What are Your Secrets to Success? Mentors, Part 2

March 1st, 2018 | by Jake Hirshman
What are Your Secrets to Success? Mentors, Part 2

In a continuation of last week’s article about mentors, today’s article will lay out how you could design a mentorship program within your student-athlete development department.

There are three ways in which I can envision a mentor program being created for student-athletes. With all three ideas, there must be someone who oversees the development of the program. Student-athlete development and leadership personnel could take the lead of 2 and 3, but coaches could certainly help for number 1.

1. Student-athlete alumni team specific
2. Corporate partners program
3. Donor alumni program

Student-athlete alumni team specific

Having a mentorship program between student-athletes and alumni is a recipe for success. Starting the program is the hardest part, but once it is successful and the student-athlete graduates, they then become a part of the program because of how much it helped them. Year after year, it continues to grow and become more successful. Each graduating student-athlete is assigned a freshman for the following year to become their mentor. If numbers aren’t even, former student-athletes from years past can help fill in the gaps.
Mentor events, meet-ups, or an annual visit could be just a few of organized aspects of the program.

Corporate partners program

Many schools partner with corporate companies for sponsorships and partnerships. This type of program is a competitive and optional program to where the department works with the corporate partner to obtain mentors for a group of student-athletes. Perhaps you get 50 mentors from various companies to be a part of an elite program. The program can be open to all levels, not just upperclassmen.

Donor alumni program

Donors give a lot of money to athletic departments annually, but those who may want to help student-athletes with more than just money will have the opportunity to mentor a student-athlete. Those who maybe can’t give thousands of dollars, but truly want to impact student-athletes, can give their time. You can set up a “mentor-a-student-athlete” program whereby donating a specific amount of money, you have the opportunity to become a mentor for a student-athlete with a matching system based on their background, experience, and interests.
This donor program can also be an exclusive program where “X” amount of student-athletes are selected per team to participate in the program. The student-athlete must apply to be a part of the program as they must want to put in the effort to make the program beneficial for themselves. The more donors you have, the more student-athletes you can accept into the program as well. The ultimate goal and hope would be to have every student-athlete have a mentor when they walk in the door as a freshman.

For more on mentors and seeking support as a student-athlete, mentors and student-athletes can utilize “20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro” to enhance a mentorship program.

Jake Hirshman About Jake Hirshman
Jake Hirshman is a former student-athlete at the University of Redlands and Ohio University, and now co-author of “20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro”. After finishing his undergraduate degree in 3 years, and bouncing back from a career changing injury, Hirshman pursued two masters degrees at Ohio University. One in Sport Sciences and Recreation, and the other as a member of the Sports Administration Program. After leaving Athens, he worked in Player Development for the Seattle Mariners, as a coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks Academy, and as Special Events Coordinator for Major League Baseball’s Arizona Fall League. As a young professional, Hirshman’s goal is to positively impact student-athletes and help prepare them for life after sport.

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