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Unmasking the Dive Industry: Roberto's Journey to Skillful Underwater Mastery

Merely obtaining a scuba certification doesn't guarantee becoming a proficient diver, especially in today's profit-driven dive industry with a focus on fast-track certifications. Many certified divers may unknowingly develop poor habits due to improper training, ingraining incorrect techniques that are challenging to overcome. After obtaining certification, one could end up spending their lifetime with unsuitable equipment configuration, incorrect weighting, and without knowing how to enhance their overall diving experience.

We tackle this issue by providing expert opinions and guidance to improve the skill set of divers. Our workshops are meticulously crafted to foster accurate, practical, and life-preserving abilities, moulding participants into dependable and secure divers. We prioritize instructing effective training techniques, steering divers towards becoming proficient and secure divers they aim to be. Additionally, we provide them with the appropriate groundwork and approach to refine and amplify their diving skills.

Roberto's Journey with FlowState Divers

Here, we want to recount the story of Roberto, a certified diver with approximately 100 dives, and an avid follower of our educational YouTube Channel. While watching our videos, he recognized the significance of improving his existing skills over acquiring new certifications and developed a strong desire to advance his diving abilities through training with us. 

Despite residing on the other side of the world, he reached out to plan a series of workshops with us. Through extensive email discussions about his current level of experience and future goals, Roberto expressed his wish to focus on finning techniques, particularly mastering the back-kick, as he had not learned it previously but grasped its significance as a positioning technique. He grew tired of using awkward hand movements and rolling around, losing his body position or buoyancy control when attempting to back away. So his primary objective was to acquire the correct technique for this invaluable technique.

Based on all the gathered information, we created a personalised plan for him. Making the journey from New Zealand to Tenerife, Roberto began his training with an assessment dive, and a post-dive video briefing where we pinpointed areas for improvement, clarified his mistakes and provided guidance on correction.

We conducted a dry session with him, demonstrating and guiding him through the proper technique for back-kicking. This part of the workshop was crucial because it facilitated his comprehension of the precise movement needed for efficient propulsion. Additionally, it provided the opportunity for us to immediately identify and rectify any mistakes. 

Moving forward, we commenced his initial workshop dives, focusing on his back-kick as per his request. Open to suggestions and unwaveringly following our instructions, he rapidly grasped the correct techniques, showcasing a remarkable progression in learning this essential skill.

While his main focus was on improving propulsion, he understood that we identified more significant issues in his diving, including breathing techniques and buoyancy control. We talked about the fundamental significance of these aspects, especially in connection with propulsion, and he promptly agreed to put into practice underwater what we had discussed.

During his second dive, we focused on these facets before progressing to additional back-kick training. We observed a more significant enhancement in his skills, as he effectively addressed issues with his breathing, and improved his buoyancy control.

Throughout the following sessions, we expanded his training to cover various diving skills, including team procedures, and general awareness. By engaging in different exercises, he successfully overcame previously ingrained bad habits. His commitment and swift progress became apparent in every session, and the post-dive video briefings aided his understanding by highlighting mistakes and guiding his path to improvement. 

In four fruitful days, Roberto underwent a transformative journey, significantly enhancing his skills and underwater confidence. His commitment combined with our tailored approach and collaborative atmosphere, formed a distinctive alliance that not only facilitated his improvement but also empowered him to refine multiple features of his diving skills. 

The progress attained is reflected in his positive feedback:

This will be a long review, so please do consider reading it fully, as you might be finding it very insightful. I have come across Flowstate Divers YouTube channel and got hooked to the series of "Master" scuba skills, which I highly recommend to everyone. Just subscribe to the channel, you will get notified on new contents, you won't regret it. When I visited their website, I found out that the team offers workshops to work on improving and honing your basic scuba skills, and that's when I decided I needed to go to Tenerife. Best decision I've ever made (and it's by no means an easy "relocation", as I flew over all the way from New Zealand via Italy). One word about the "booking": you choose a date and get a confirmation from the team about availability. You don't pay anything beforehand. I've had a lot of back and forth communication with Peter that considering the time difference (13h) was almost instantaneous. We've discussed a lot about my goals and expectations from the workshops and how I "rated" myself as a diver, my current rig and level of experience and so on. This has allowed Peter to tailor a great programme for me to work on progressing myself towards the end goal of being a better diver. On to the dives we go. First and foremost, a word about the gear set-up: Peter and Babett are DIR advocates and you really should not be diving any other configuration. If you have not dived a DIR set up, consider switching to it, as it makes a lot more sense and moreover you will find serious divers in the world using this setup. I personally dove an XDeep Ghost and Tecline regs. The water was at a nice 24C, so I felt super comfortable in the provided 5mm wetsuit, even after 3h of underwater time. Safety and overall comfort could not be overstated: you will be in the best possible hands underwater with Babett and Peter, never for a second will you be left wandering around unsupervised. The guys are now officially part of UTD diving and therefore the TEAM aspect of diving is paramount. The workshops have been extremely proficuous for me when I look back at them and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I feel a better diver after them. Peter will always be straightforward with you: if you're BAD, you will not be sugar told otherwise. This is something I really appreciated, because even if I considered myself a good diver with above average skills in many aspects, Peter has been very clear when he told me my line work sucks, my breathing sucks, my turns suck, but he's also been very encouraging in the other way when he said that my trim was overall good (and I always had the feeling of not having a good trim). During the three days we spent underwater we have worked on correcting all my bad habits and boy there are a lot. A number of them are now muscle memory to me and will take me a long time to correct. On a positive note, never having been able to back kick gave me a clean slate to start from. I can say that in 1h and 30 minutes I went from not being able to go backwards to going back 10 metres or more almost effortlessly. That was a huge win for me, as that was one of the things I went to Tenerife for. A word of advice: if you are really critical towards yourself, do not get discouraged if you are having a hard time performing the skills. I found myself getting extremely frustrated. Then Peter said something really clever and also very true: one cannot expect to go from zero to hero in just 3 days: mastering these skills might take hundreds and hundreds of dives. The workshops are designed to bring you to a level where you do understand the basic breakdown of the various skills, the exercise setup and can safely work on them at your own pace to try and learn the skills on your own. Thanks to Peter and Babett, I know what to work on and how to work on it. Kudos to you guys, you're awesome and I will see you in the future no doubt, hopefully with a better set of skills.

As noted in Roberto's review, he acknowledged the significant progress made during his time with us, while also recognizing the need to persist in honing his skills to reach the desired level of proficiency. It's important to understand that mastery of any skill takes time and cannot be achieved in just a few days. Our workshops primarily focus on instructing individuals in effective learning methods, proper techniques for practice, and cultivating the mindset for continuous improvement as divers. Following the workshop, it becomes the student's responsibility to continue practising using the techniques they learned from us.

Each student receives all the recorded videos from their workshops, allowing them to review previously discussed mistakes, which enables them to remember the corrections we made and effectively practise during any future dives. Additionally, we are readily available online to provide assistance and advice whenever our students require it, and certainly, all our divers are welcome to schedule follow-up or level-up workshops at their convenience.

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Roberto Pacilio
Roberto Pacilio
31 dic 2023

You guys rock! Thanks again for all the hard work. I can't wait to go back to New Zealand and work on those skills in my own gear. I'm quite curious to see how much weight I'll be able to ditch after we worked on shallow breathing and PROPER proper weighting, to be honest :)

Keep up the good work

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