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Tara Shaffer, Strength and Conditioning Coach

Published on January 05, 2021

Danielle Ripley-Burgess

The FCA publication is a gift from our FCA staff to all donors giving $50 or more annually. For more information about giving, visit here.  


Fortunately, she made it home. Coach Tara Shaffer had been vacationing in Mexico with her husband and kids when news of a virus began to spread around the world. Answered prayers came in the form of the airports staying open long enough for her family to make it back to their Littleton, Colorado home, a place they would have typically hosted a weekly Huddle before all ministry went virtual.

Upon returning to the States, Shaffer made the transition to virtual coaching, learning how to use technology to continue pursuing her passion for leading female athletes and teaching them how nutrition is key to a strong immune system. As a certified strength and conditioning coach and licensed nutritionist, she’s focused on helping athletes stay healthy and strong in their bodies and their hearts this year.


How are you currently encouraging your athletes who are struggling with the changes and challenges of this year?

I strongly believe that each day we are given is a new opportunity to share the love of Christ and to show others that we do not fear because we have the Lord on our side.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

This verse has been a huge topic of discussion since the pandemic hit. I encourage my athletes to hold this Scripture near at all times because it comes down to a choice. As Christians, we need to choose to not allow fear and anxiety to control our lives. We need to choose to guard our hearts. And lastly, we need to choose to focus our minds on what is true in the midst of uncertain times.


What has God been teaching you throughout 2020?

As much as I know and pray on Philippians 4, I have found myself being anxious at times. My husband has had to remind me multiple times that God is still in control, no matter what happens in the future. I have prayed about this numerous times, to trust and know that, at the end of the day, Jesus is Lord and I am saved. My job is to share the Gospel so others I come in contact with have the same information to make this choice, especially in these challenging times.


What role do you see FCA’s ministry playing in combating the chaos of 2020?

I see FCA as a safe place for kids to go and learn about the Gospel. Once you know what God has to say about times like these, it changes your perspective inward and outward. If these kids only look to their peers for advice and instruction for lives, they are typically going to be led to a path of destruction. The kids at FCA and their peers need our guidance to help them navigate the challenges of high school and beyond. FCA is the perfect place for this transformation to happen.


FCA’s ministry theme for the year is 100%. In your opinion, what does it mean to be a 100% coach?

In order to be a 100% coach, I am committed to being there for these kids whenever they need anything. I do get late-night phone calls with lots of tears when some find themselves in sticky situations, but I am happy these kids feel like they can call me anytime to get last-minute advice.

I am also committed to my family 100%. So when I have to step away to talk through something with one of the kids (many times on more than one occasion), I initially feel bad for my family, but then God reminds me that they are watching and learning what is important. They see me guiding with the Bible and prayer, which plays into the saying, “Kids learn from things that are caught, not taught.”





Written with support from Danielle Ripley-Burgess
Photos courtesy of Olivia Ridl