Judges’ Mentorship Program

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.

Feel free to contact Dale White, Kathy Butera, or Wendy Maul with your questions or comments.

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.

Kathy Butera

Kathy Butera is USTA's National Judges Chair.

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