SUCCESSFUL MENTORING: Layne Beachley with recipients of grants from her Layne Beachley Aim For the Stars Foundation.
SUCCESSFUL MENTORING: Layne Beachley with recipients of grants from her Layne Beachley Aim For the Stars Foundation.

Mentoring tips from seven-time world champion

FOR the past 15 years Australia's most famous female surfer, multiple world champion Layne Beachley, has successfully utilised her high profile to drive forward empowering women.

Layne is now shifting her mentoring direction away from the foundation and into other endeavours, but not before she offers some valuable tips to seniors wanting to give back to the community in a similar way to Layne.

Q: What skills do you need to mentor a younger person?

LB: All relationships are built on a foundation of trust. Once this is developed you will need empathy, patience, experience, and good listening skills.

Q: Why help a younger person; wouldn't it be better to let them work out their issues themselves?

LB: Surrounding yourself with people who are more experienced than you saves you time and prevents you from making unnecessary mistakes! Leaders learn from other people's mistakes and fools continue to learn from their own.

We all require guidance and support throughout our lives.

Q: Does it matter what age you are when you volunteer as a mentor?

LB: Quality mentors have a lot of life experience so capabilities are bred through stepping out of your comfort zone, embracing life's challenges and overcoming obstacles. This can pretty much happen at any age, however, becoming a mentor requires a decent level of emotional intelligence and curiosity.

Q: Would you encourage senior Australians to seek out mentor roles?

LB: Absolutely! They are a wealth of knowledge and experience and provide a diverse assortment of perspectives to younger generations to learn from.

Q: Do you struggle with getting the younger generation to respect your experience and what advice/support do you offer them?

LB: When it comes to mentoring, I'm very specific about who I choose to work with. I honestly feel the younger generation are very open to guidance and advice but they are also hungry for genuine leadership.

As long as the counsel comes from a place of authenticity (by that I mean, it has been lived and learned), then I have found the youth are very receptive.

Q: Did you have a particular mentor when you were developing your competition skills? If so, who was that and what did they do for you?

LB: Mentors played a crucial role throughout my competitive surfing career and still do to this day in the business world.

When I was competing, former world champions such as Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha and Tom Carroll played a significant role in teaching me how to become a world champion.

Pam and her husband Mark took me under their wing and taught me how to compete. Wendy introduced me to her personal trainer who made me mentally tough and physically strong, and Tom introduced me to the benefits of yoga and meditation.

I also had mentors outside of the surfing world who provided sound advice and perspective, keeping me grounded and humble.

Surrounding myself with experts saved me a lot of time.

Q: What role have you taken on for the 2020 Olympic Games?

LB: As Chair of Surfing Australia, essentially it is my role to oversee the development and engagement of our athletes within our High Performance programs and best prepare them for success in Tokyo 2020.

We want our athletes to be the world's best surfers and the world's best people. We have our sights set on winning gold!

I'm also keen to explore the opportunity of some commentary work in Tokyo as well.

The Layne Beachley Aim For the Stars Foundation wind up after the final fundraising pushs from its gala event in August 31 and two picturesque Tasmanian hikes in November. For more information on these events, go to

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