23 June 2024
Is the mentor a meaningfull or maybe an overrated role?

Is the mentor a meaningfull or maybe an overrated role?

As Wold Education Services write: A mentorship is a relationship between two people where the individual with more experience, knowledge, and connections (a mentor) is able to pass along what they have learned to a more junior individual within a certain field. How does it work in sport field?

“We are connected as a women. It’s like a spiderweb. If one part of that web vibrates, if there’s trouble, we all know it, but most of the time we’re just too scared, or selfish, or insecure to help. But if we don’t help each other, who will?”

Sarah Addison Allen

I studied Physical Education on Academy of Physical Education and Sport in Poznań. For 3 years my group consisted only of girls. More than 30 female athletes comming from different sports and backgrounds. Some were already very successful in their field. I remember when I started, I was surpriesed about the atmosphere in my group. And I have to admit that I thought that it will be full of tension and drama. I was so wrong! We were quite relaxed and we supported each other during studies. We had each others back. This experience showed me that sisterhood is not a product of imagination. It is real and it can give you confidence which you need to grow.

When I started my coaching career, I was assisting a female coach, who was and still is a great educator. Marzena Świerczyńska, who was a coach in UKS Baranowo and later on she became a regional coach for Wielkopolska. She taught me how to be a good pedagogue. How to manage group of kids or teenagers. She supported me in my daily work and cheered for my success. Always kind and always honest. Was it always sunshine and roses? Not at all! However I felt that she had my back and respects me. In retrospect I can see that she was my mentor.

Does it really make a difference that my mentor was female? I think yes.

Why?

The answer is simple. I could relate to her. She understood how it is to be the only woman in the group. She understood the difficulties associated with sport being a male environment. I have never felt stupid asking questions. I have never feared that she will treat me differently, because I am a woman. Have I ever experienced different treatment from a male coach. Hell yes.

Mentorship is a timeconsuming activity. No extra paiment. There are some great coaches, who cares about younger ones. There are some great coaches, who cares, however don’t find enough time to share their knowledge. And there are also coaches, who have no interest in sharing their knowledge and experience.

I was lucky to grow as a coach in great environment. I wasn’t really aware about it, until I changed this environment. Now I want to return the favour and encourage young female coaches to grow as badminton coaches.

To all female coaches: Please be a mentor to young female coaches. Help them develop. Show them that there are many ways to do this job. Make them feel like they are valued, because of their knowledge and proffesional skills. Let them know, that you have similar experience in male dominated environment.

We need more female coaches, who will be a role models for young female coaches.

Be the change!

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