Becoming a PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer!
Freediving isn’t just something I do, but a lifestyle I live. So I am SO excited to finally become a PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer and share my lifestyle and my passion for freediving with new PADI freediving instructors from around the globe.
Becoming a freediving instructor trainer was a long journey but a very worthwhile one 🙂
For the past 5-6 years now I’ve been teaching freediving courses and coaching freedivers full-time in Dahab, Egypt (among other places). And, whenever possible, I’ve been doing my own freediving training to improve my depths and techniques and competing in freediving competitions around the globe.
I truly enjoy teaching, coaching and training in freediving, and sharing my know-how and my personal experiences with students, buddies and fellow athletes, to help and to inspire others about a lifestyle where passion for the water, health, yoga, physical training and meditation all play a special role.
Becoming a freediving instructor trainer (!) has been a dream of mine and a career goal in the planning for quite a long time!
And so earlier this year, when I found out that there will be a PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer Course in Dahab, I was just over the moon!
Note that a PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer Course only takes place once a year and can be anywhere in the world!
What are the chances it would be right in Dahab, right where I live?!
My first thought was, “This is my chance!”
I felt ready to go to the next level in my teaching career, and was (and of course still am!) ecstatic about the idea of teaching freediving instructors, and passing on my knowledge and things that I’ve learned about teaching freediving to new instructors, things that I wish that I knew (!) and tools I wish I had (!) when I first began teaching freediving!
It was a challenge in-itself to work it out just to enroll in the instructor trainer course due to limited finances, but thanks to the PADI team and especially my regional manager, Ahmed, we worked out a solution and made it happen, and right at the last moment!
I remember walking in on day one of the course, and feeling just so grateful and so happy just to be able to be there. Just be able to participate in the instructor trainer course, it was such a dream come true!
After a very long but super AMAZING first day, the social that evening was so lovely, just having a bit of wine and getting to know everyone!
We had so many people from different parts of the globe; Bassel from Dubai, George and Marios from Greece, JongPil and Sung from South Korea, Noud from the Netherlands, as well as the staff; Eric from the USA, Kostas from Greece but working in the UK, Rich from the UK as well as two amazingly helpful and sweet translators; Jonathan from Greece and Young Hee from South Korea
The course itself was six days long and very intensive, much more than I imagined!!
I’d leave my house around 6:30 am, and after a full day full-on of presentations, water sessions, and workshops, I would not arrive home until after 7-8:00 pm, and with 2-3 presentations to prepare by morning!!
I remember one night I was up until 5:30 am working on presentations, then I slept for an hour, and at 6:30 got ready to head to the course to do it all over again!
I’m a competitive freediver at heart and this made a day in competition look like a total piece of cake! haha
BUT!! It was SOOO worth it in the end!!
The amount that I learned, the absolutely incredible people that I got to meet and work with, and the amount that I got to develop myself as a communicator and as a leader in freediving education, made everything SOOO worthwhile!
There were many things I loved about the instructor trainer course and that I learned, but I’d say the thing that I enjoyed the most and what I think I benefited from the most, was ironically the most challenging thing; the teaching presentations!!!
We had to do several teaching presentations in the classroom and also in the water (confined and open water) and we were evaluated on many different criterias.
Well, I’ve actually always wanted to improve my presenting and public speaking skills! So this was such an opportunity to do so!!
It’s funny how the universe works in incredible and mysterious ways!
So typically, I would get super nervous when speaking in front of groups; large and small.
And many times to compensate for my nerves, I’d end up talking too much (!), going off on tangents and forgetting to mention important information.
So although my presentations weren’t absolutely horrible, they certainly weren’t great or nearly as effective or clear as they could’ve been, and often they were way too long and my audience would lose the focus.
But what was AWESOME about the PADI Instructor Trainer Course, what I really liked is, that it gave me a structure to use for organizing my presentations.
And I learned a lot of lots of tips and insights for presenting and public speaking, for example how to keep the audience engaged, how to gain their attention in the beginning, how best to conclude and recap the presentation, visuals and aids I can use, etc.
By applying the structure and the teaching techniques, my presentations and my communication became much more clearer, more concise and A LOT more effective and engaging! And it gave me A LOT more confidence in public speaking!
It was all so incredibly helpful! So I am incredibly grateful!
Now, I feel I have pretty much all the tools and info I need to teach PADI Freediver Instructor Courses effectively and confidently AND I can use a lot of these same tools for any kind of teaching, presenting or public speaking events that I want to do in the future!
A massive thanks to the staff; Richard Somerset, Kostas Triantafyllou, and Eric Albinsson, who were SO helpful, SO patient and supportive during the course and just genuinely kind people!
Also, it was so nice to meet everyone that was involved in the course, and such a pleasure to spend the six days with Bassel, George, JP, Marios, Noud, Sung Don aka ‘Jack’, Jonathan and Young Hee. I really hope to see all of them again in the future!
And a HUGE thanks again to my regional manager, Ahmed Sayed, who has always been super helpful and supportive of getting my little freediving business here in Dahab off the ground. It really does go a long way.
I’m excited to be a part of this amazing team at PADI!