FC Youth News

To Coach or Mentor? 

September 26, 2018


Hey FC Parents and Kids,

Many of you have commented on the positive ways I interact with your kids – Thank you for your feedback and kind words. Let me explain in a little more detail my approach and why I feel it is so effective. For me, it comes down to two approaches – Coaching vs Mentoring. Let me explain the difference …

Coaching and Mentoring are not the same things. My experiences support the conclusion that mentoring is a power free, two-way mutually beneficial learning situation where the mentor provides advice, shares knowledge and experiences, and teaches using a low pressure, self-discovery approach.

Teaching using ‘learning’ versus ‘teacher to student’ model and, being willing to not just question for self-discovery but also freely sharing their own experiences and skills with the partners. The mentor is both a source of information/knowledge and a Socratic questioner. If I am a coach my concern is your performance and enrolling your support in the vision/direction. A coach, therefore, has a set agenda to reinforce or change skills and behaviours. Mentors, on the other hand, are facilitators and teachers allowing the partners to discover their own direction.

Students with good mentors would say thing like this…”They let me struggle so I could learn.”

A good mentor….”Never provided solutions—always asking questions to surface students own thinking and let them find solutions.”

Are public schools cannot adopt this approach. There are simply too many kids in each class and teachers are pressed for time under school board curriculum formats. What I provide for the kids as a mentor is something I believe our kids will need a lot more of in the future. That is to be self-driven and self-learning.

At FightClub they are on a journey through Systema with me as the guide.  Ask yourself – what kid doesn’t like to go on a journey? 🙂



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