How to study to become a freediving instructor

Each freediving association offers its own instructor course, although often the programs may be somewhat similar. Here we will tell you about how instructors of the International Freediving Development Association AIDA are trained. True, it all starts long before the course.

By the time he enters the instructor course, the freediver is already good at diving, knows how to build his own training process, and even has already applied this skill, preparing for passing the standards.

The fact is that the depth standard of the previous AIDA4 course is from 32 to 38 meters, and in order to pass the standard of the instructor course, one must confidently dive deeper than 40 meters. The freediver is expected to dive a few meters deeper using the knowledge and skills gained in the AIDA4 course. The same applies to statics and dynamics standards. There are many different standards in the instructor’s course, and you need to prepare for all on your own – or with the help of an instructor, training in addition to what was covered in previous courses. So very few people enroll in an instructor course right after AIDA4. Although there is an option here.

According to the AIDA rules, the standards of any course can be taken or retaken within one year from the start date of the course. So, in principle, you can learn on an instructor course, postponing the delivery of standards for several months and only then start teaching. True, you need to understand that if you still do not pass them in a year, then the course will have to be completely repeated and paid for.

So, training for a freediving instructor begins long before the course, and it includes more than training. Not later than a month before the start of the course, each candidate for instructor receives the topic of his own research work, which is drawn up as an abstract and as a presentation. As part of the instructor course, it will need to be presented to an audience made up of fellow students, instructors and freedivers – the coach will make sure to invite as many interested people as possible.

This is called a special presentation in the AIDA material. Presentation time is limited and you need to answer questions from the audience; the varied dimensions of your work and its presentation are evaluated. All this will need to be prepared.

Then the course will begin. The minimum number of days according to the AIDA Standards is 7. The Aqualibrium Club does instructor courses for at least two weeks. The duration of the course depends on how intensively the classes will go: the presence / number of days off and free time during the day or the ability to retake a failed dive. Also, will the trainers be able to include additional material, share their own experiences, or give you the opportunity to practice teaching skills in more detail. In general, the longer the course, the better. Now, with the development of online learning, more and more materials are being prepared for independent study – due to this, it is possible to reduce the time for face-to-face classes, replacing lectures with a discussion of what was passed in advance. And devote it to training the skills of an instructor – learning to teach.

Usually the instructor course is organized at depth. For example, in Dahab or at the Lazurny quarry. Less often – there are Pool Instructor courses in the pool.

Often, candidates come to the spot in advance to acclimatize, dive in and, importantly, relax before the course – the classes will be very intense. Starting by listening to lectures, you will soon move on to teaching individual topics, teaching in the water, and doing warm-ups on land. In fact, you will need to try to conduct the AIDA2 and 3 courses. All this – under the supervision of an instructor-trainer who will help you prepare for teaching, and then give feedback and correct mistakes.

The AIDA Instructor Course Standards provide for the simulation of a teaching situation: the candidate teaches his fellow students who play the role of students. Aqualibrium, at the suggestion of Konstantin Borisov, is recruiting special courses with real students who know that they will be taught by candidate instructors. Thus, candidates manage to work in real conditions with the help of experienced trainers.

In addition to teaching, you need to have time to write exams – and the actual exams of the instructor course, and all the AIDA2-4 exams again. And also to pass the aforementioned standards and presentation, acquire and demonstrate the ability to prepare and maintain equipment, organize a group, assess risks, plan your work. There are a lot of classes and material on the course, sometimes you still have to do small homework. Any exams or assignments, in case of failure, can be retaken within a year – as well as standards. They certify you as soon as you pass everything.

In order to become an active AIDA instructor, you must also provide a certificate of completion of a first aid course no more than two years ago, as well as a professional liability insurance policy. The list published by AIDA includes the professional plans of DAN, Indepths, Aqua-Med and Diveassure. Photos of the certificate and policy are sent to the AIDA system. Once approved by the Education Committee Administrator, you can teach courses and certify AIDA Freedivers.

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