Steve Schaffer

Headcoach GCU


Steve  Schaffer, the head  Men’s and Women’s coach at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix Arizona, is an ideal speaker to inform the themes of this year’s WADC, the “red threads” running through all aquatics, and successfully addressing change . Before coaching in college, Steve started and coached swim clubs in Massachusetts, (Berkshire Aquatics) and in Phoenix, (Desert Thunder Aquatics). Both programs produced successful swimmers, including a DII record holder, NCAA Championship team swimmers, and American record holders. As A collegiate coach, he took over an NCAA Division II program at GCU with no national qualifiers and finished 4th in 4 years, when he was men’s Division II coach of the year. His team moved to NCAA Division 1, and in their second year of eligibility produced an individual podium swimmer.

Steve is also the creator of the annual College Swim Coaches Association of America Invitational swimming meet.

He has worked with his collegiate swimmers as a coach for various countries at international competitions, including the 2016 Olympics (Zambia). Steve has also worked professionally as a swimming teacher after having been a successful club swimming coach.

Schaffer holds a Master’s degree in Statistics from Arizona State University, and uses math in unusual and creative ways in training his swimmers and in tracking changes through data collection.


Steve’s talks:

College-aged athletes and their learn-to-swim and age group swimming years

What are the typical physical and emotional patterns that impede, and help, collegiate swimmers, and what might be done in early swimming experiences to help these swimmers continue to improve as young adults

The creative use of numbers as a teaching and training tool for competition swimmers (2 talks)

How statistics can shape coach and athlete vision for training in creative and motivational ways. Steve will talk about the structure of statistics-influenced swimming, and how numbers are used to evaluate and adjust training for individuals and teams.

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