Freediving Instructor - A Day In The Life

Freediving Instructor - A day in the life...

Hi guys, my name is Matt, I’m an SSI Freediving Instructor Trainer and co-founder of QLD’s based Freediving school , OceanSense.

OceanSense offers Level 1 courses to instructor courses, retreats and personal coaching.

OceanSense offers 3 locations across Queensland. operating in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and where I am based, Airlie Beach & the Whitsunday Islands.

I’m going to talk you through a day in the life of what it’s like to be a Freediving Instructor.

A lot of people tell me that I have the best job in the world, and I mostly agree! Who wouldn’t want to wake up every day knowing that you’re going to be meeting new people, diving in great places and having heaps of fun! In 2018, I left my office job in England to start my journey as a Freediving instructor and for years I had wondered what It would be like to travel the world doing a job that I loved and fulfilled me. Finally, I decided to take the plunge (pun intended!).

I personally have always been drawn to the Whitsundays as it really is the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. With 74 islands, all with fringing reefs bursting with life and clear waters to explore at your doorstep, it’s a Freedivers dream. Being an SSI professional allows me to travel across Australia living the dream that I once imagined from my office chair everyday for years.

Most of days start with welcoming a fresh set of new faces filled with excitement to start learning. We always like to break the ice by personally introducing Ocean Sense and SSI and then let the students take over. This is such an exciting part of my job, and it allows me to meet new people from all over the world from all different walks of life. Every person will have a different story as to why they are drawn to the ocean, and connecting with people through those stories every day, makes no day the same!

Our morning theory session Is around 3 hours, making sure we include all the freediving fundamentals and re enforcing the information already learnt by our students, through the online learning provided prior to the course. Theory sessions are always kept fun, engaging and students are encouraged to ask as many questions as possible. We often share personal stories of our own water based experiences and it’s a really good point to get to know each of the students and create a relaxed environment.

After our theory session and a small break, we then move onto our breathing for freediving session. This is often the students first time where they have been introduced to any type of breathwork and relaxation, and often where the real excitement starts to begin. Our sessions are about learning to use the breath to regulate the nervous system and completely relax your body. This will then be applied to your freediving breathe ups, later on. Before I became an SSI professional, I didn’t really know much about how breathing and meditation techniques can affect me both in and out the water, but now I can honestly say that it is an integral part of my daily routine to manage the everyday stresses of life.

Our afternoon session is where we get stuck into the practical skills with students completing all the confined water requirements for their course and building the safety skills needed for the open water. This is a super rewarding session as an instructor as you start to see your student’s confidence and belief in themself grow. We often get people at the start say they can’t hold their breath for longer than 30s, and finish with 2minutes! It’s a great feeling to know that you’re facilitating that.
We always end with a bit of fun, usually learning how to blow bubble rings under water to end the day on a high, and then ready the boat for the open water!

Our open water days start from 7am and begins by a beautiful scenic trip through the blue waters of the Whitsunday islands. Students are briefed as to how the trip will run on the way, and they are left to view the stunning location. One of the reasons why I love the Whitsundays so much for freediving, is because you have so many different dive sites to offer, all of them different! Some of the places offer good depth for training in protected areas whilst others offer colorful vibrant coral reefs with an abundance of fish life.

Our open water sessions will often be a mix of depth training, and exploration dives. This gives the student time to break things up between doing the requirements of the course and just having some fun! I personally love teaching Freediving for the reason that anyone can do it, as long as you have a basic swimming ability. It’s also such a personal experience and people really find themselves facing the good and bad parts of their personalities and seek to improve themselves, through Freediving.

As mentioned before, the part I love about my job is meeting people from all over the world and being part of their life and freediving journey. We often see the same faces who attend our courses attending our retreats and taking their freediving to the next levels. We hold annual retreats in Australia and Bali which allows me to travel, doing what I love.

Personal growth is very important to me. Both from an instructor perspective and my own personal freediving. Being a Freediving instructor I have the flexibility to improve my own freediving by training in locations that we travel to teach, and also improve my knowledge as an instructor, working with other professionals in the industry.

I look back on how my life used to be before Freediving and there was always something missing. Being a Freediving Instructor gives me the chance every day to live life to the full and keep the flexibility I need to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. If you’re thinking about changing your life, its never too late. You can check out our freediving instructor course here. 

Freediving Instructor Trainer Matt


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