Aussie skipper’s tips on staying connected in isolation
Exclusive: Like many parents across the country Australian Test captain Tim Paine is juggling working commitments with minding his two small children.
From his house in Tasmania the father of two will be 'coaching' thousands of school students across Australia in his new role as ambassador for "Be Connected" - a short series of 12 webinars from for purpose organisation Beacon Foundation which have been designed to be worked into the national school curriculum.
With one eye on the camera and the other on his young son and daughter the cricketer tested his multi-taking abilities as he talked through building resilience and how to make the tough decisions - as a person and a test captain.
Having spent years isolated overcoming a serious broken finger that required multiple operations and saw him on the verge of quitting cricket, to rising to the top sporting job in the land following 'sandpaper gate' he said there is one thing that endures.
"I was very lucky in both those cases I was doing something that I absolutely loved that helped me get through, but no doubt they were challenging in different ways - one from a resilience point of view and the other from a leadership point of view and being on show all the time."
Reflecting on his tips when it comes to decision making he urges students to be true to themselves and to gather information - in his case talking to mentors Greg Chappell and Ricky Pointing as he was on the verge of retiring a few years ago.
"Had I not gathered the information my life would be looking very different right now.
"Allowing myself to make mistakes and not trying to be perfect has certainly taken the pressure off in situations where I've had to make big decisions," he said.
Even isolated, Paine has been on the frontline in his hometown in Tasmania, posting videos at the Premier's request in order to encourage people to stay home.
Wanting to make the most of this time he signed up for two of the Beacon Be Connected webinars which will be broadcast to students in schools across the country, and some will also be available on News Corp Australia websites soon.
"Right now we are experiencing something we have never experienced in our lifetimes and for some of us there is no doubt it is an uncertain and difficult period of time," he said.
"Rest assured we will get through it and a good way to help get through it is to always stay positive and to look to the future and continue to try and grow and learn," he tells students.
Be Connected runs in schools in all states and territories and has a focus on life skills to help Australia's young people navigate the current environment with ambassadors like Paine reflecting on their own life lessons.
Paine remembers the sudden adjustment of having a high disposable income at sixteen and trying to balance schooling at the same time as well as the importance of having mentors.
"I didn't realise it at the time that I was slowly building skills that would not only help me out as a cricketer but as a person," he said of the lessons he learnt as a teen.
It is these traits that Paine believes has helped rise to the position he holds today and lessons he hopes to pass onto the leaders of tomorrow.
"It is something I have been really mindful of as a captain and as a leader is trying to help people out around me and helping others achieve their potential," he said.
Paine will host the first and last of the webinar series which will be available to teachers throughout term two.
"It is difficult for young Australians feel like their dreams or careers feel like they are a long way away, the importance of resilience and having mentors and people to aspire to is something I have been really lucky to have and now I can help pass it on to the next generation."
Scott Harris, CEO of Beacon Foundation said the series brings industry and education together at a time when young people particularly need inspiration.
"We have done online learning for three to four years and we saw this was a great opportunity in the doom and gloom. We are really concerned about the wellbeing of young people and ensuring they feel like the community cares."
Leave a question in the comments for Tim Paine to answer at his next webinar.
Originally published as Aussie skipper's tips on staying connected in isolation