If you’ve been fortunate enough to have had a teacher, supervisor or coach who has been a mentor to you and made a positive difference in your life, you know he or she wore many hats. Mentors act as role models, cheerleaders, policy enforcers, advocates, and friends. Mentors assume these different roles during the course of a relationship, and share some basic qualities.
A good mentor has:
• A sincere desire to be involved with a young person
• Respect for young people
• Active listening skills
• Ability to see solutions and opportunities
Above all, a good mentor is willing to take the time to get to know their mentee, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship.
During National Mentoring Month and all year-long, The First Tee celebrates and recognizes our coaches. Research shows that The First Tee participants think of their coaches as mentors. Take a look at what some of our junior golfers have to say about their coaches.
How my mentor made a Difference
Braxton Caldwell, The First Tee of Pine Mountain
“Coach Donnie Caldwell, PGA has given me great advice with my golf but more importantly, in my life. He has told me “make choices today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow.” I use to just make choices that seemed the easiest or most convenient. But now I take time to think about those big decisions and how my choices may also affect others. Without him and his advice, I don’t know where I would be with my life, and that’s scary. He has made me a better person and he has shown me how to make the most of my life.”
Charles Blount, The First Tee of Greater Baltimore
“My relationship with Coach Matt is extremely significant to me. He believes in me when I’m having an awesome time and when I’m having a horrible day. He was there for me when my father passed away and showed me that we don’t have to be blood to be family.”
Alyssa Caraballo, The First Tee of Roanoke Valley
“Coach Mary Beth McGirr has been a major influence in my life, helping me with golf and with learning critical life skills that will aid me throughout my life. She took me under her wing and has been a shining example for me to follow. Additionally, as a woman, she has been an amazing mentor and example of a strong , confident female for me to look up to and admire. Coach Mary Beth has been one of my biggest fans and encourages me to do my best. She takes time to talk about my golf, life, family and personal struggles. She has been an excellent example of a strong leader and businesswoman who consistently gives back to the game and the community.”
Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.
More Than a Game
Offered at more than 1,200 locations, The First Tee program was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and is delivered by trained coaches… or as our participants say, mentors! Check with your local chapter about how you can become a mentor to a junior golfer in your community! Or how you can register your child.