Every Dive is a Tech Dive

Just like every dive is a buoyancy dive, once you complete the tech diver training program, you only become better by actually putting it to practice. This doesn't mean you have to dig a hole to 150 feet to call it a tech dive. Embracing the concept and philosophy of a tech diver still needs practicing. The big question is, "How do you make it a tech dive when it's not?" Practice makes perfect, so they say. With scuba diving, there will always be room for improvement. I have been scuba diving with some of the best scuba professionals in the industry and I would say they are rock solid scuba divers. The best they get, another words. Everyone of them would be humble to admit that they would need improvements in their skills. This validates that we are always working on skills to improve them. Tech diving is like no other and needs the attention to details in order to make a confident and safe tech dive. First off, the mindset never goes away. Even if you go scuba diving with a single take, one air source, and nothing redundant, it can still be a 'tech dive', in your mind. Ever read the book 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill? There is a quote "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve." This is so true when it comes to tech diving or any type of scuba diving for that matter. The mindset of working on your buoyancy, your trim (being off-balance), or increasing the efficiency of your kick without stirring up the bottom are ways to keep the mindset. These are only a few things you can work on, with or without the 'tech diving' rig. Remember the tortoise and the hare race? There is no need to see who is faster. It's about making clean and intentional movements underwater. It may take you several dives or more to nail down one improvement. Then as you are working on the next skill, you realize you lost focus on the last skill. With practice and time, eventually your motor skills will figure out how to coordinate it the way you want them to. Then when you add or change any piece of equipment, the cycle starts all over again. Just because you forked over some hefty cash with a great tech scuba instructor (or mediocre scuba instructor could be your case), and completed all the skills required for the scuba class does not make you a proficient tech diver. If a team from Chicago, for example, was putting together a project on Lake Michigan and they were looking for great divers to join their team, they are NOT picking you. You may have to make ten to twenty dives with them before they make their decision. They may even make their decision before dive one! So, leave the egos at home. The point is, we all started out somewhere. Most of us were at the bottom, no pun intended. The only way we can climb to the top of our diving ability is get in the water and practice what you had learned. You will find that the tough skills will now become easy and thoughtless. You may even start creating your own way of doing things once you understand the purpose of the skill. Then you master that skill. Then you do it again, and again and again. This way, when you are diving with your scuba team, and it's dark and thirty-seven degrees, your drysuit is leaking and your hose just blew on your 70 foot bottle, you know, with confidence, that you can pull through it. Why? You practiced and planned for it, that's why. It's a commitment, so make it now! Schedule this winter to take a trip or time in the pool. Most scuba shops charge a nominal fee to jump in the pool with them. This is the time to nail your skills down to where you want them. Summer will hit before we know it. That's when you will be ready to take your tech diving to another level. Note: All diving can be hazardous. So is driving a car or walking down the street while chewing gum. Every tech diver knows there are protocols that need to be met in order to anticipate possible problems. When you do not anticipate these issues is when problems occur. Recreational or Technical diving, regardless. Practice will only make you more prepared. Now go out there and get the experience you desire.   Butch Zemar www.ScubaButch.com

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