Part 2: Who made you the coach/mentor you are today?

Jan 16, 2014

Who was your mentor?  What made them such an uncommon person?  What did you learn from them that you practice as a coach or a mentor? 

We got some great responses to the questions we posed on the Coaches Forum for last week’s “I Am a Mentor” Day post.  However, the nation is celebrating all month long, and since we received a number of wonderful stories via e-mail, and these were too good not to share!

Robert Paymer, The Bridges Program at St. Paul’s School:

Mr. Anderson [my mentor] is wildly creative, has an unwavering belief in the potential of others, and accomplishes whatever he sets his mind to achieving.  He makes sincere and straight forward connections with people of all backgrounds. That’s a trait of his that I have tried to emulate throughout my life.”

Ron Strong, Athletic Coordinator, Boys & Girls Club of Collier County:

“I was fortunate to have several mentors, my father and my grandfather. What made them an uncommon person was the fact that they took time to listen to me and give me good advice. They also guided me throughout all my accomplishments and hard times. The things I learned from them were to always put 100% in everything you do, never give up on a dream, and when you reach a goal set another one.”

Scott Graham, Athletic Director, Lumberton Parks & Recreation Dept.:

“My high school baseball coach cared about all of his students/players not only on the field but also off the field. Whether you were playing baseball be or not, he always wanted his players to succeed in life and be successful in whatever you may choose. To this day I still contact him for advice and closely listen when he speaks. He'll always be my ‘coach/mentor’ but after baseball he looks at me and his former players as friends. Everyone needs someone like him they can look up to and know they'll always be there for you.  I learned [from him] to always make the right decision. Making the right decisions in life will make you more successful in the ‘game’ of life in the long run. He also taught me to think about who you hang out and who you choose as friends. People judge you by who you choose as your friends.”

Lisa Saenz, Unit Director, Boys & Girls Club of Corpus Christi:

“Personally my mentor was my mom because she absolutely did everything for us as kids growing up!  She worked all day and came home to cook dinner every single night for my dad and me and my brothers.  All our friends knew mom always cooked some good meal for us, so there were always extra mouths to feed.  Mom did the laundry, ironed clothes, took care of the house and took care of us kids and my dad.  It always seemed to amaze me how she did everything.  As a kid, I observed this and always said, I hope I can have the strength my mom does because she was and still is so amazing.  Thanks to her, I can say she totally made in impact in my life because I can do those same things mom did for us, I now do for my family!

Athletically, I would have to say it was my high school basketball coach!”

Timir Cox, Program Coordinator, Boys & Girls Club of Sanford/Lee County:

“My mentor growing up was my father!  He was involved in several organizations mainly the community boys club that helped mold young boys and helped these young men venture out of the country town of Goldston, NC, to to view different experiences and to learn the intimate ways to become a man!!!   Thus the reason I am so passionate about helping mold the next generation!”

Kristin Zimmerman, Recreational Specialist, City of Independence Parks & Recreation:

“I did not have a traditional mentor but I definitely had people that I looked up to in my field.  Dr. Dale Adkins from Western Illinois University has an amazing passion for Parks and Recreation and what it can do for people.  Whether it is living a healthier lifestyle, being a positive role model, offering a safe place to recreate or being the best person that you can be.  I owe him the biggest thanks and I am the person I am today because of Dr. Adkins and the RPTA department at Western Illinois University.  I love my job seeing the impact it has on so many people is truly amazing.”

Alex Montoya, Manager of Latino Affairs, San Diego Padres:

“My biggest mentor was my college one, Bob Mundy.    He was the Admissions Counselor who admitted me to Notre Dame and then went the extra mile of welcoming me and helping me settle in.  Really he became like a father figure and still is to this day.”

If you haven’t shared about your mentor(s) yet, please do so in the comments section below!