“Zero to Hero” Program Produces a half-decent Instructor Shocker

Posted: October 22, 2013 in BCDs, Culture, Diving Equipment, Scuba Diving, Sport, Travel
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“Zero to Hero” Program Produces a half-decent Instructor Shocker

Does he mean “We’re going up” or “I’m having a great time”? Does he even know himself?

In today’s breaking diving news it was discovered at the Scuba Monkey’s top secret labs (just off the A11 near Attleborough, left at the lights by the chinese take-away, ask for Bob, red-beard, glasses, y’know the fella…) that a “zero to hero” program produced a half-decent instructor who had a bit of a clue how to effectively teach.

“Zero to Hero” programs famously take candidates from novice divers to fully fledged Scuba Instructors in record breaking time. The courses are normally populated by rich Trustafarians with enormous wallets and egos but, ironically, little talent for coaching, teaching or diving experience – scarily letting them loose with real people when training is completed.

Researchers at the Scuba Monkey’s labs were therefore amazed to discover that Mike Balls, 24, originally from Basingstoke, completed his course in Malta earlier this week and actually had half a clue how to structure a diving course, interact with students and demonstrate and assess the required skills in accordance with the course’s prequirements.

Dixie Normous, 42, Mike’s instructor and mentor was still reeling when we caught up with her at Buster’s Bar in Valletta.

“I could barely believe what what I was seeing!” said Dixie, knocking back another Vodka and shaking her head. “Usually the candidates are an absolute shower of shit. No clue, no work ethic, no empathy with students and they’ve got the bare minimum number of dives by bobbing up and down in a 5m deep bay for 20 minute stints. This guy actually put the work in and listened to advice rather than just going partying and tarting around poolside in shiny equipment thinking he was ‘it’.”

Course Director Mike Hunt, 45, from Towbridge said “Usually putting a complete novice through the ‘Zero to Hero’ programme results in someone at the end of the training who’s about as effective at teaching as a chimpanzee is at controlling the NASA space shuttle. What I mean by that is, yes, they’re managing to press the right buttons so technically they’ve passed – but it’s usually more by luck and sheer ‘random’ than judgement. It would be like asking my 3 year old niece to record something on the sky+ box – eventually by sheer repetition she presses the right keys to record ‘Peppa Pig’. But Balls – he actually put in the graft and did it right. I’m astounded.”

Fellow candidate Danny Knobjockey, 26, from Woking,who recently did his IDC on Koh Tao said “Yeah, like, I’m an instructor now. I’ve go no f*cking clue how to schedule an Open Water course – let alone keep control of my group! But I had a great time on the island – man I drank some beer! And if you want someone to parade around poolside with my wetsuit around my waist eyeing up girls, or brag in bars about what a great diver I am and taking selfies with my smart phone, or bounce around on the surface with no mask on losing control of some divers – I’m your man. Just don’t ask me to teach, ok? I wet my pants at the thought of even being asked to teach 1 adventure dive on my own…and I can’t guarantee I’ll bring them all back alive.”

Mat Bellend, 22, from Maidstone, said “I’ve got absolutely no inclination at all to work hard or teach – it’s just that Dad offered to pay for the course and I thought ‘why not?’ – I like the kudos of being able to say ‘I’m an Instructor’. I couldn’t even change a mouthpiece on a regulator if my life depended on it, but I do have some Havaianas flip-flops – is that not enough?”


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