Finding Your Coach & Mentor Part 1

“One of our missions in life from an early age should be to find and follow the right coach or mentor…” Rick Cox

Down through the ages, many of those achieving feats of prominence as well as enjoying success after a major defeat have done so through the result of being motivated to persevere due to the influence of one or many who coached or mentored them. Regardless of what field the person was pursuing the common thread among them all has been they were coached to greatness.

Two researchers, Emily Werner and Ruth Smith, spent forty years studying the lives of four hundred fifty people from the time they were children through adulthood. The object of their research was to learn why some people are motivated to prevail in spite of overwhelming disadvantages while others were beleaguered and bogged down by their problems. Their studies revealed an interesting quality in the motivated individuals: they were able to recognize potential sources of support in other people by looking beyond the walls of their own personal lives finding relatives, friends, teachers or other role models who could provide the help and support they needed at the opportune time. What these two scientists found is a definite benefit in forming a mentor relationship to encourage achievement.

Every one of us grew up hearing about the importance of the role models we chose as well as how they would influence our lives. When I was a child the Beatles were the big thing. My parents thought their “long hair” and “rogue attire” was out of line; speaking of their funny looking suits and Beatle Boots. They further thought these young men to have a rebellious attitude, which they did not want their children to follow. They encouraged us to follow others however, whom they thought to be representative of what they wanted for their children. Our parents knew that role models, coaches or mentors can and do act as a homing device to help keep us on target. They recognized how children could use the role model, coach or mentor in the same way one would target a worthwhile goal. This coach or mentor would be able to assist their children in making adjustments, which would help them navigate through difficult times.

What these researchers found is what most parents have known for centuries: not every child/person views or responds to life the same. As stated, some look outside the walls of their own lives to find the help they need to overcome their adverse circumstances while others unfortunately, ARE OVERCOME BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Some use the energy of the adverse circumstance to help them power through while others are thoroughly overrun and over-powered by the circumstance. The difference is in one’s ability to find the help needed at the time it is most necessary.

It is true one of our most important missions in life should be finding the right mentor to help us navigate through the treacherous roads, mountains and valleys we shall face in life; for they are just around the corner. It is important to take the time to choose this mentor wisely for when they become your role model they will be a great influence in and on your life. Unfortunately, most do not, latching onto the first one to come along or, following a role model chosen by a friend or family member who, happen to like this one or that one. Most do not take the time to investigate whether this role model is the one they need; the one that is good for them. It is important to make sure the role model or coach you choose has real hands on experience as well as a proven track record of applying what they teach and making it work.

Many years ago, we had a young married class at church, which was taught by a young man of about thirty years of age. He had a PhD, specializing in relationships. There were quite a few of us who had decided we needed to attend as we were looking for guidance and insight into being good parents and spouses. This “special class” was to last twelve weeks as he was sharing the very things he had written for his doctoral thesis. The classes, held on Wednesday evenings, had barely gotten started in that we were only half way through the third session when I started asking what I felt were valid questions. I wanted to know if in fact what we were being taught was something he had ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED. I wanted to know if he had applied what he was teaching thereby, proving that it worked. Since what he was teaching covered, “Becoming the Best Spouse for a Long Lasting Marriage” as well as “How to Raise Children the Right Way,” I asked the following questions:

1. How long have you been married?
2. How many children do you have?

He stuttered and stumbled before finally providing the answers, which brought the demise of his class. He had been married, BUT was now divorced; on top of this he had never had children. Here was a guy who was going to tell us how to be a better spouse so we could enjoy a long lasting marriage YET, he had not been able to do this himself. He was going to teach us about raising our children the right way YET, he had not tried this on children of his own. He had no PROVEN EXPERIENCE. He was not a good role model nor would he have made a good coach. It was not my intention to destroy this class or even a remote thought that my questions would cause the class to come to a screeching halt, but somewhere inside my heart I knew what he was saying wasn’t ringing true. It was as if his words had no substance; they were empty. It is important to choose your role models carefully.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox