The Judges’ Department launched a pilot Judges Mentorship Program for twirling professionals. Read on to find out more about the Mentorship Program and how to participate as a Mentor, Mentee, or BOTH!
As judges progress through the levels of certification, it is important to have a mentor to learn from, collaborate with, and grow professionally to advance our own professional goals and the success of our sport. Please consider being a part of this valuable program.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth.
What does a mentor do?
The following are among the mentor’s functions:
- Teaches the mentee about a specific issue judges commonly face.
- Coaches the mentee on a particular skill that may be challenging.
- Facilitates the mentee’s growth by sharing resources and networks.
- Challenges the mentee to move beyond his or her comfort zone by exploring all twirling cultures.
- Creates a safe learning environment for taking risks and know this is ONLY a positive experience for growth.
- Focuses on the mentee’s total development.
- Communicates openly, honestly and constructively during the relationship.
- Assists in defining goals and objective as well as setting expectations on growth and development.
Mentees enjoy many benefits, including:
- Gains from the mentor’s expertise as it ADDS to the mentee’s skill set.
- Develops a sharper focus on what is needed to grow professionally within the organization
- Learns specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to USTA’s expectations.
- Networks with experienced and seasoned professionals.
- Gains knowledge about the organization’s culture and unspoken rules that can be critical for success; as a result, adapts more quickly to the organization’s culture without losing the sense of independent thinking.
- Has a friendly ear with which to share frustrations and successes.
- Has a trusted agent with whom to share confidential or sensitive information.
Mentors can be from every level except Level 1. That is, a Level 2 judge certainly could mentor Level 1 judges aspiring for higher levels. Level 3 judges could serve as mentors to Level 1 and Level 2 judges. And Master judges could serve as mentors for ALL levels.
USTA will solicit volunteer mentors from our judging pool. Those judges will then be assigned mentees who are requesting a mentor. From the list of mentors, a judge MAY request to be mentored by a specific judge or the department director may assign a mentor. A mentor will be assigned no more than two mentees.
This is a structured service USTA will provide our judging community. It is NOT mandatory. Judges must initiate their desire to participate. A pilot program is now open for participation.
Register to participate in the pilot program – Pilot participants will help guide next steps and identify tools and resources needed to make the program reach levels of success and value.
Reporting Log for Judges’ Mentorship Program – Please try to report your progress at least once a month for review by the Judges’ Department Director.