There is less competition (except few navigation and underwater photography) in scuba when compared to the other sports. This means that a scuba diver doesn’t get a gold medal and/or step on a platform to accept a bunch of flowers. So, it is actually a little bit hard to call someone “a good diver.”
In scuba, there are two kind of “goodness”.
1- In terms of technique
2- In terms of consciousness
When these two are combined, a scuba diver becomes real good at it. If only one is owned, they are only scuba divers, if none is owned, they got a long way to go.
Becoming Good In Technique
Scuba diving is a technical sport. You not only need to know the current basics, but every detail. Starting from the academic knowledge to advanced diving skills underwater, a scuba diver should be a master in this field.
By reading every diving book -starting from your diving course manual- and article on the internet (divewithseaman.com has and will have good technical articles for both beginners and advanced divers), buy diving magazines, attending scuba seminars, fairs and such.
You should collect your questions that you haven’t been able to find answers by doing the above part. And then ask these questions to your scuba instructor.
There are great documentaries by which you can learn a lot. Net Geo is a great teacher.
Advised Academic Courses
Chosen diving courses should be fun ofcourse, but most importantly, should make a good diver. SSI’s Science of Diving Course forexample, teaches a diver how physiology works for a diver. Great way to improve. When you know these, you master the dive planning, dive illneses (why these happen and gow to prevent), how a diver’d body is affected by increasing and decreasing pressure and such.
Another example is the Equipment Specialty Course given by almost every dive agency (click here to go to article about dive agencies). A diver learns about every single diving equipment and function of every pieces, maintenance, simple repair and most importantly, mechanism of functioning of the scuba gear.
Advised In-Water Courses
Courses about your buoyancy could be a very good start for a diver’s career. A diver who has the entrance level diver certification has nor perfect balance underwater. To be able to get this balance, you should master in controlling your BCD and know about getting the ideal amount of weight. In diver buoyancy, learning to use your lung volume is another topic to talk about. This kind of knowledge and dive experince can be gained as a specialty in some of the diving agencies.
To be able to learn the pressure-volume-density relation, Deep Diving is a must (should be taken as a course from a professional who has the proper credit for this course). You see how colors change when you go deeper, how pressure increases and so density of the air that you breath. Effective air usage can also be improved in deep diving with a qualified instructor.
Night Diving is another courses that I advise for the divers. Night Diving makes a good diver, yet it is another dive “culture”. Small fish go hiding, hunters come out and you see different kind of animals. Using a torch and learning the hand signals by using a torch is important and plays an important role in improvment of a diver’s diving skills. Navigation is another story at night. You realise the darkness and how a diver can easily loose the way, thus the importance of a compass is understood.
I can add Navigation Course to fulfill this need. How to use a compass should be learned.
These diving courses help make a good diver. But the key, is the diver him/her self. The desire to learn and discover make a good diver. Let’s look at the other side.
Consciousness in Scuba Diving?
A scuba diver is also an ocean ranger. If there is no flora and fauna underwater, then we’d dive for nothing. Besides diving, for ecologic issues, all the underwater life should remain underwater in good health.
When a diver applies this kind of behavior, other divers and instructors show respect. This behavior and the resulting respect makes a good diver.
Also read: Consciousness in Diving.
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