This season we introduced a mentoring program, which is about an older player in the club mentoring a younger player by sharing his or her experience and knowledge.
In sport, one of the most important motivational factors is idols or other athletes that kids can look up to, and try to follow their footsteps. Our club wanted to initiate a programme that incorporates this thought to its everyday life. We have come up with a mentoring programme that allows younger players to learn from more experienced, successful players about the game of badminton. First, we asked some of our senior players if any of them would be interested in the task of mentoring a young player. We encouraged everyone to participate, because it has great benefits for our junior players, and the mentors could also gain a lot of value from the process of mentoring. After appointing certain senior players as mentors, we put them in pairs with those young players who have shown the most dedication towards badminton and the most interest in the mentoring programme. The programme lasted for 3 months. During this period, the mentors and mentees developed a close connection through efficient communication. The role of the mentors was to share their own experience, give technical and tactical advice and increase the motivation of the mentees. Furthermore, we expected the mentors to be ready to help in other areas as well, if the mentees asked them to. Although, the mentor programme required a good deal of time from the older players to assist their younger, less experienced clubmates, we have got very positive feedback from all participants. The mentees have learnt a lot in the process and developed a close relationship with their mentors by the end of the programme. Our club wants to repeat the programme next year and appoint new mentors and mentees. The initiative was especially successful, because the young players could gain an extra motivation from their older clubmates, that would have been much harder to achieve just by listening to their coaches.