Mentorship gives such an amazing balance to figuring out the roadmaps of life. It allows for dual perspective, which is always needed, and expands your village. Having a mentor that guides and teaches can be the deciding factor in how much strength they gain, the perspective they receive, and their determination to keep pushing. Mentorship is something I connect with, because I've seen and been a part of needing positive male role models. I know just how important it is.
Mentors turn into our influencers. Influencers have a deeper connection, beyond a temporary presence. I've gained so much wisdom, perspective, and principles to live by, because of them.
I've been blessed to have many significant influencers throughout my life. It's really helped to build my moral compass and ethical foundation. The standards that I've build my insight on, come directly from what was given to me. Through developing my athletes, I poured into them, supported them, and spent time with them. So much so that a mentorship program was established. MPOWR's mentorship program is deeper than volunteering time to athletes- its very intentional and family-based. It's for all youth who are growing up without their parents or a positive support system.
When regularly checking in on athletes and their parents, basketball is the last thing I talk about. The targets are academics, social life and it's challenges, home-life, and building healthy relationships. We discuss their psychological and emotional space. Our conversations include questions like, "are you content with where you are?" and "what are your immediate goals?" Because we understand that life is phasal, it's important to uncover any deficiencies in these areas.
I really enjoy the straight talk conversations that include a mutual full transparency and honest conversations about real life experiences. The sole purpose is to have a looking glass for internal solutions and accountability. The key is to grow the strength of character and expand perspective. The biggest thing I take pride in is knowing my athletes trust me, my honesty, and my integrity. Although they are provoked and their feathers get ruffled, there is security in trust. I have a full transparency and an open door policy. If my athletes and mentees ever need me, they know I'm available.