What is Mentoring?
Mentoring refers to a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. In effect the mentor acts as a critical friend and sounding board to help the person being mentored to develop their skills and experience.
Many of the UKCC coaching awards suggest that new Level 1 and 2 coaches have a mentor to help assist the further development of their coaching practice. However, even beyond Level 2 there is still much to be gained by coaches being mentored. Much mentoring already takes place informally within coaching such as new coaches being paired with experienced coaches, coaches asking each for ideas and advice.
What's in it for the Coach being Mentored?
Coaches get friendly advice and support from a more experienced coach. This could be to help some-one new to coaching to get started, or to assist a Level 1 coach as they progress through to the completion of their Level 2 Award. It can include bouncing ideas for sessions of the mentor, helping the coach to review their coaching, identifying ways for the coach to gain additional experience or further develop their coaching skills.
What's in it for the Mentor?
Firstly being a mentor will add to your own skills and add another dimension to your own coaching. It will also open your own coaching up to new ideas for other coaches. Plus you can get great satisfaction from helping to develop other coaches, and if you are mentoring within your own club or organisation it means you are also building and strengthen your coaching team.
If you are interested in knowing more about becoming a mentor and developing the skills to support other coaches, there is a UK Coaching workshop A Guide to Mentoring Sport coaches. This provides experienced coaches all the tools you need to develop your skills and learn how to design a mentoring programme that will support your coaches' learning and increase the effectiveness of your involvement. It's also an excellent opportunity to share your opinions, learn from other coach mentors and gain a fresh perspective on different approaches to mentoring.
Tools to Help
There is a Training Needs Analysis – Coaching Profile Wheel available to help coaches and mentors develop in a structured way