Hey Subscriber,


Thanks for the reviews! Find out how I lost money this week. We hate junk and salespeople. I have a training tip for you, and please take a quick survey about this email. I don't want to overwhelm your inbox.

Thank You

I really appreciate the Google reviews we received this week. That takes the shop up to 4.9 stars! A couple of you asked where else you could review us and my answer is Facebook. If you want to see more of what's going on on the site, including what new stuff we are adding to the shop, I'd suggest following our Twitter.

I Walked Away From Two Sales This Week

I'm pretty sure I talked one of my customers out of spending a couple of thousand dollars on equipment I could have sold (Blog post about Full-Face Masks here if you want to know more). I also had a college student, home for the summer, come in to buy some boots because his fins were loose. While we were looking at boots, I noticed that his fins were different sizes. Instead of making a sale, I pointed that out and he left without buying anything. In both cases, it was the right thing to do.

I've always appreciated honesty, but we all do. That's the reason almost everyone hates buying a new car. You can feel that salesperson doing everything they can to sell you one of their cars, with upsells like a leather-coated stereo and bucket seats in the trunk. The process feels gross and it isn't something that anyone looks forward to repeating.

When I became an instructor, one thing I wanted to do was to share my knowledge of scuba diving with others. When I started this business, I thought about what I wanted as a diver, and that formed one of my core principles for this business:

We Don't Sell Junk

If I wouldn't dive it myself, you won't see it in the shop, the exception is my old split fins in the used section. I'd rather see those go to somebody on the internet that wants them than send them to a landfill.

Training Tip

You can't always get in the water, and the longer you go without practice, the more your skills degrade. There is a stop-gap, however - visualization.

For example, Michael Phelps's coach said:

He’s the best I’ve ever seen and maybe the best ever in terms of visualization. He will
see it, exactly the perfect race. And he will see it like he’s sitting in the stands, and
he’ll see it like he’s in the water. And then he will go through scenarios – what if
things don’t go well? [… you know if my suit ripped or my goggles break, what
would I do… Phelps said]. So, he has all of this in his database, so that when he
swims the race he’s already programmed his nervous system to do one of those. And he’ll just pick the one that happens to come up. If everything’s perfect, he’ll just go with the perfect one. If he has to make a change, he’s got it in there.

We can do the same thing for our diving, even if we aren't going to be in the water any time soon.


PETTLEP is an acronym for effective visualization, its components are Physical, Environment, Task, Timing, Learning, Emotion, and Perspective.
Physical - Conduct the training in the same gear that you would use. Not practical for scuba unless you have a pool! We can visualize being in all our gear though.
Environment - Again, best done in the actual environment (some open water environment) but again, vivid imagination is the next best thing. Maybe you're swimming along a reef, looking at a lionfish, and feeling relaxed and in trim. You can hear your bubbles...
Timing - You should complete your skill in the same time that it takes for you to actually complete the task.
Emotion - Any emotion associated with the task that you can imagine feeling will help you.
Perspective - The most efficient visualization is when you do the skill from your own perspective.

Putting Visualization into Practice - A Practical Example

Now, that's a lot to keep track of, but let's put that into practice:
The next time you think about scuba, (or right now!) try the following:

Imagine that you are on a nice dive in the ocean. The water is warm. Think about your gear - visualize the mask, fins, BC, regs, and any exposure protection you'd be wearing. You're in a group of divers, following a divemaster toward a swim-through.
As you start to enter the swim-through, another diver darts in front of you and kicks you in the face with his fins. Think about how you'd feel as he kicks off your mask (annoyed? surprised?). The other diver managed to kick your mask completely off your face, so you calmly reach out and grab your mask. You take a breath and relax because you have the situation under control. Everything is kind of blurry without your mask, so you use your thumb to find the nose pocket of your mask so you can orient it correctly. Think about the way the water feels on your face and nose. You remember to breathe through your mouth, just like you did the last time you took your mask off.
You take another breath, checking to make sure your breathing is under control. Then you check your buoyancy to make sure you aren't going up or down. Now with your mind and body under control, breathing calmly and in neutral buoyancy and good trim, you put your mask back on your face. You clear your mask and you look over at your buddy. You calmly signal to him that you're ok and signal, "Can you believe that guy just did that?" Then you head through the swim-through and enjoy the rest of your dive.

Every time you run through a visualization in your mind, you activate the same areas in your brain that you activate when you actually do the task, so visualize success each time!

I've got a spreadsheet here that has a couple of skills along with a how-to section that will help you visualize the correct way to do things.

The spreadsheet will eventually contain all the skills from open water in an If/Then format. In other words, If my mask gets kicked off, Then I will put the mask back on, and I will put my thumb in the nose so I don't put my mask on upside down.

I've left editing open, so you can add your own visualizations to it. You don't have to add the how-to section, but I'll check those to make sure that all the performance requirements are there. We want to make sure those visualizations aren't missing anything.

Can You Tell Me How I'm Doing?

If you have one minute, I have a few questions about this newsletter and I'd really love your feedback. Please click here.

If you have any questions or want to talk about anything you can reply to this email, or call us at (505) 585-1648.



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