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Shaun Tomson: The Surfer's Code And Other Lessons In Character

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Listen in as Positive Coaching Alliance goes 1-on-1 in interviews with top pro and college players, coaches, executives, and other major sports figures and academics who provide tips, tools, information and inspiration for youth and high school sports coaches, parents and student-athletes.

This 1-on-1 interview features Shaun Tomson (@ShaunTomson) who had a 20-year professional surfing career, winning his first pro contest at age 17 and his last at 30, all the while at or near the top of the rankings for the Association of Surfing Professionals tour. He authored Surfer’s Code: 12 Simple Lessons for Riding through Life and produced of the award-winning documentary film Bustin’ Down the Door.

Sonja DeWitt, PCA Senior Trainer Manager and avid surfer, talks to Tomson about his father's influence in helping him become a surfer, but more importantly in developing a sense of character and honor that shaped Tomson's competitive behavior and post-career activities.

He speaks to tens of thousands of youth each year, guiding many of them through replications of his own "12 Simple Lessons" that involve writing down 12 "I will..." statements. His commitment to this practice stems from his belief that "the responsibility of an athlete is to inspire -- you inspire by your performance and you also inspire by your behavior and how you treat others."

Tomson explains how the balance of two Greek concepts telos (purpose) and ethos are critical to development of youth.

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