New ways of training at home and abroad
As a new instructor full of enthusiasm, I was keen from the very beginning to look at new and innovative ideas that I could implement whilst delivering training to keep things interesting, not just for the students, but for me too.
As I qualified in December, the first thing that I wanted to do was escape the cold weather so I proposed the idea to Ocean Turtle Diving of providing students with all of their confined water training in the UK and then taking them to Spain for the Open Water qualifying dives. This proved to be a success despite apocalyptic sea conditions and an idea worth exploring further.
On my return from Spain, I was keen to continue innovating ways to add maximum value to all of the students that I was to teach and mentor. One of the most satisfying courses that I coordinated was for a pair of rescue divers embarking on their PADI pro journey.
Fresh from my own IDC that linked in with the OCR Diploma in Management, I decided to add bespoke modules to their Divemaster course that introduced a lot of the business principles that I had learned during my own training to help maximise their marketability as a PADI professional. Along with Kerrie from Ocean Turtle, we also linked these into the IDC syllabus for the instructor courses that they run.
After the success of these pro courses, Kerrie and I decided to embark upon a joint venture, ProDiveUK (www.prodiveuk.com), to expand the audience for our pro level courses with the addition of the business modules that will help create and run successful dive centres. We are also going to offer this training, like my first trip as an instructor, in Span during the winter months which is an idea that is already proving popular.
Away from the trips abroad and the creation of bespoke training programmes for PADI pros I’ve also found that for each course that is being taught, you need to keep things interesting. Some of the most successful ideas that we have tried are taking a variety of food on deep dives including raw eggs which we crack open to highlight pressure changes, taking balloon animals on the same dive as an experiment as to whether it would hold its shape or sending people off in teams and making a Dive Against Debris dive a competition.
Whether it is recreational or professional level training that you are teaching, always look for something new to bring courses to life, whether it’s travel, props or experiments to keep you and your students fully engaged and enthusiastic throughout all levels of training! Any idea that you have, even if it doesn’t quite work as you’d like (tomatoes are pretty boring underwater by the way) keep you and the students interested and makes them return to your dive centre wondering what their next training dive will have in store.