Training vs. Learning

Editors of DIVE TRAINING magazine have joined a new concept that is spreading through the diving community. They have changed the slogan at the bottom of each left- page from "A Good Diver Is Always Training "to "A Good Diver Is Always Learning".
Why the shift from training? The difference between the two words is more than semantics. The dictionary gives a clue. Training is defined as "making or becoming proficient through specialized practice, "while learning is, "gaining knowledge, comprehension, or mastery through experience or study." The difference in terms, while subtle, is very important. Training generally connotes practice, doing something to hone and improve skills. Just as an athlete is trained by a coach to do a skill over and over, the diver is trained by the instructor who explains and demonstrates skills to be learned, and then the diver and a buddy practice until they reach proficiency.
Learning, on the other hand, implies a broader, more comprehensive acquisition of skills and knowledge. It is as much an internal, intellectual process as it is physical training, and is achieved only through the cooperative efforts of both the teacher and the student. A student cannot learn without the guidance of a teacher, and an instructor cannot teach unless the student is open to learning.
We all know people who have had many, many hours, even years of training, and proudly display enough certificates and c-cards to have cleared an entire forest. Yet some are marginal- to- incompetent divers, thus proving that training does not translate into learning.
We in the diving community are fortunate to have an outstanding support structure in the learning process. Resources like dive magazines are important tools to aid in this process. However, how we use the tool will control what is achieved as a result of use of the tool.
That's where your local dive center comes to play. Dive centers and their staffs of professionals make learning happen. Whether it is studying advanced diving techniques, talking to knowledgeable staff regarding equipment, or practicing skills to the point of mastery, the dive center is where the rubber truly meets the road-where training becomes learning. The dive center's crucial role in diving education is the reason for dive magazines unequivocal support of your local dive center.
Stop by your dive center this week to see what learning opportunities await you. And remember , a good diver is not always just training, "A Good Diver Is Always Learning!"