Mastering Scuba Diving: More than Just Open Water Certification

Do you remember when you attended your first scuba lesson?  Then taking your first breath off a scuba regulator during your first pool session?  How about your first open water certification dive?  What did you feel?  Was it Uncertainty?  Apprehension?  Anxiety?  Excitement?

Now, remember that feeling when you completed your final open water training dive.  What emotions were you feeling then?  Exhilaration?  Satisfaction?  Accomplished?  Pride? Master Scuba Diving CourseLooking back, you had made tremendous strides in that period of time, from your first day of scuba lessons, and you should feel pride.  You were finally an Open Water Certified Diver.

So, what comes next?  Was getting “certified” your goal?  Or was becoming a good scuba diver your goal?

In scuba diving, Open Water Diver is equivalent to earning a White Belt in karate. A diver now has some basic knowledge and skills, and has taken the first step of the much longer journey that will lead to the ‘Black Belt’ of diving: Master Scuba Diver.

Think of the skills that you can still learn.  Imagine yourself on a dive charter.  The dive boat is tied up to your first dive site.  The dive briefing has just concluded.  You and your buddy gear up and take a giant stride into the water.  You glide down the decent line until you near bottom looking around observing the beautiful reef surrounding.  You notice that a little current is present.

  • Would you trust yourself to pull up your compass and navigate a square pattern while touring and exploring the reef?
  • Could you do this returning to your starting point with the perfect amount of air pressure remaining and in the right amount of time?
  • Perhaps you have an underwater camera with you.  Do you have the ability to maneuver yourself into perfect position and hover perfectly still while taking that amazing picture?  This requires excellent finning skills and buoyancy control to achieve such success at underwater photography.
  • What if your dive buddy has an emergency or starts to panic.  Do you have the ability to control the situation and masterfully avert any problems from arising?

If you are able to answer yes to all of the above then you should be very proud.  You have Master Scuba Diving Instructionbecome a good scuba diver.  By now, you know a good scuba diver is always learning.  That you can never know everything there is to know, especially as scuba diving continues to evolve.  Even Master Instructors are continually learning.

Advancing your scuba skills takes planning.  Many divers believe this to mean that they should seek out higher and higher levels of difficulty in their diving experiences. It’s true, safely challenging oneself to various experiences does continuously offer opportunities to practice learned skills.  However, it isn’t implausible to say that in one weekend with an instructor a person could possibly advance their scuba diving skills as much as 3-years or more, compared to continuing to dive in the same period of time without any additional dive training.

Dive training is the practice and attainment of skills through planned advancement and mastery.  Whether it’s the Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver, Master Scuba Diver or even becoming a dive professional, an additional scuba course, like those available at dive centers like Seal Sports in Louisiana, will advance your personal diving skills tremendously.

Master Scuba Diving InstructionDive training and practice are the combined method to mastery of all the skills needed to fully experience all that Scuba diving can offer an individual.  Repetitiveness not only helps acquire the memory of the mind, but also muscle memory.  The only way to do this is to scuba dive regularly while broadening the type of diving being done.  Whether it is shallow reef diving, diving on medium to deep wrecks with enriched air, shore diving versus boat diving, as well as diving in currents and other things that Mother Nature might throw at you.  It’s diving in all these various conditions, and applying all the different levels of skill sets that you've acquired since taking your first breath underwater that enables you to become a better scuba diver.

In karate it is said that “life starts at the Black Belt level”. To fully experience all that diving the world’s oceans and waterways can offer, it is essential to adopt this same mindset. Open Water Diver certification is just the beginning.  There are skills and levels to be earned, as well as much practice that needs to take place.  The goal, for any diver, should be to become a Master Scuba Diver.  This rating is the highest rating a recreational scuba diver can achieve.  To earn it, you will have learned the knowledge and skills to successfully handle any dive or challenge encountered.    Only then are you qualified to apply for and earn the Master Scuba Diver rating.

Maybe you want to become an Open Water Scuba Instructor, or a Divemaster to lead dive groups and help with scuba courses.  Each allows you to be able to share your passion and have the opportunity to introduce others to the underwater world.  Acquiring these skill sets is available at Instructor Development Centers like Seal Sports in Louisiana, and other dive centers around the world.

As you broaden your skills and diving knowledge becoming a better-rounded scuba diver, you’ll also begin to better understand our ecosystem and the importance of becoming an ambassador to our planet’s oceans.  Becoming an ambassador to our oceans is the pinnacle of what we do, doing so, will allow you to serve a higher cause greater than yourself.

Rob KohlRob Kohl, Owner Seal Sports

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