg retrievals, it's fairly obvious when there is an issue. If a student is fumbling, I reach out and hand him his reg or my secondary and the drill is terminated. If the skill runs longer than 10 seconds, it is terminated in the same manner.

Does the student in the video look like they are having issues? As this would be at least the 7th time through the skills (3 times shallow, 3 times deep and at least once in the column) by this time, they are quite comfortable with the skills. Were that not the case, they would still be doing them in the shallow end of the pool.

In the unlikely event that a student should bolt, there are definite warning signs as well as specific skills that are more prone to result in bolting if the student is not prepared. This point is usually during the mask removal and replace and I'll position myself slightly higher in the column in preparation to intercept. I usually know they'll bolt before they do and the drill is terminated. I've had one student bolt in the last three years and it's not because I'm lucky or only instruct gifted students.

Being neutral and in trim as much as possible is also safer than being nailed to the bottom, IMO. While the student performing skills is the priority, there are other students in the pool who need to be monitored. How do you react to a situation 30' away when you're nailed to the bottom?

At what point, if ever, do you feel confident enough in your student's skills that you don't need to be 2" away? If we don't have confidence in our product, are we doing our job? I don't think so.

BTW, I sent a link to the vid, along with your concerns to SSI. Though the TD believed posting video was a potential for disaster in terms of liability for me, there was no breech of standards. Still, were I you and I seriously believed there was a safety issue in this practice, I'd report it.... I'd have to.

In any case, I'll put you down as opposed to instructors holding trim and solid buoyancy control. Thanks for your reply.

Andy077
June 18th, 2010, 11:57 AM
Mine did a great job of modeling the proper way to dig up shellfish for 20 minutes while his students kneeled on the bottom waiting.
Worst.
Instructor.
Ever.

SubMariner
June 18th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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.


While this is off topic and a pm or post in I2I would have been a more appropriate place to discuss this, the thread isn't going anywhere, so.....

You have indicated it is unsafe for an instructor to be in the column while a student is on the bottom. As a professional, you have an ethical obligation to report such dangers. In order to expedite that process, my name is David Herbert and my SSI OWI# is 24940.

As to your concern regarding separation..... It takes less than a second to gain control over the student. On reg retrievals, it's fairly obvious when there is an issue. If a student is fumbling, I reach out and hand him his reg or my secondary and the drill is terminated. If the skill runs longer than 10 seconds, it is terminated in the same manner.

Does the student in the video look like they are having issues? As this would be at least the 7th time through the skills (3 times shallow, 3 times deep and at least once in the column) by this time, they are quite comfortable with the skills. Were that not the case, they would still be doing them in the shallow end of the pool.

In the unlikely event that a student should bolt, there are definite warning signs as well as specific skills that are more prone to result in bolting if the student is not prepared. This point is usually during the mask removal and replace and I'll position myself slightly higher in the column in preparation to intercept. I usually know they'll bolt before they do and the drill is terminated. I've had one student bolt in the last three years and it's not because I'm lucky or only instruct gifted students.

Being neutral and in trim as much as possible is also safer than being nailed to the bottom, IMO. While the student performing skills is the priority, there are other students in the pool who need to be monitored. How do you react to a situation 30' away when you're nailed to the bottom?

At what point, if ever, do you feel confident enough in your student's skills that you don't need to be 2" away? If we don't have confidence in our product, are we doing our job? I don't think so.

BTW, I sent a link to the vid, along with your concerns to SSI. Though the TD believed posting video was a potential for disaster in terms of liability for me, there was no breech of standards. Still, were I you and I seriously believed there was a safety issue in this practice, I'd report it.... I'd have to.

In any case, I'll put you down as opposed to instructors holding trim and solid buoyancy control. Thanks for your reply.

Wow... talk about over-reacting! :amazed:

Since you seem to equate any view other than your own as a personal attack on your integrity as an Instructor, I will send you a PM to discuss your "reply" to my post.

'Nuff said...

Jim Lapenta
June 19th, 2010, 07:16 AM
There is also the issue that seems to render some of this moot if the mask remove and replace is taken care of before they even get on scuba. And clearing the snorkel during ascent to the surface is good for reducing much of the stress of the reg clear. Being neutral in the water column also makes it easier to repond quicker if there is a problem. Last night was in the pool til 9PM going over mask remove and replace, reg recovery, and weightbelt while neutral and horizontal. This was session two on scuba. Sesssion one on scuba was all about proper weighting(nobody is ever overweighted from day one), buoyancy control, and trim with mask clear and reg remove and replace.

I also do not have modules that I need to teach. Students are shown and taught skills based on their performance and what I think will best aid them at the time. I can change the order of when skills are done such as doing a bailout before the doff and don. Or put the paniced diver at the suface after the unconscious diver from the bottom of the pool. I can do a buddy breathing swim before or after the no mask swim. Or before the air share with octo/no mask swim.

*dave*
June 21st, 2010, 11:45 AM
Wow... talk about over-reacting! :amazed:
First, that was a response, not a reaction. Perhaps it was a bit strong, so let's take a look at what prompted it in just a sec....


Since you seem to equate any view other than your own as a personal attack on your integrity as an Instructor, I will send you a PM to discuss your "reply" to my post.

'Nuff said...



Had I considered this a personal attack on my integrity, my response would have been quite different. I have no issue with anyone holding a view that differs from my own, but when an instructor posts that my training techniques are unsafe, they will receive a reply.

Let's take a look at what I was responding to:


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

This entire post felt like a troll. Were you really confused about what I was conveying?


....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?

In the OP, I stated the video took place on the third pool session. I'm not PADI and I don't know what gets taught when in your modules, but I teach all basic skills the first night on SCUBA. They are taught in the shallow and students don't progress to deep until I am certain they are comfortable and confident in doing the skills.

In what module are basic skills taught in PADI? I'd hope students would have been taught the skills represented in the video before the third session and I'd even bet that they do. I would expect it to be very obvious to any instructor that there was no teaching taking place in that video.

So, when an instructor, such as yourself, having thousands of dives and over a decade of experience asks if the instructor in the vid is teaching a basic skill on the third pool session, it smells even more like a troll.

Knowing you were trolling, but unsure where your troll would go, I replied:


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?

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.
I read this and wondered if you even watched the vid or read my posts. You imply the instructor in the vid is too far away to donate a reg, yet he's inches away from the student when the student extends his arm during the recovery and no more than 3' distant at any time. I've run this vid by a couple instructors and the TD for SSI and asked them to identify the issues they saw. There were a couple issues, but nothing you have identified.




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.


Here, I'm understanding you to say the video represents an unsafe practice.

I believe any instructor's prime directive should be protecting the students safety and I suspect you feel the same. However, my greatest concern for their safety is that they be competent as divers after certification. If you feel your students could bolt at any given second, I don't think they should be in the deep end of the pool.

Like I said, maybe I misunderstood you. Do you not feel the video represents an unsafe situation? If you do feel it is unsafe, I stand by previous statement: You are ethically obligated to report it.

In my view, this is more about your integrity, than mine.

*dave*
June 21st, 2010, 11:50 AM
Great points, Jim. The idea of mastery before progression seems a foreign concept to some. Personally, I wouldn't instruct if I didn't have confidence in my product.


There is also the issue that seems to render some of this moot if the mask remove and replace is taken care of before they even get on scuba. And clearing the snorkel during ascent to the surface is good for reducing much of the stress of the reg clear. Being neutral in the water column also makes it easier to repond quicker if there is a problem. Last night was in the pool til 9PM going over mask remove and replace, reg recovery, and weightbelt while neutral and horizontal. This was session two on scuba. Sesssion one on scuba was all about proper weighting(nobody is ever overweighted from day one), buoyancy control, and trim with mask clear and reg remove and replace.

I also do not have modules that I need to teach. Students are shown and taught skills based on their performance and what I think will best aid them at the time. I can change the order of when skills are done such as doing a bailout before the doff and don. Or put the paniced diver at the suface after the unconscious diver from the bottom of the pool. I can do a buddy breathing swim before or after the no mask swim. Or before the air share with octo/no mask swim.

SubMariner
June 21st, 2010, 06:10 PM
First, that was a response, not a reaction. Perhaps it was a bit strong, so let's take a look at what prompted it in just a sec....


Had I considered this a personal attack on my integrity, my response would have been quite different. I have no issue with anyone holding a view that differs from my own, but when an instructor posts that my training techniques are unsafe, they will receive a reply.

Let's take a look at what I was responding to:


This entire post felt like a troll. Were you really confused about what I was conveying?

In the OP, I stated the video took place on the third pool session. I'm not PADI and I don't know what gets taught when in your modules, but I teach all basic skills the first night on SCUBA. They are taught in the shallow and students don't progress to deep until I am certain they are comfortable and confident in doing the skills.

In what module are basic skills taught in PADI? I'd hope students would have been taught the skills represented in the video before the third session and I'd even bet that they do. I would expect it to be very obvious to any instructor that there was no teaching taking place in that video.

So, when an instructor, such as yourself, having thousands of dives and over a decade of experience asks if the instructor in the vid is teaching a basic skill on the third pool session, it smells even more like a troll.

Knowing you were trolling, but unsure where your troll would go, I replied:

I read this and wondered if you even watched the vid or read my posts. You imply the instructor in the vid is too far away to donate a reg, yet he's inches away from the student when the student extends his arm during the recovery and no more than 3' distant at any time. I've run this vid by a couple instructors and the TD for SSI and asked them to identify the issues they saw. There were a couple issues, but nothing you have identified.



Here, I'm understanding you to say the video represents an unsafe practice.

I believe any instructor's prime directive should be protecting the students safety and I suspect you feel the same. However, my greatest concern for their safety is that they be competent as divers after certification. If you feel your students could bolt at any given second, I don't think they should be in the deep end of the pool.

Like I said, maybe I misunderstood you. Do you not feel the video represents an unsafe situation? If you do feel it is unsafe, I stand by previous statement: You are ethically obligated to report it.

In my view, this is more about your integrity, than mine.

Evidently, in my 10 years here on SB I’ve missed my calling. Why make genuine posts when all this time I could have been trolling? Who’d a thunk it!?

First & foremost, since I wasn’t in the pool at the time this video was made, I have no first-hand knowledge of the identity of the person who is the Instructor. You tell me it’s you. Ok. <shrug> Nice buoyancy control. Is that the pat on the back you’re looking for?

As to “your” positioning with regard to where “you” are and where “your” non-certified open water student is, I disagree with the positioning as shown in the video. I still maintain that as an Instructor you should be where your student is, whether it be in mid-water or on the bottom.

Clear enough?

*dave*
June 21st, 2010, 09:25 PM
Evidently, in my 10 years here on SB I’ve missed my calling. Why make genuine posts when all this time I could have been trolling? Who’d a thunk it!?
I think it would be a vast improvement over playing the victim, but you'll need to work at it.


You tell me it’s you. Ok. <shrug> Nice buoyancy control. Is that the pat on the back you’re looking for?
If I were looking for a pat on the back, I'd solicit it from someone whose opinion I actually value. I stated pretty clearly what I was looking for, but let me restate: Did your instructor model good buoyancy and trim during your OW course and do you think it is important that an instructor do so?

Pretty damn simple question, I think.



As to “your” positioning with regard to where “you” are and where “your” non-certified open water student is, I disagree with the positioning as shown in the video. I still maintain that as an Instructor you should be where your student is, whether it be in mid-water or on the bottom.

Clear enough?

Thanks for stating that as your opinion, rather than as a statement of fact. Would you care to discuss the pros and cons of each, preferably without the incessant jabs?

TEArrington
June 21st, 2010, 09:44 PM
In response to the original question, no my instructor did not. I am not saying he was incapable, only that my OW class was in a pool so tiny that there was little room for him to do so. I'm sure it was larger than a bathtub, but I am not sure it was as big as the pool in my parents' back yard. There were 7 students (2 of whom were annoying children), the instructor and a DM. Tight squeeze. We spent all of our time on our knees against a wall in the shallow end unless it was our turn to demonstrate a skill.

I got a referral to do my checkout dives on vacation, and the new instructor once again did not demonstrate proper trim, etc. He was obviously neutrally buoyant, and wasn't banging into coral, but spent most of our dive time look like he was reclining in a hammock or a lounge chair rather than the diver pose I aim for now - horizontal with legs slightly bent up at the knees.

Fortunately, my "adoptive" LDS owner, instructors, and dive club members all strive to model good dive form, including proper altitude and attitude. From the first time I went diving with them, I realized I was a hot mess and I've been working hard to continuously learn & improve ever since.

kaerius
June 21st, 2010, 10:38 PM
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.

It's also about how you kick, and to some extent, the fins you use.

Since I can't teach you in person, watch these helpful youtube videos with kicks that are good for not stirring up silt.
YouTube - Learn To Scuba Dive - Frog Kick Technique (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFBmZ1g16H8)
YouTube - The Flutter Kick (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caYhiy5Cjv4&feature=fvw)

TeriLeonard
June 22nd, 2010, 04:44 AM
As I watched the video I was wondering why the instructor was not in a better position to instantly assist the student if there was a problem. I have taught hundreds of students in shallow ocean water right off the beach in "pool-like conditions". If I was not on my knees I would have been moving back and forth with the mild surge which means that I would not be in a good position to help my students.
Having said this, the open water dive immediately following confined water one has always been spent almost entirely on buoyancy and trim techniques.

TeriLeonard
June 22nd, 2010, 04:46 AM
I think what I am trying to point out is that there is no one right way of teaching. The instructor makes the difference, not necessarily the technique.

*dave*
June 22nd, 2010, 11:02 AM
As I watched the video I was wondering why the instructor was not in a better position to instantly assist the student if there was a problem.

He is in fine position to assist the student. I could post several clips showing exactly that, but I won't. Besides, surge was very light in the pool the day that vid was shot. ;)

I was certified in 78' and we learned skills on our knees, but it was a 12 session course and a great deal of time was spent on buoyancy control. The instructors worked from their knees and when I became an AI, I worked from mine.

When I became a DC, everyone taught and reviewed while kneeling and so did I. As an instructor, I went through the IDC on my knees. I know what it's like to teach on my knees, but have discovered teaching from a hover provides more flexibility without adding risk.

As an instructor, I need to respond to safety issues in the pool. I might be doing skills with a student and suddenly need to intercept a descending student who is about to crash into another student. I may see students engaging in unsafe activities and need to intervene. If I'm nailed to the bottom, it takes longer to respond.

In OW, nobody is on their knees. Our waters are pretty cold and having students on their knees reduces their ability to stay warm. We do skills on the move and in the column.

The question I have for those who think kneeling is a better position is this: How many times have you tried working from the column? If you haven't tried it or been exposed to it, how can you make an informed decision?

*dave*
June 22nd, 2010, 11:08 AM
The instructor makes the difference, not necessarily the technique.

I don't think I totally agree.

I don't consider myself to be a great instructor, but I do consider my students to be far above average upon completion of the course. I attribute their success to a number of things that have nothing to do with me. I'm nearly certain most any instructor could put out the same quality of diver using the techniques I've been using.

IMO, the primary component of success is a student's desire to learn.

wrybosome
June 22nd, 2010, 11:51 AM
Did your instructor model good buoyancy and trim during your OW course and do you think it is important that an instructor do so?


Yes and yes. During ~3 of the 5 classroom sessions he went into detail about the importance of buoyancy and trim. Then he modeled it for us while we knelt, and had us do the same. He also had us demo some of our skills (mask clearing, reg retrieval) in a horizontal postion off the bottom.

A few weeks ago I had the chance to tag along on dives 3 and 4 of his last OW class and I was impressed at how they looked. 3/4 of them were able to descend to the 25' platform for skill demos without landing on it. Just touched down with a hand, and adjusted buoyancy for a minute. During the 'tour' dive they dove on a Cessna in 35 ffw, and were able to go in and out of the cockpit, under the wings, etc without stirring up much silt. I was impressed, especially in comparison to some classes I've seen at this site.

But I don't see how you could teach people about neutral buoyancy without demoing it that way (student kneeling). If the student was trying for the first time to hold postion at 9' in a pool a lot of them would be too task loaded to watch you. It makes sense to me to have them kneeling for the lesson on this, so they can see how what you do affects their buoyancy. Just my two cents.

TCDiver1
June 22nd, 2010, 11:59 AM
I was certified in 78' and we learned skills on our knees, but it was a 12 session course and a great deal of time was spent on buoyancy control. The instructors worked from their knees and when I became an AI, I worked from mine.


True BCD's were far from mainstream in our neck of the woods when i took OW in 1979. We had the old USD horse collars with the CO2 cartridges as i recall and spent little time working on buoyancy control. Much less time than todays mainstream standards require. It was a good course for it's time. I learned what i needed to keep diving safely all these years and still be alive today. I have no complaints.



The question I have for those who think kneeling is a better position is this: How many times have you tried working from the column? If you haven't tried it or been exposed to it, how can you make an informed decision?


I've done it both ways and feel there is a time and a place for everything. If you have a group of students who take to buoyancy and trim well in confined water, and/or your ratios are low, you have less to worry about with maintaining safe control over your students and can easily control the group if demonstrating in column. This i agree with.

If students are having a time getting the hang of it, and/or i have no assistants to aid in keeping control of the group, and/or the ratios are high, i find that i can respond quicker sometimes not working in the column. You simply have less leverage to move as fast if you are neutral in the column. YMMV but that's what worked for me.

On another note. I know Submariner pretty well and think you took her comments out of context. She appeared to only be giving you her opinion. Things escalated after that but you might consider checking the chip on your shoulder when it comes this topic. One thing i can promise you is that Submariner is not a troll. That one you can take to the bank.

Jim Lapenta
June 22nd, 2010, 12:09 PM
Kneeling in the beginning many times is counter productive when you see students falling over backwards, sideways, etc. It puts them under even more stress in what is most likely an already stressful situation (breathing-underwater-HOLY CRAP I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS!). I don;t have students in anything resembling a kneeling position intentionally. There are times when say the buddy breathing skill will start out with us in contact with the bottom but after that it is done swimming. Some students may also start out with their knees touching to do the doff and don but that is becasue if the bc is not completely empty it may follow them on the ascent if they don't lay the weight belt on it properly. If they kneel for a second or two to adjust something or make contact with the bottom momentarily it is ok. But it is understood that in OW kneeling is not an option for skills that are done there.

I was taught on my knees all the way up through DM. UNtil I found this board and an instructor who knew better I thought it was normal. It may be normal for some but it now makes no sense to me. As an instructor it is easier to respond to issues and for students to be neutral. Another issue is where does it say that only the instructor can respond to an issue.

I have my students buddied up from day one. When evaluating skills with individuals their buddy is required to be right next to them with their eyes on me and them. During air shares I do with a student the buddy is right next to us with his/her hand on their octo ready to donate. They are told that if I don;t respond fast enough (I of course always do) I want them to be ready to donate. If they think like this from the beginning they do not have to think later on should the occaision require it. They just act in the right way.

Another reason that taking rescue skills out of OW is one of the stupidest ideas ever.

Stu S.
June 22nd, 2010, 12:22 PM
We had the old USD horse collars with the CO2 cartridges as i recall and spent little time working on buoyancy control.

In June 1977, our instructor showed us something. Ascend to the surface and use the new horsecollar with power inflator to float on the surface. Then he opened a small container, removed a cigarette and lit it. After his smoke break it was back down below to finish our checkout dives.

Our buoyancy training was mostly correct weight selection. That was helpful as I did not use a BC for a number of years.

*dave*
June 22nd, 2010, 12:44 PM
But I don't see how you could teach people about neutral buoyancy without demoing it that way (student kneeling). If the student was trying for the first time to hold postion at 9' in a pool a lot of them would be too task loaded to watch you. It makes sense to me to have them kneeling for the lesson on this, so they can see how what you do affects their buoyancy. Just my two cents.

It's a progression. I put students on their knees initially to learn skills, but move them to a fin pivot as soon as they have shown me they can execute in a reliably safe manner. Once they are comfortable with skills while doing a fin pivot, I move them into the column and skills are conducted there. This might take several sessions or it might take only one. However, it's not a matter of saying "here's what it looks like, now let's get back to our knees". That doesn't work, in my opinion. Constant control needs to be shown, imnsho.

But, I do agree with you. Too much, too soon can be as unproductive as too little, too late.

*dave*
June 22nd, 2010, 01:05 PM
I've done it both ways and feel there is a time and a place for everything. If you have a group of students who take to buoyancy and trim well in confined water, and/or your ratios are low, you have less to worry about with maintaining safe control over your students and can easily control the group if demonstrating in column. This i agree with.

If students are having a time getting the hang of it, and/or i have no assistants to aid in keeping control of the group, and/or the ratios are high, i find that i can respond quicker sometimes not working in the column. You simply have less leverage to move as fast if you are neutral in the column. YMMV but that's what worked for me.
I don't understand what the student's ability has to do with an instructor's position in the column. I can't think of a situation that could arise which could not be dealt with as well or better while neutral and in the column. What sort of situations do you see which would be better handled with the instructor on their knees.


On another note. I know Submariner pretty well and think you took her comments out of context. She appeared to only be giving you her opinion. Things escalated after that but you might consider checking the chip on your shoulder when it comes this topic. One thing i can promise you is that Submariner is not a troll. That one you can take to the bank.

I have no doubt that this is true and I'm also quite certain my response would have been more reflective of that had she stayed on topic or taken her issues up in I2I or via PM. She's implied that I am an unsafe instructor in an open forum and that demands a response. She's made numerous personal slams on me, which I've ignored, mostly, but has refused to answer direct questions relating to her statements.

I actually regret calling her a troll, as I really do try to focus on principles rather than personalities. While my dealings with her in the past have left me with my own opinion of her, that opinion has no place on this board.

SM, I apologize for calling you a troll, but stand by everything else I've stated.

TCDiver1
June 23rd, 2010, 09:03 AM
I don't understand what the student's ability has to do with an instructor's position in the column. I can't think of a situation that could arise which could not be dealt with as well or better while neutral and in the column. What sort of situations do you see which would be better handled with the instructor on their knees.


I really have no interest in getting into a pissing match with you on this topic Dave as i'm sure that's where this is going. But to clear the record I never said the instructor would be on their knees. You injected that red herring. I also said "sometimes" and not "always." Are you starting to feel the chip on your shoulder?

I understand you're a true believer in what you're doing and thats great if it works for you. I thought i was pretty clear regarding my position on this but to expand the thought. As you know, to have good control of a student you need to be near them, positioned to respond to any issue which may arise. A main concern being stopping or slowing down a student which may bolt to the surface. This is relatively easy to accomplish being neutral with one or two students. But when you get more than that i've found it can be faster to react from one end of the group to the other if slightly negative and in contact with the bottom. Other than that, the goal is neutral at all times for students, instructor and assistants.

Look Dave, i know you won't agree with me, you have your mind made up but this is what has worked for me. You asked for an opinion from someone who has done it both ways and thats what you got. Hope this helps.

*dave*
June 23rd, 2010, 09:43 AM
I understand you're a true believer in what you're doing and thats great if it works for you. I thought i was pretty clear regarding my position on this but to expand the thought. As you know, to have good control of a student you need to be near them, positioned to respond to any issue which may arise. A main concern being stopping or slowing down a student which may bolt to the surface. This is relatively easy to accomplish being neutral with one or two students. But when you get more than that i've found it can be faster to react from one end of the group to the other if slightly negative and in contact with the bottom. Other than that, the goal is neutral at all times for students, instructor and assistants.

Look Dave, i know you won't agree with me, you have your mind made up but this is what has worked for me. You asked for an opinion from someone who has done it both ways and thats what you got. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the clarification.


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