Mentorship Responsibility Is A Mandatory Necessity

Mentorship Responsibility Is A Mandatory Necessity

In recent light of all the sports media frenzy that has occurred with accused murder, rampant PED usage, numerous athletes changing schools, I have begun to wonder if Athletics has gone several steps backwards.

Are we back to a time when recruits were brought in just to help win an NCAA Title, regardless of their past, and without regard for how they will be mentored during their time in school? Are we back to a time, when an athlete who has the reading level of a sixth grader is brought in to a school because he’s built like a Mack truck and can dominate the boards, or terrorize the opposition on the court or field?

Are we back to a time when athletes in college are taking classes like underwater basket weaving, and ball room dancing? A school has the responsibility to nurture and mold that seventeen- year old child into a man/woman until he leaves as a twenty one year old. Bottom Line. Done Deal.

Another scenario would be the travel sports circuit. Should an overage player in Junior Hockey be responsible for guiding the younger players, or worry about his own survival of getting to that next level of Professional Hockey? Should a Youth Travel Club Player mentor a player of a younger age? A mentoring system has to be put in place for that athlete to teach him/her, the social skills, and make him/her aware of the ways of the world outside of their town from which they arrived.

When working as a coach, scout, or student, one of the most important things I found to do immediately was to immerse myself into the local community, wherever I had visited internationally, or even back home within the United States.

Make yourself seen, and ask questions of the local grocer, restaurants, and town folk. If there are some festivals or music programs out in a park, it would be good to attend, so you can really get to know the community you’re moving to, and find out what they are all about.

It can really lead to a very poor start in your school term or season; trust me, by playing the “lone wolf” game. Do not try to be the new sheriff in town though either. One thing is to get involved in things, and another is to try and be the lead act in the show while stepping on everyone else’s journey on day one.

Adaptability is a skill you will have to acquire and apply quite quickly if you want to survive the ladder up the Athletic process. Life is not that you get it your way, how you want it, when you want it, where you want it, and so forth.

Embrace Change. If your coach yells at you, and your youth old coach never did that, deal with it, and grow from it. He/She is there to make you better, and believed in you when they asked you to come and compete for them.

  • Do you challenge the Coach? Or do you adapt?
  • Do you tell them how it’s been done, your way? Or do you find a way to make it work?

The answer here should be quite simple, but for the majority, there always has to be a learning time of pain and suffering.

Diversify Your Routine. Finding outlets away from the classroom, and the field lends itself in avoiding staleness, and for your safety as well. My own experience happened about a few weeks into my studies in Mexico.

We went to school from three in the afternoon till nine in the evening, and the dress code was a mandatory suit and tie. I was so excited that I finally had found the right bus and metro train route to school, that I left at the same time each and every day from the house where I was renting a room. This was a huge mistake, and was even told so by the thief and his brother who tried to rob me, when we were sitting in the police station later that night. In hindsight, I probably should have given them some money and not risked injury or worse, but I stupidly fought them off, and actually broke one of their jaws completely.

One of the guys told me that I was an easy target since I stood out as a sore thumb in this little village doing the same thing each and every day, where I lived by always traveling to school at the same time, same bus, same stops for coffee along the walk to get the bus, and that they saw me sitting in the plaza all the time, just hanging out without a purpose. My mentor had failed me down there. Did he organize me getting accepted into the FIFA Coaching Course? YES. Did he let me stay at his house for a couple of weeks till I found a room to rent? YES. Did he give me the first clue of guidance about anything to do with Bus or Metro Routes, Dangerous parts of the city, the pitfalls to avoid in Mexico like food and water consumption?  NOT EVEN CLOSE.

I absolutely believe that the best part of travel, or going away to school, or being traded to a new city, is to encounter new things, and not have it all planned out for you, but guidance from someone “That’s been there, and done that” is not just helpful, but absolutely a vital necessity.

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