Stefano Busca, PADI Course Director, achieved the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2016 – an award which recognises the efforts and accomplishments of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world.
We spoke to Stefano to find out what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to him, as well as learning about his achievements and future aspirations as a PADI Professional.
What inspired you to become a PADI Pro? I have always loved outdoor sports and my dream has always been to work in the sports industry. When I became a scuba diver and started meeting positive people, I immediately knew that this was going to be my chance to fulfil my dream.
How do you think you’ve changed personally and professionally as you’ve moved up the ranks to become an Elite Instructor? Today, many people are attracted by scuba diving in order to escape the daily routine and the usual problems and commitments in their lives. I think that a successful instructor should be in the position to offer as many scuba diving activities as possible (recreational, specialties and Tec) in order to meet the customers’ needs and desires. Personally, I did exactly this!
Which PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most and why? Now, I can teach almost all the specialties with open circuit. I like diving and teaching in all environments; my favourites, however, are deep and wreck, especially on a recreational technical setup. The TecRec programs offer both the instructor and the client a chance to dive in an environment accessible to few, a sort of scuba diving elite group, where the technical preparation and personal fitness are vital.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career? Becoming a PADI Course Director! Having the possibility to pass on my passion, while training not only students but also instructors, is definitely the biggest reward.
What does diving give you that nothing else does? Diving gives me the possibility to escape from my daily life, to enter an environment where interacting with the underwater life is so intense that everything else disappears. An escape from reality!
Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now in your diving career? The commitment to get where I am now has been considerable. The PADI educational system, however, is very efficient and systematic at every level. You just need to believe in what you are doing and focus. You will succeed!
Do you believe you change others’ lives through diving? Absolutely! People discover an extraordinary and exciting activity. Lately, more and more students get into scuba diving with an eye to becoming professionals; many become instructors to work full time in scuba diving. To date, I have trained instructors that are working in the most beautiful locations in the world: Red Sea, Maldives, Micronesia, etc.
Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive? There is a very effective video, on the internet, showing the difference between the life of an employee and that of a scuba diving instructor. The morning wake up and the daily routine in the city, for the employee, the beach and the sea for the instructor. In a few minutes you have the best representation of what is the scuba diving lifestyle.
As a PADI Elite Instructor how does it feel being recognised as one of PADI’s top performing Instructors in 2016? Being an Elite Instructor is definitely a great recognition for the work done and an incentive to improve. In 2016, I issued over 200 certifications: this is hard to beat. But the important thing is to always do your best, without focusing too much on one objective; if you do your job the best you can, you will always achieve some new, important objectives.
What does “My PADI” mean to you? For me, My PADI is a lifestyle, a chance to make dreams come true! One of my favourite quotes is: if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life!
What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors? I would tell them to always work to the best of their abilities, following the standards and procedures unique to the best scuba diving training agency in the world… PADI!