Age Minimum (with Adult): 21+, Minimum Age:21+
Bethlehem Special Olympics is in need of additional mentors for our athletes who are in leadership roles. We have several types of mentor roles available including working with our Athlete Leadership Team, Global Messengers, Athletes as a Coach and more. A mentor needs to be a supporter, adviser, guide, coach, teacher, someone who gives help and advice to help a person learn a role, and can give specified training in a particular subject or event and help empower the athlete.
The mentor journeys with the athlete through observations, experiences, the Athlete Leadership Training Series/ALPs University coursework, and practical application of leadership skills. Together, they experience the evolution of an athlete leader. Building leadership skills is a partnership between an athlete and a mentor and one of the most rewarding experiences ever! As new challenges or skills sets are introduced to an athlete, the mentor modifies his/her level of influence as needed. There is no magic time frame for an athlete’s acquisition of knowledge, self-exploration and leadership skills. Every athlete is different in their rate of learning and development of their skills and self-confidence.
Roles of Mentors
Mentors’ roles are multi-dimensional and may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Finds short-term mentor(s) to assist with athlete’s desired new role if mentor’s skill-sets do not meet the athlete’s need at that time such as becoming a coach or an official
- Moves between helper, speech coach, facilitator, advisor, confidant, teacher and friend as needed
- Works one-on-one during each course and monitors follow up tasks
- Ensures there are adequate opportunities to provide practicum experiences
- Commits to a partnership in making the ALPs experiences as meaningful as possible
- Is an advocate at all times
- Ensures athlete knows about training opportunities inside and outside Special Olympics
Characteristics of Good Mentors
Characteristics never diminish but grow with experience. Listed are some of the most important characteristics any mentor should have:
- Learns everything one can about the athlete
- Gives encouragement and provides constructive feedback
- Asks the questions “why” or “how” to check the athlete’s understanding
- Allows athlete time to formulate answers to questions and express him or herself before intervening; provide help as needed
- Values athlete’s opinions and preferences
- Listens – people want to know what the athlete thinks, not what the mentor knows
- Helps athletes stay on task
- Fades assistance as athlete leader becomes more proficient in skills and role
- Represents Special Olympics professionally
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