By Roy Cabalo
I often see divers plan their dives but wonder how many are visualizing their dives. Visualizing your dive and dive planning are not the same thing. Visualization is nothing new. Professional athletes practice it before critical plays. Business professionals do so before important meetings. Military leaders employ it before important operations.
Not just planning
In dive planning, you’re doing just that planning. You look at factors such as depth, time, temperature, topography, current, weather and the purpose for your dive. Dive planning is looking at the important details that are critical to a safe and successful dive.
Plan your dive and dive your plan. Cliché but always true. Dive planning is about facts and preparing for the “what if’s” that could take place. By no means is visualization a replacement for proper dive planning. It’s more an add-on to your prep before getting in the water.
The mental picture
Visualizing your dive is all about the mental picture of your dive. By that, I mean seeing the mental images of your dive as it should occur.
When your dive planning is completed take a few minutes to relax. Take a few deep breaths and mentally picture your dive from the time you stand up to the time you enter the water, through your descent, the dive, your turnaround and ascent.
You could almost say you’re putting mental images to everything you have planned out and maybe given yourself insight on something you could have missed.
If it sounds a bit quirky, think about this: Pro athletes used visualization at least as far back as the 1960s. Pro tennis player Billie Jean King used imagery to see how she could play her matches mentally. The US Olympic Teams routinely have six to nine traveling sports psychologists to help athletes through training routines.
Visualization can also be applied in the teaching of new divers that might be a bit hesitant as they get into the sport. It can help students overcome anxiety.
I'll share this great article and leave you with the challenge to visualize your next dive. Do it after you plan your dive and before you get into the water. Also, do it before you train that next new diver and before you make that next amazing dive.