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Published on 19th May 2019

The Realities of Being a (Good) Diving Instructor 1

With the volume of marketing that the recreational diving industry has come to rely on in recent years, one might be forgiven for thinking that the life of a diving instructor is one of unremitting beachside frolics and fun. Much of the aforementioned marketing depicts pearly-toothed smiles of sheer delight against backdrops of azure seas, glowing sandy beaches, or crystal-clear swimming pools filled with diligent, determined students gazing adoringly at their tanned, bleached-blonde instructor.

Don't get me wrong - pursuing diving as a career or as a hobby will certainly bring you into contact with azure seas and beautiful sandy beaches. Many instructors are tanned and bleached-blonde (lucky bastards), and are loved by their students for quite simply being great at what they do. Delighted smiles are a reality, as are delighted hugs and fervent thanks, as  - I've noticed - diving is something that brings people to conquer demons, face fears, and achieve life-long goals. This is the true reward - taking someone into the water, unsure and nervous about diving, and bringing them out as someone with a new-found love for the ocean and well-earned respect for themselves.

But this transformation is hard, for both student and instructor, and that is what the relentless marketing doesn't show. It doesn't show the behind-the-scenes - after all, the job of advertising is not to show what happens on the other side of the curtain, but rather to create a fabulous front-cover image and then let your glamour-struck imagination fill in the details. Allow me now to relieve you of some of those details, and replace them with something a little closer to the truth...