Mentoring: A Valuable Resource

Last month I had the privilege of attending a coaching course. The purpose of going to the course was to aide me in getting a C license that will allow me to coach some of the higher level teams in our club. More importantly, the 8-day coaching course provided me with some valuable information on coaching practices that I feel will certainly benefit our players here at PASS. I was fortunate to learn from some really good coaches, hear a fitness expert speak about effective training techniques and hear a psychologist as he shared with us how to get the most out of our players. I wanted to pass on to all of you some great information that I learned from the psychologist presenting the information.

Dr. Dan spoke about how important it is for us as coaches to provide good visual feedback to our athletes as well as have role models players can look up to and emulate. These two things really struck a chord within me. The visual feedback he was talking about can be anything from watching YouTube videos of soccer skills being performed, watching games on TV or even watching older kids play games. The visual feedback from these sources offers a rich learning environment that is invaluable. In addition the players learn from watching coaches and mentors as these are role models the players really look up to. By watching and learning from them, the players can try to emulate their character, their actions, their skills etc. The players aspire to be like them in many ways.

Mentors are important because they help younger or less experienced players define goals, find ways to achieve goals and establish quality relationships. Mentors offer encouragement to the mentee in all facets of their life. Mentors also invest time into these young people and as a result the young people learn values by watching, by sharing, by caring about someone that completely appreciates them. The two may share common interests, and/or other personality traits that make them a great partnership. As I thought more about the importance of mentoring I began to wonder how we can create such a culture at PASS.

We would like to begin a mentoring program at PASS where the goal of the program would be to build relationships in the PASS community. We would like to bridge the gap between the older and younger players. In addition, our goal is to grow the game of soccer and a passion for the game in a safe, positive environment. If this sounds great to you, and you would like your child involved in our mentoring program here is some information.

First and foremost, it is important to note that this program is a mentoring program that is based on creating relationships, it is not coaching. This program is meant for the older kids 13 and above to connect with a buddy that is 7-12 years old. We will connect the two based on age, location and gender. The only requirement is that the pairs must attend 2 of each other’s games per season (fall and spring). The younger kids can even go to a high school game, not necessarily a PASS game. If the two and their parents choose to do any more then that it MUST be communicated and supported by the parents of the mentor and mentee. The older players can attend the younger player’s practice and join practice sessions. This must be arranged with the coach prior to attending. You can communicate through me, Dianne Strawser, or the coach directly at least 24 hours before the training session.

If your child is interested in becoming a mentor or you would like your child to be a mentee please contact Dianne Strawser at strawser@live.com to get started.