Thad Schultz, SPIRE IA’s Aquatics Director and Head Swimming Coach, wants to help the students in his programs to be the best athletes they can be– but ultimately he also wants to help them become better people.
“The best swimming experience also develops life skills like leadership, commitment, self-discipline, organization and teamwork,” says Coach Schultz. “We exceed in swimming and in life by setting goals and putting the body, mind and spirit in motion to reach those goals.”
SPIRE Academy is an international high school and post graduate training and education academy located within a world class event and wellness complex in Geneva, Ohio. SPIRE Academy has an “Olympic Village” look and feel, hosting U.S. and international student athletes.
Coach Schultz, himself an elite student-athlete, competed in the 50-free, 100- free, 200-free, 200-back, 200-breast, 200-IM and all legs Medley Relay throughout his high school career. Like any true champion, he is reluctant to talk about his achievements– but his record speaks for itself: as a college senior, Schultz never lost a race.
After being named a national champion and graduating from West Virginia University, Schultz coached swim teams in Fort Lauderdale before accepting positions at Ohio State, Penn State and Clemson University. One of the sport’s most highly respected developers of talent, Coach Schultz has worked with nine Olympians, four of whom were gold medalists.
According to Coach Schultz, SPIRE’s training program is ideal for swimmers looking for an intense training environment in which to prepare for the next level of competition. In addition to serving high school athletes, SPIRE’s program works with graduates looking to train for an additional year, as well as elite swimmers who have completed college eligibility and are looking for the ideal residential training program.
The swimming program is based on the individual needs of each athlete that concentrates on technique– emphasizing range of motion, flexibility and skill improvement. Coach Schultz and his staff develop a customized plan for each athlete that includes intense training and analysis, and 20-30 hours of weekly training depending on the individual swimmer’s specific stroke and distance goals.
Training takes place in two Myrtha pools designed with input from USA swimming, complete with a reconfigurable 50-meter racing course, an underwater video system for analyzing stroke and evaluating swim power analysis, pace clocks and a scoreboard. There is also a 25,000 sq. ft. Performance Training Center where athletes work on physical conditioning, mental skills development and nutrition/hydration training.
Additional resource and support services include unlimited pool and dryland training space, dryland agility, power and speed training, sports medicine, therapy, rehabilitation, mental skill development and leadership training.
“SPIRE is truly a melting pot of all things relative to long-term training and education development — all delivered within a fun, healthy and inspiring environment,” said Coach Schultz. “By integrating elite athletes from around the world, we’re able to cultivate an intense, competitive yet positive training environment,” said Coach Schultz.
For more information on SPIRE Academy swimming programs, contact Director of Admissions Brian Oliver, [email protected] or visit the website www.spireinstitute.org/academy to download the Admissions Guide.
Swimming news is courtesy of SPIRE, a SwimSwam partner.