Surf’s Up!   Learn to surf and applied principles of counselling.

Whilst coaching a surf lesson at Avoca Beach, Australia, a Canadian tourist participating in the lesson became distressed when caught in a strong rip (a fast moving body of water). The surf lesson consisted of four participants and me as the surf coach.

The participant raised her hand, requesting assistance. Instructing the participant to follow me, we paddled towards the beach. The decision to help was formed by situational exposure to the Australian beach environment, surf culture norms and previous surf coach training. Beach environment exposure and surf culture embody the skills of swimming, surfing and assessing risks. Furthermore, my motivation was driven by the surfer’s code (cultural norm) to help someone in distress without endangering yourself.

Additionally, the decision to act was based upon previous knowledge and experience acquired as a surf coach. Developing competent surf coaching skills has confidently prepared me for rescue scenarios, assessing the skills of participants and motivated me to act in this situation.

Surf coach training adopts a culturally sensitive perspective when teaching participants to surf from different cultural backgrounds. Adopting a worldwide view when coaching participants from various cultures, enables me to become aware of culturally diverse customs, beliefs and swimming/surfing abilities.

My family formed belief of contributing to the wellbeing of others is an intrinsic motivator, driving my long-term helping behaviour. Furthermore, my identity is based upon helping others and value of preserving human life. Surf coaching skill development aligns my core belief of helping others, while valuing the preservation human life and in doing so explains my measured decision to help the Canadian learn to surf participant.

 Visible wellbeing! Can you kick it?

Question: Where does wellbeing start?

Answer: It starts with me and it starts with you.

It commences with the intentional thought to model or share wellbeing and then this can transform into acts of wellbeing.

Where does wellbeing start at School? It starts with the educator and are we not all we educators?

We all play a role in teaching, leading, coaching, role modeling and providing and examples to our children and the people we meet.

Visible wellbeing at school starts at the school gate or the school crossing. It is visible with a genuine greeting, soft eye contact, a smile, a chat or a warm hand or acknowledgement.

My heart warms when I see a teacher make wellbeing visible with their warm, calm and interested acknowledgement of their student.

Wellbeing is in our visible actions to generate safety and security. We can be responsible for kicking off wellbeing and it can be passed back or played forward. The reciprocal nature of wellbeing is awe-inspiring!

 We can all be the change we want to see.

 I challenge you to set the intention and act upon the wellbeing basics of a generous greeting and cultivate human connections one smile at a time.

Can you kick it?

Yes you can!


Three of my favourite things!

At a recent Early Childhood Educators conference I was asked to prepare a keynote on the following theme:

How to use mindfulness, play and movement to enable resilience and improve wellbeing in children.

Please enjoy the framework of this presentation.


1. Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Scientist providing clinical exercise and behaviour change interventions for children with chronic health conditions
2. Teacher and sports coach for children
3. Positive Education & Wellbeing program provider for children & school communities

Intention: Today I want to discuss and demonstrate three skills children and adults can learn, practice and master to enhance levels of wellbeing and resilience.

These skills are:

1. Mindfulness

2. Play

3. Movement

Examples from the following sources will be used to illustrate the teaching of Mindfulness, Play and Movement skills.

The Optimistic Child Prof Martin Seligman
Smiling Mind,
Meditation Capsules, by Janet Etty-Leal,
Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
The Yes Brain Child by Dr Daniel J Siegal and Dr Tina Payne Bryson

GRIT Angela Duckworth

Rock and Water Freerk Ykema, Montesorri, Reggio Emilia, Dr Stuart Shanker

Question: What is it you want most for your children and the children in your care?
Question: Why do you want this?
Question: How do you provide these goals, opportunities or experience in your unique educational settings or family?

Final thought:

Teachers are leaders and to become a leader, one must teach…