National Association of Rescue Divers

Pool Training

The swimming pool offers the best location to introduce new skills and work on old ones. It makes the learning safe and controlled. A pool class should be presented the same as a class demonstration. It is here that the students or team members learn what works and what does not. It should be noted that time in a pool, even a heated one, leads to chilling, watch the class.

The flow of the class should be: objective, demonstration, student performance with feedback, and summary. The theory behind the skill should be discussed in class not in water, water classes should be active. What is done is far more important than what said.

Dive teams should have at least one pool training session per month. Every pool class should include buddy breathing with and without an alternate air source. At least every quarter the Team Leader and Divemaster should review all basic skills. These would be weight check, BC control, snorkeling, ditch and don, entries and exits. Everyone should be evaluated, even the Team Leader and Divemaster. During these evaluations the team can use their slates to grade whoever is performing. Have each member rate the skill from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. After the skill is performed, have the graders tell why they gave the score they did. This forces the graders to actually observe and think about what they are doing, also everyone can benefit from other people's observations.

Rescue skills should include every task to team will do. When practicing mouth-to-mouth and mouth-to-snorkel use rescue dummies to see if ventilation are working. Be sure that all carries and tows are practiced. Try execrating victims on regular back boards verses the Miller Board. Learn what works best for your needs.

Pool classes have to be fun as well as a learning experience. Once the team has decided on the rescue skills they want to employ the pool class can take on a different format. They are no longer classes but training exercises under controlled situations. Relay races can be done for towing a victim individually or two man. Hula hoops can be placed in the water and divers have to follow a set sequence through them. Make every fun task have a learning objective.

For towing, gear handling and fitness a game called: Fill the Bucket, can be played. Use a strong five gallon bucket that will be passed from diver to diver while they tread water. Divers can only wear fins. any diver that drops the bucket is out until one diver is left. Afterwards record the amount of weight in the bucket for establishing team records.

For manual dexterity underwater the Spoon and Ping Pong Ball Relay is best. The dive team is divided into at least two teams. (odd man team will have to have someone go twice) In full SCUBA gear the diver takes a plastic spoon and holds a ping pong ball underwater. He then swims the length of the pool, turns around, and comes back to pass the ball to the next diver. Divers may not surface, or touch the ball, if the ball floats up he must retrieve the ball with the spoon. Only the first man may place the ball under the spoon with his hand.

The Balloon Blowing Contest can be done two ways easy and hard. First the easy way. In full SCUBA gear in the deep end of the pool, see who can blow up, tie and send to the surface the most balloons in 90 seconds. The hard way is taking a punch ball balloon and in snorkeling gear see who can blow it up the largest on one try. Use a tape measure to decide winner.

Another team game is bowling ball soccer. Place a large laundry basket on each side of a pool as goals and use ropes to make out of bounds. The team then uses a blowing ball to push on the bottom to try to get in the opponents basket. A referee is a must. The rules are simple, no lifting the ball no inflating an opponents BC, and no turning off of air. Play is two ten minute halves.

These are a few things to make pool training fun. Rescue work is strenuous and stressful, these little games played in the pool not only develop skills but relive stress. Make up your own games and then challenge other dive teams or clubs to a scuba Olympics.



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