There are many reasons people learn to dive; often it’s because they want to try something new, maybe mark it off their bucket list or simply be adventurous. For some, it’s an interest in aquatic life, coral reefs or perhaps shipwrecks. However, when we get to the professional levels, having the correct attitude, I believe, is absolutely vital!
One of the first discussions we have on the Divemaster course focusses on the characteristics of a diving professional. We discuss why people have enrolled on the course and what they would like to get out of it. Although the Divemaster course is a professional rating, it is still a course and the instructors are there to facilitate the candidates' development into becoming an industry professional.
For those of you reading this as a Rescue diver, you have already begun to look out for and care for others – this demonstrates your caring and helpful attitude. If you haven’t quite reached Rescue but have your Advanced Open Water certification, this shows that you wanted to challenge yourself and learn skills beyond that of the basic dive skills learnt on the Open Water course. You would have completed a Deep and Navigation dive and then chosen 3 other areas that were of interest to you.
As a Divemaster, during the first presentation we usually come up with some of the following characteristics. Patience, empathy and a passion for diving are obvious traits that we would look for. From a dive professional point of view, we want somebody to start the course for the right reasons and understand that we are always learning. In my personal experience, I have found that I often learn something or think of something in a different way just from the questions I am asked by those I teach. Being able to relate to your students and understand their worries and concerns, allows a Divemaster or Instructor to respond in an appropriate manner. This makes the learning experience much more enjoyable and usually results in more confident and able divers. Going back to the attitude discussion, for Rescue divers who want to challenge themselves further and directly take on the responsibility of others, the Divemaster course is the obvious next step.
Whatever your current certification level, I’m sure you have questions from time to time about something you haven’t heard of, experienced or seen. As underwater explorers we are naturally curious and inquisitive and I’m sure, if your diving attitude is correct, you will likely find the answer. If you haven’t dived in a while, ask yourself why. Is it due to a lack of opportunities, lack of training or simply lack of time? You have invested time, effort and money in getting to your current level….don’t waste it…just come diving and see what you're missing!