By John Kinsella
It’s easy to underestimate this: The skills and attitudes divers learn during the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course really can help them lead better lives overall.
The Thinking Like a Diver section, for example, encourages divers to think about what they’re doing before, during and after every Adventure Dive in the same way more experienced divers do. It focuses on principles such as gas management, situational awareness and buddy communications. It helps divers better understand how to improve their dives and manage risks.
It’s important stuff, and PADI Pros diligently help their charges “think like a diver” by discussing how it applies to each Adventure Dive. It helps the dive go smoothly; divers think through the dive in advance, dive the plan, and consider what went well (and what didn’t) after. It’s a great skill, and a great attitude, and it has applications far beyond the particular dive and scuba diving itself.
Make a point of thinking like a dive pro by taking a minute or two to relate how the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed during the Advanced Open Water Diver course apply to people’s daily lives. Show them that the approach and process they learn to use while planning the Deep dive is just as relevant to a hike up the side of a mountain or a first subway trip across a new city. Make a point of mentioning that what they get out of the Digital Underwater Imaging dive will apply to, and may even improve, every subsequent image they make, either under or above water.
It doesn’t take much. Even a brief mention that relates the immediate dive activity to a similar situation in a broader life context will add great value to your course and will get people thinking. It will help them realize that their investment in dive training has benefits they might not have realized. And you’ll find it’s a great way to get divers interested in the related Specialty Course too.