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USTA launches Judges' Mentoring Program( Tue, Oct 9 00:10:AM)



USTA launches Judges' Mentoring Program

The Judges’ Department is launching a pilot Mentoring Program for its professionals. Read below to find out more about Mentoring and how to become a part of the pilot program either as a Mentor or a Mentoree or BOTH! As judges progress through the  levels of certification it is important to have a mentor to learn from, collaborate with and grow professionally to advance our own professional goals and the success of the sport. Please consider being a part of this valuable program.

Feel free to contact Dale White, Kathy Butera or Wendy Maul with your questions or comments. 

What is mentoring?
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentoree) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less-experienced person’s professional and personal growth.


What does a mentor do?
The following are among the mentor’s functions:
   -Teaches the mentoree about a specific issue judges commonly face.
   -Coaches the mentoree on a particular skill that may be challenging.
   -Facilitates the mentoree’s growth by sharing resources and networks.
   -Challenges the mentoree to move beyond his or her comfort zone by exploring all twirling cultures.
   -Creates a safe learning environment for taking risks and know this is ONLY a positive experience for growth.
   -Focuses on the mentoree’s total development.
   -Communicates openly, honestly and constructively during the relationship.
   -Assists in defining goals and objective as well as setting expectations on growth and development.

Mentorees enjoy many benefits, including:
-Gains from the mentor’s expertise as it ADDS to the mentoree’s skill set.
-Develops a sharper focus on what is needed to grow professionally within the organization
-Learns specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to USTA’s expectations.
-Networks with experienced and seasoned professionals.
-Gains knowledge about the organization’s culture and unspoken rules that can be critical for success; as a result, adapts more quickly to the organization’s culture without losing the sense of independent thinking.
-Has a friendly ear with which to share frustrations and successes.
-Has a trusted agent with whom to share confidential or sensitive information.

Mentors can be from every level except Level 1. That is, a Level 2 judge certainly could mentor Level 1 judges aspiring for higher levels.  Level 3 judges could serve as mentors to Level 1 and Level 2 judges.  And Master judges could serve as mentors for ALL levels.

USTA will solicit volunteer mentors from our judging pool. Those judges will then be assigned mentorees who are requesting a mentor. From the list of mentors, a judge MAY request to be mentored by a specific judge or the department director may assign a mentor. A mentor will be assigned no more than two mentorees.

This is a structured SERVICE USTA will provide our judging community.  It is NOT mandatory.  Judges must initiate their desire to participate. A pilot program is now open for participation. Click here if you would like to participate in the pilot program. Pilot participants will help guide next steps and identify tools and resources needed to make the program reach levels of success and value.
Both mentor and mentoree will report to the department director monthly with a report on activities shared. This acts as somewhat of a progress report. Activities could include practice judging, discussion on philosophies, mechanics of judging (such as recall techniques), a candid discussion of propensities that may affect a judge’s performance, broadening the scope from local to state to regional to national to international references/criteria. Mentor/mentoree will collectively set goals and create a timeline for accomplishments. Click here to submit an update.