Many freedivers make their living from teaching freediving and in our small diving world one of the most well-worn comments is, ‘you can’t teach and train at the same time.’
Our sport is definitely a mental one. If you’re training and diving deep then each time you put your wetsuit on you must want to do your dive. You have to be eager for it. If not, I can guarantee that your subconscious mind will find one of a thousand excuses to stop you on your descent.
But it becomes hard to look forward to putting your wetsuit on when you also associate it with work. If you just spent the last 6 months teaching people to dive it’s more likely that you’ll want a break from diving completely, not be looking forward to your own training.
During my own training periods I stop teaching completely and when I have a competition or period of deep diving approaching I cut back the amount of courses I run. I go from running a course every weekend to one every second weekend and sometimes even that is too much.
Even though it may look like some of us freedivers live like rockstars there isn’t actually much money in our crazy little sport. Definitely no one starts diving thinking they’re going to get rich. We dive driven by nothing but our passion and if we want to keep diving and keep progressing then we have to keep that passion alive.
In saying that though teaching freediving is the best job in the world. I’m writing this blog having just taught a course on the Great Barrier Reef with Humpback Whales swimming and singing all around us as we dove. I love seeing people look at me with looks of disbelief on their face after their first 20 metre dive. I have such a passion for teaching but my passion for my own diving is just stronger.
So if the goal is to dive deeper then a balance must be found or teaching has to be given up completely. One of my favourite things I say to myself is that, ‘sometimes I have to be selfish.’