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TGK
01-13-2013, 23:06
So I have read bits and pieces of what to expect during the class but can't seem to find exactly what to expect. I hate looking like a fool so I have seriously considered paying the additional money for a private class so I would only look like a fool to the instructor...so can anyone tell me what to expect when I go to the actual class? (It's NAUI and like I said elsewhere it's at Scuba Toys..)

navyhmc
01-14-2013, 04:22
What to expect? 1. Expect to have fun. Make it fun!!! 2. Every class set up is different, most (99%) will start with book work and then move to the pool. In the pool, it's usually very basic to begin with: Mask, Snorkel and Fins stiff with some swimming to start. Then usually move on and up to gear assembly and shallow water skills and moving into more complex skills in deeper water with time. The class usually moves as a slow but steady pace so you're not overwhelmed or bored.

You won't look like a fool, you'll look like everyone else that's taking the class. Remeber, everyone is at the same level you are: They have an interest, they have the books and have started reading them (I hope) and they have a very, very VERY basic idea of what some of the skills are. Their motor memory and psychomotor skills are on line with yours.

The advantage of an open class is you will get to see others perform the skills as well. Watch them and pick up what works and doesn't work-They will do the same.

Don't get worked up over what is ahead of you, look forward to it and know that everyone else is in the same boat - and possibly during your open water checkout literally in the same boat.

Worse case: contact Scuba toys (877)728-2243, find out who the instructor is and ask them to have the instructor call you and ask the instructor themselves. I have no doubt they can answer all of your questions and give you a good idea of what is to come.

snagel
01-14-2013, 06:42
It's perfectly natural to be nervous, but don't let this overtake what you are about to do. Go into it with an open mind and understand that really nobody is going to be judging you. It's not us vs them. Everybody wants you to succeed. There will be times when the instructor will be very serious because scuba diving can be very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. The goal is to teach you the right things to do; so, it becomes a very enjoyable sport.

Relax, take your time and don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions. It's a learning experience for everybody. Throw the "macho crap" out the window. Quickly you will start to understand the brotherhood / sisterhood of the sport. You will do fine if you approach as something that is fun and not get to wound up about it. There will be some things that you master quickly and probably some things that are challenging. Don't feel defeated by any of it. It is not a competition. You are there to learn and the instructor will work with you as much as needed to help you succeed. You will meet some life-long friends who share the same passion. Again, relax and have fun.

Snagel

scubadiver888
01-14-2013, 07:23
A few things to remember, the instructor has been doing this for years and has professional training. You have never done this before and shouldn't be expected to know anything. ASK QUESTIONS. Not just here but more importantly, ask your instructor questions. There will be two types of students: the student who acknowledges they don't know anything and they are there to learn; the student who acts like they know everything and learn nothing.

It is not a race. The slower you go the faster you will actually be. I see guys rushing. Some just want to get in the water. Some don't want to be the guy who holds everyone up. Some just panic and feel doing the same thing faster will some how be better. The guys who ask questions and take their time do it right the first time and tend to be faster by the time they graduate.

It is in the best interest of the store/instructor for you to pass. A failed student won't buy more equipment and won't recommend the store/instructor to friends. They don't just want to pass you regardless of skill level (some shops do but not ScubaToys). So help the instructor by letting them help you.

You are going to have a lot of stuff thrown at you but the instructor has multiple safety features in place. They also know what you will do wrong before you do. They are trained to keep you from doing anything which will harm or kill you. Again, an injured diver does not buy new equipment, take more training or book travel. They won't take care of everything forever but they will slowly let you take more and more responsibility as you prove you can handle it. They don't want you to get in over your head.

Bottom line, it is actually expected to be nervous. It would be a bad thing if you weren't. Additionally, even after you graduate you will still be learning. I learned a LOT from the divers I met on dive trips. Some day you will be the guy in the know and you will pay it back. It just feels good helping others. You picked a great shop. You are going to have some real fun.

bfmorgan
01-14-2013, 11:59
Relax, I can't dance (lack of coordination), but I can float like a butterfly! If this is your thing it will be the coolest thing you have ever done! Should you be nervous? A little. The class is designed to get you comfortable in the water, then begin building on the skills you need. There may be points in the class where you go "I can't do that". Try it. It is carefully designed to move you to the next step in terms of skills and abilities. I found some of the skills challenging and at the end it all seemed so easy.

Listen closely to your instructor, ask questions, and watch the other students. You will learn a lot. After classes, your education is not complete. Dive, dive frequently, and with different buddies. You are now on the path to becoming a competent diver. My OW class was a good one, but I was amazed at how much I have continued to learn. Diving with different buddies will let you learn a lot of tips and techniques.

PlatypusMan
01-14-2013, 14:21
So I have read bits and pieces of what to expect during the class but can't seem to find exactly what to expect. I hate looking like a fool so I have seriously considered paying the additional money for a private class so I would only look like a fool to the instructor...so can anyone tell me what to expect when I go to the actual class? (It's NAUI and like I said elsewhere it's at Scuba Toys..)

Apprehension is normal. You are taking your first steps into a new world, one filled with challenges, opportunities and wonders you have yet to see with your own eyes, rather than through books, photos and film.

As someone else here pointed out, your instructor is a trained professional. He or she is there to teach you how to handle the various common situations you'll encounter as a diver, deal with them properly and safely, then return to shore with tales to tell your friends and relations. Listen to that person, and you'll do fine.

snagel
01-14-2013, 19:05
A lot of great information here, I'm so glad you posted this topic. Here's a couple examples from classes....

When my SIL was taking the classes, she had an issue with taking her mask off under water. As much as she tried she just couldn't do it and the more she tried the worse she got...she was panicking. The instructor was there helping her, but she got to a point that in her head it wasn't going to happen. They moved on and my SIL went to the pool before the next class and practiced and eventually got it.

When my wife took the class, she did the whole class in one weekend. The first day was long and about 5 hours into it she was mentally and emotionally spent. The instructor picked up on this and called for break. My wife took about 10 minutes, got her head right and flew through the rest of the class.

Point is you are not alone. It is designed to teach you to do something that is not natural, breathing underwater. As everybody has stated the instructor is professional and understands this. Soon you will realize that diving is much more than breathing underwater. It opens up a whole new world and really enhances how you react to things. When I first started I would panic sometimes if something didn't feel right. After several years of diving, my reaction is to stop and think before acting. This has helped me out in so many things outside of diving.

Enough about us, it's about you. Have fun, enjoy the class, and we will be seeing you under the water sometime.

Snagel

TGK
01-14-2013, 21:03
I appreciate all of the feedback. It has put a lot of my fears in perspective.

bfmorgan
01-14-2013, 21:12
It is good to be apprehensive. Don't be fearful. You may find some of the skills challenging, but practice, practice, practice and you will be good. For some reason you will find many of the divers to be law enforcement, firefighters, EMS. It seems like diving attracts certain professions. Those listed in the above professions understand training is your friend. Train, train, train until proper skills completion is automatic. Then for the times that training doesn't work remember STOP, THINK, ACT. Scuba diving demands respect, but if you train and respect the dangers, then diving is quite safe.

Oh, in case you haven't figured it out yet we are all looking for a reason to dive. If you travel anywhere near any of us, let us know. To celebrate we will have to dive!

snagel
01-14-2013, 21:24
I've said this in other threads and it seems appropriate here, once you get through your OW Training, find a mentor. This was the single best thing I ever did was finding a good buddy who had skills that was willing to teach me. Getting your c-card is just the beginning. You then need experience; which, a good mentor can help you achieve. Today I still have this close relationship with my mentor and continue to learn from him every time we dive together.

Snagel

TGK
01-14-2013, 21:47
For some reason you will find many of the divers to be law enforcement, firefighters, EMS. It seems like diving attracts certain professions.

No kidding....how ironic ;-)

navyhmc
01-14-2013, 23:01
So, which are you? C'mon, don't leave us hanging...

TGK
01-14-2013, 23:16
Been a cop for a little over 10 years now.

navyhmc
01-15-2013, 00:51
Cool! Do a search for Dive cop if you want a bit of a laugh.

medicdiver
01-15-2013, 02:18
Depending on when your class is, you can see if they will do a discover scuba dive with you just to make you more comfortable.

PlatypusMan
01-15-2013, 12:50
Been a cop for a little over 10 years now.

11896

TGK
02-03-2013, 21:45
So I'm going to the class on February 9,10 16 & 17....I've watched the video three times today....

scubadiver888
02-03-2013, 22:04
Did you watch the video 3 times because you are nervous? Or because you are excited? In either case, relax, breathe and it is not a race.

You are so lucky. It is -6F here, I'm stuck working and all the dive shops here are advertising trips to the Caribbean (i.e. no local diving). :smiley5:

AfterDark
01-06-2014, 00:00
The unknown, enjoy it, harness the energy of your fear! The unknown its part of what makes diving exciting!

Zeagle Eagle
01-07-2014, 14:56
No kidding....how ironic ;-)
Pilots, don't forget pilots. Most pilots I know are divers.

Tom H
01-07-2014, 23:16
I'm not NAUI, but general advice... Study the academic stuff a lot. Particularly how to do the skills you'll learn in the pool--mimic doing them on land. Are you comfortable in the water? ei. have you spent lots of time there-- snorkelled? This will help a lot. Obviously a private class is always better IMO, with any endeavour... I speak as a former teacher. But it will most likely cost double.