The Importance of Practice

Many congratulations to all who attended Stoney Cove for the recent training weekend, I think almost everybody got signed up for something, and a big thanks need to go to all the instructors and to ‘dive marshal Dave’ for arranging the event. I am sorry that I could not do more; I will have to make up for it next time.

This brings me on to a point which, as Branch Training Officer, I feel quite strongly about. Over the past few years members seem to have come to expect their qualification book signed on completing a skill at the first attempt. The BSAC training manual states that “the trainee should be sufficiently competent to achieve the skill performance standards without supervision”. I take this to mean that the student can do the skill with ease and confidence and is therefore ready to move on to the next level of training. It comes down to what you hear a lot of in theory lessons, Practice, Practice, Practice.

The main skills that you must understand and be able to perform are:

  • Buoyancy
  • Mask clearing
  • DV clearing
  • Alternate Air Source
  • Controlled Buoyant Lift

There are more, but these are the ones you learn in ocean diver and continue to practice and improve at all levels of training. So if your instructor asks you to do it again it is for your benefit and not to put you down.

There are some practical skills taught in theory lessons that also need a lot of practice:

  • The use of the BSAC 88 tables
  • Planning the air requirements for a dive

The consequence of getting these wrong can be fatal.

After the Stoney Cove weekend, I recognised that a some of our members could do with a refresher on these two theory elements, so I am going to run an evening for any member who feels that they may benefit from the practice. It will be on March 22 at 8pm.

Also, relating not just to the Stoney Cove weekend but to many of the previously organised dives, Crawley Divers have some un-written rule that don’t seem to be passing down through the years. I will list a few:

General diving trips:

  1. It is you’re responsibly to contact the dive marshal before the dive to ensure the dive is still on.
  2. Everyone going out on the boat comes to Club hut to help prep the boat.
  3. When out with the Club boat, everyone turns up to help get the boat launched, loaded and ready for the day’s diving.
  4. When the diving is finished, everyone helps with unloading and getting the boat from the water onto the trailer and ready for the journey home.
  5. Boat cleaning should be carried out by all the people that have been out on the boat, preferably before the boat is put away or the next Club night.
  6. You are responsible for your own dive kit. If you forget something we will try to help, but if we can’t you will not be diving.
  7. If you use Club kit in the pool, please make sure that it is cleaned properly (chlorine does a lot of damage, if you don’t know how to clean the kit ask an instructor to show you). This kit costs a lot of money and if we have to replace it, it has to come from Club subs. ..and the last one specifically to training events:
  8. You must let the marshal know what training lessons you require well in advance so they can arrange instructors.

John Seldon

This page was last updated on : 06 Sep 2011