As a mentee, you have the opportunity to tailor your mentorship experience to suit your wants and needs. Your mentor is someone who’s faced the same questions you’re asking now, and has lived through the answers. Whether you’re wondering about requirements for enrolment, student athlete lifestyle, team dynamics, or recruiting options, your mentor will offer insights you couldn’t get anywhere else. Mentorship is malleable, so feel free to structure your conversations in any way that makes you feel comfortable. BALLPRK is designed to make sure the mentee gets as much as possible from their time with their mentor, and, since only you know what you need, you’re in complete control. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your experience:
1. Come prepared. In listening to your mentor, you’ll probably find yourself asking questions you hadn’t thought to ask. Great! The more questions the better. That being said, it’s best to bring a set of predetermined questions to your first session. This will not only help get the ball rolling, but will give your mentor some insight into what he or she should focus on during your conversations.
2. Try different mentors. The beauty of BALLPRK is that it brings other people’s experiences to you. No two athletes have the same story and everyone observes things differently, so take advantage of BALLPRK by reaching out to as many mentors as you need. Since different mentors go to different universities and colleges, BALLPRK is a great tool for deciding where you’d like to end up.
3. Don’t be afraid of asking tough questions. Remember that your mentor isn’t necessarily someone you’re trying to make an impression on. His or her function is to make sure that you get the answers you need to be as prepared as possible for the next stages of your life. This means offering honest answers to hard questions. Questions like “what went wrong?”, “what did you learn from that?”, “what would you have done differently?” will help you avoid making mistakes. If a mentor is not comfortable answering a question, he or she will let you know.
4. Keep your mentor to task. BALLPRK certainly encourages free flowing conversation, but remember that your time is precious. If you feel like what your mentor is sharing with you isn’t of interest, politely inform them. As a mentee, you can interrupt if an answer has drawn on for too long. It’s your session.
5. Get to know your mentor and his or her background. While you’ll have your questions you want answered, recognize that as a mentee you’re in the unique position of being able to access someone else’s experiences. Every mentor will have lived through different circumstances and learned different things. By asking questions about your mentor’s story, you’ll get insights no one else could offer you.
6. Be respectful and expect respect. As with any social interaction, it’s important to always be respectful and expect respect. Mentors are there to help you as much as possible and make you feel comfortable during your time together. Should you experience any kind of unpleasant interaction with your mentor, please inform BALLPRK immediately.
BALLPRK was designed to help you achieve your dreams by preparing for the future. In the end, we’re confident you’ll make the experience what you need it to be.
Also published on Medium.