My role as coach and mentor

For 17 years I have been teaching people to surf and I am more passionate about my coaching than when I first began. The relationships I build with my students sustain my passion to teach and every day I create little moments of magic on the beach.  These moments of magic are created when a student has been persisting with a difficult skill and after many unsuccessful attempts they succeed at obtaining it.  In that moment there is a connection between myself and the student, an understanding that I as the coach realise how difficult that skill was to achieve and by encouraging them to persevere they have achieved that skill through their own determination and persistence.
Mentoring is about active listening, being supportive and having a genuine interest in someone as an individual.  Students appreciate when I push them beyond what they may have imagined they could accomplish.
By far, the most important role of a mentor is to support and encourage young people, particularly as they struggle to overcome obstacles and solve problems. Surfing classes are quite often a happy place where all the worries of the outside world are forgotten and the students can focus purely on the ocean and the waves. This gives their mind a rest from their day to day pressures. 
Boys and girls need different styles of communication. Boys need a mentor who will go out of their way to get to know them as an individual and encourage them with specific feedback. Girls instinctively put in the effort to engage with the coach and will follow instructions readily. Girls need more long-term consistent feedback. Students can tell the difference between adults who are authentically interested in them as individuals and those who are just playing a role.  
As a mentor I am constantly inspired by the students I teach.  My coaching methods inspire confidence and resilience and over time I see my students stand taller and have the courage to reach out further and take on bigger challenges.


eagle bay

Posted by Big Wave Surfing School in Blog, Homepage Posts, Interesting Articles, Surf School News