We talk a lot about coaching and mentoring. Typically we discuss the differences between coaching and mentoring, because in a business setting, there are major differences. But today, I'd like to discuss when coaching and mentoring work together.
It's August 2015. I don't know about you, but August in my house means Little League World Series. With two Little Leaguer's of my own, the excitement that revolves around the LLWS and 12 year old boys (and girls..........hello Mo'ne Davis!) rivals the excitement that we Bostonians felt when the curse of the Bambino was finally lifted in Boston in 2004 (if you aren't from New England or aren't a big baseball fan, google "curse of the bambino").
Today, not only can kids at home watch the games on TV, but they can also follow their favorite players online—Instagram is huge with this age group. It's a very positive and exciting journey for those playing and for those watching the games. Twelve year olds relate to other twelve year olds. To see their peers making it to the big time is exciting. Playing in the World Series is not a "someday" goal—it's today.
And not only are these kids paying attention to their peers, but to all of the hype around the event. Last year's Little League World Series saw "one of the most inspirational coaches in Little League World Series history" Coach David Belisle, as he not only coached his team, but taught them life-long values as well. We consider Belisle's speech to be a mentoring moment that holds lifelong consequences.
In the attached video, Belisle personifies what it means to be both a coach and a mentor at the same time. He coached these young athletes from RI to represent New England and to become one of the greatest Little League baseball teams in the world in 2014. When his team battled their final game with all that they had and came up one run short, Belisle was heard giving a "speech to remember." During this speech, he encourages the kids to think about all the hard work and determination that brought them to their big game. He is heard saying "We didn't quit. That's us! That's us!"
This speech has been played over and over again this year, during the hoopla surrounding the 2015 Little League World Series. Belisle's speech personifies how coaching and mentoring can (and sometimes should) come together simultaneously to make a positive impact on someone's life.
Have you had an experience where a coach was also your mentor or vice versa? When (and how) do you think it's appropriate for a mentor to also serve as a coach?
PS The picture above is one of my two Little Leaguer's!