So I had the privilege of teaching not only two incredible divers, but two incredible brothers this past week here in the Maldives. When Freediving, I believe it is very important to gauge your divers capabilities, and to acknowledge their underwater time, albeit Scuba Diving. Both of these chaps have over 200 dives and were very comfortable in the water. Due to this I altered the how I run the course in a way, that caters to their capabilities.
The next thing I had to consider was dealing with potential Sibling Rivalry. This can be a bit of a touchy subject, because you are basically asking people to ignoring an attitude they have had their whole life. But as I had explained to them, it is important to note because freediving is a dangerous sport and pushing to be better then your brother is just not worth the risk. Luckily, Both Elliot and Max were supportive of each other.
Today’s blog isn’t about changing the industry or learning something new..but just a short documentation of what the PADI Freediver Course looks like.
- Breathing Session
Here, I taught the boys about full diaphragmatic Breathing and meditation, and the importance of mastering these skills. Freediving is very much about relaxing ( as the PADI video suggested on MULTIPLE occasions) and controlling your stress underwater.
2. Confined Water :
In the Maldives, our Lagoon is so flat, so we used it as our ‘pool’. The boys started by stimulating the Mammalian diving reflex before we started our static session. Even though the minimum is 90 seconds, both boys gave an impressive max of around 2min, 50 sec without contraction. The dynamics were very easy for both Max and Elliot as they both cruised to an easy 50 meters.
3. Open Water :
I geared the boys up with some good diving fins and we moved to deeper water in the afternoon to try some depth diving. Once again both boys, reached their targets with absolute ease.
4. Fun dives:
Once all the hard work was out of the way, we did a cheeky fun dive to experience the underwater world using our lungs to get us down there!
All in all I would say this has to have been one of the most rewarding courses I have ever taught because it doesn’t teach people about gear, it teaches them about themselves. Watching these two fellas grow over the time that I was able to teach them was such a gift that I am grateful to have been apart of.