31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence: #15 Get Yourself a Mentor

The “31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence” is a series of easy-to-implement tips that provide avenues to improve your performance. Be it recovery, technique or trying something new in training, the tips are relatively straightforward and yield larger gains than simply doubling your efforts in practice.

Today’s tip is #15: Get Yourself a Mentor. 

Mentors are important

I read that Thursday, Jan. 17 is “Thank Your Mentor Day”  and started thinking about how far I have gotten thanks to the many great mentors I have encountered and learned from.

While my success is relatively small compared to most, I would not have achieved half of it without the opportunity to learn at the hands of many people far more talented than I.

A mentor could be your coach, a friend, training partner, colleague, professor, teacher, parent, etc, and can help you improve in any facet of life.

In particular a good coach will teach you lots about your chosen sport and how to succeed. Training with athletes who are faster than you can spur you to train and race faster, and gradually catch them.

The benefits of having a mentor:

  1. Inspire you to achieve lofty goals
  2. Motivation
  3. Feedback
  4. No excuses – make yourself accountable
  5. Leverage their experience

How can I get myself a mentor?

  1. Identify successful people you can relate to and trust
  2. Ask them to be your mentor
  3. Work hard on the relationship, e.g. listening, asking questions, implementing suggestions

And while we’re at it, consider being a mentor to someone else, formal or informal.

Previous tips in the 31 Easy Tips series include:

#1: Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
#2: Write Down Your Goals (Now!)
#3: Ask an Expert
#4: Start Stretching
#5: Track your progress towards your Goals
#6: Take a Cold Shower
#7: Incorporate Drills into your Workouts
#8: Superfoods for Superperformance
#9: Get Some Rest
#10: Cross train
#11: Reward Yourself
#12: Don’t Breathe in the Pool
#13: Take a Bath
#14: Do Squat!

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