Mentoring Leads To Success In Sports And Business
Sep 28, 2010Posted by james

A critical component of success for any business sector, organization, team, or individual is the opportunity to have access to those who can provide sound advice and guidance. All of us can benefit professionally and personally from the experiences and knowledge of others who have followed the same path.

Teaching, instructing and counseling probably are most visible in sports. Coaches instruct wide-eyed rookies during their initial exposure to the big leagues and established players often discuss training, strategy and codes of conduct with younger players. It is not uncommon to see baseball’s relief pitchers gathered around Mariano Rivera as he explains how to consistently and successfully throw a cutter to batters, or to find skaters listening intently to Wayne Gretsky as he emphasizes proper positioning for lighting the red lamp.

The same mentoring process occurs daily at the lower professional levels and throughout the various levels of amateur and school athletics. For me, following a long absence from lacrosse after a successful high school and college playing career on Long Island, I am now considered an elder statesmen and, frankly, I really enjoy my new role as an advocate for today’s amateur lacrosse players. I am able to contribute to their development, help increase the overall level of competition and support opportunities that impact the popularity of the game.

A unique opportunity for me developed this past summer. I was asked to become involved with the German team at the World Lacrosse Championships held in Great Britain. With my sports roots deeply embedded in the game and my paternal history traced to Germany, how could I not become involved in this opportunity to help Germany advance the game that I enjoyed for so many years?

Lacrosse in Germany still is in its infancy, and this year’s team at the world championships, which consisted of players aged 19 to 34, faced formidable competition from some of the best teams in the world. Yet, with the help of several U.S. coaches (a number of whom share my Long Island lacrosse pedigree) and my ability to provide financial assistance, the German team finished fifth among more than 20 teams.

These German players long will remember the coaching, mentoring and financial support that they received and that culminated in their joy of accomplishment. They will want the players who follow them to not only experience their level of success, but they will want them to continue to strive for the top prize. When able, they, too, will find ways to support the next generation of German lacrosse players. Their contributions will help grow the game in their country and help raise the level of competition worldwide.

Over the years, I have adapted many of the lessons I learned as an athlete for my personal business management plan. This includes seeking the guidance of others who have helped me establish and expand my business (Whitmore Group) along with supporting the young men and women who have entered the insurance field to work with me.

My mentors continue to guide me as I explore and develop new business opportunities. In turn, I encourage all within our organization to support professional development and company growth by providing ideas, offering suggestions and sharing experiences. By doing so, we regularly refine our skills, we continue to improve our relationships with clients and we are able to celebrate our achievements and successes as a team.

Just as with the German lacrosse players, or any athletes, proper mentoring and coaching in business raises the bar of competition and increases the benefits for all who choose to compete. The best trained talent always will welcome new challenges, will overcome obstacles and will remain focused on the big prize. We do this every day at Whitmore Group.