NACD Instructors Mean Value Added Benefits for Everyone 

Norman S. Brinsley – IC-47 (Inactive)

     I recently observed two of our best known instructors and board members doing what they like and do best; teach cave diving and lead certified cave divers. Mike O’Leary, President and Larry Green, Training Director were at Peacock Springs with Mike conducting a class and Larry leading a guided dive. Even though it was a very busy Sunday afternoon both instructors controlled their working areas and gave their students or clients their undivided attention.

     What was clear was that both Mike and Larry were in charge of their respective activities and their “customers” were getting the services and attention they contracted for. After greeting Larry and commenting on the level of activity going on, he noted that “The visibility of board members in their teaching roles is one of the NACD’s greatest strengths.”

     Larry’s statement is a very important and accurate observation in light of the past year’s successes of our organization. Publishing the NACD Cavern/Cave Diver Student Workbook and the NACD Hand Signals for SCUBA Diving handbook are just two indicators that the NACD is in the forefront of training and education of cave and cavern divers. 

     To illustrate this point further, I want to point out Mike’s technique of using what I refer to as a “hip pocket” presentation to reinforce a teaching point while preparing his students for the next dive. Amidst the commotion in the basin with people entering and exiting the water, Mike maintained a learning environment by placing himself between the source of the activity and his students. He was their focus as he reviewed what they would do on the next dive (task). Once he confirmed their understanding of the task to be done, he reviewed the steps they would go through to do it (condition) and then summarized the level of competence he expected to see as the task was completed (standard). These three basic facets of training were all completed in a brief but not a rushed period of time with the result being a successful student training dive.

     So what’s this value added benefit that NACD members receive? First, the availability of top quality instructors to train new cavern and cave divers as well as provide the trained and experienced divers with opportunities for continuing education and training. This instructional resource keeps our activity safe and enjoyable for all participants. Second and equally important, these active leaders in our organization add prestige and credibility to all of us whenever we show a NACD certification card as evidence of our qualifications. I encourage members to stay in contact with their former instructors and to pursue a continuing education program whenever the opportunity presents itself. I wish you all safe diving.