Scott Sanders: SDI Instructor Trainer Ambassador

An active diver for 20 years, the water is Scott’s office, playground, and sanctuary. He travels the Northeast US as a regional sales manager and takes on a balanced schedule of exploration, fun, and instructional dives. Scott not only brings premium equipment to dive shops, but also provides quality dive education at the technical diver, instructor, and technician levels. After years of open circuit instruction, he made the transition to CCR and now teaches on the SubGravity Defender and XCCR. Through customized training that fits with the students’ diving environment and long-term goals, he aims to offer a holistic experience that creates competent, safe, and comfortable divers who remain active and passionate.

Scott’s own diving experience is as well-rounded as his teaching philosophy. From laying line in virgin caves to CCR diving in every state of the Northeast US, he has dove in a variety of underwater environments. Deep wrecks, mines, sumps, and shore dives are all in his log book, but his next dream dive is taking photos of historical wrecks in the St. Lawrence Seaway. When Scott’s not underwater, you can find him spending time with his two daughters or working on personal cave and sump exploration projects.

What was the first dive you did and how did it influence you to start a career in the diving industry?

I was inspired to be a dive professional after the adventures with the Scuba Club at Virginia tech while a student at the university. It was primarily the trips to the Florida Springs for training and Florida Keys for spring/fall break that showed a guy who grew up in the mountains a whole other world. Then with the assistance of some great mentors my career path was destined for paychecks in paradise!

What do you believe is the most important trait of a professional educator and why?

Patience enables a professional educator to be professional, confident, and focused on not only safety but primarily on the process of learning. Without patience, a good experience is basically just good luck.

What is your favorite SDI class to teach and why?  

Scuba Discovery is the first chance for most people to take their first breath underwater and it is always a privilege to facilitate this experience. This is also an extremely unique time in a divers career to have the opportunity to share good habits and set them on an inspired journey to explore the underwater world that I’m so passionate about (in a nice horizontal trim position frog kicking).

What is a bucket list dive you still have?

haring a healthy coral reef or inspiring shipwreck with my daughters will be the pinnacle of my dive career. While I’ve had many opportunities myself, I’ve never been in a rush to check everything off the bucket list too quickly.

What is one bit of advice you would give to a perspective Instructor candidate about to embark on becoming an SDI Instructor?

Discover your own dream dive and distill your passion before you start sharing it with others. With the power of being a dive professional comes the responsibility to make sure the next generation is passionate about the sport and has a holistic understanding of the world of scuba and is not just constantly asking what is next on the con-ed chart. Keep it slow and appreciate every dive.