The mentee wants to know things. The mentor wants to give answers. The mentee gets the knowledge. The mentor gets the satisfaction. And there is nothing more satisfying in professional baseball than answering the easy questions often posed by the mentee...either a rookie or player with much less experience than the mentor.
A good mentor shouldn’t be too friendly. Encouragement is overrated. The best thing a mentor can do is give honest, supportive feedback that is focused on brutal facts. A mentor should be a representative of the real world of professional baseball. A mentor should test his mentee as much as assist him. If you’re friends with the mentee, you can’t be his mentor. You are just a more experienced friend and you can occasionally offer advice to that friend, but if you hang out socially on a regular basis, you are not his mentor!
A good mentor should be a little intimidating. Actually, a good mentor should be kind of a jerk. Mentors don’t need to be kind, they need to be right.
A mentee’s checklist:
1. Have at least 5 years less experience than your mentor.
2. Be eager and ask lots of questions.
3. Want the mentor’s job some day.
4. Do not tweet at the mentor.
5. Do not give out the mentor’s email or phone number.
6. Don’t adopt the mentor’s hairstyle or get the same tattoo.
7. Do not commit a crime for the mentor, but briefly consider it.
Source: Guiding Lights by Ross McCammon
Networking for professional baseball players is a gradual process. It takes time to understand and incorporate good networking habits into your daily routine, so there's no better time to start than today!
Below are 6 easy to use networking tips for professional athletes:
1. Look to Build Quality Relationships - A person who is willing to go the extra length to help you is worth more than 10 or 20 people who are not willing to go out of their way.
2. Be Genuine and Approachable - If you approach someone else in good faith and ask for help while at the same time trying to create a positive relationship, you will have more chances than if you just ask for something without putting in the effort of knowing the other person.
3. Connect the Right Way - Keeping in touch can be hard, especially with your busy schedule. The best way is to connect face to face. Yet, even taking time out to give someone a call, or to send an e-mail or text can mean a lot to the person with whom you are networking. Be sure to follow-up each initial connection you make.
4. Don't Wait to Network Until You Have To - Don't wait until you need to network to start networking. As mentioned earlier, it takes time to build a good network of people who are willing to help you. Start now and keep it going.
5. Be Positive - Being positive will make you more welcoming to others. Other people won't approach you if you look angry or appear selfish.
6. Be Proactive - You cannot always expect people to come to you. Get out of your comfort zone and make the first move, seek out events or special activities you should attend, volunteer to help an organization, etc.
A great place to volunteer is with the Extra Innings Foundation. We facilitate fun, worthwhile in-person and virtual classroom visits by players to students. This is a great way for players to be proactive and volunteer. Players can select the school and even classroom of their choice, or we can select one for you. Prior to their visits, players are taught an easy public-speaking strategy they can use called purposeful storytelling. For more information, contact Lynn Miller at email@example.com
When our Extra Innings Foundation players visit classrooms as part of the Your Success Story
program, they discuss with the students 3 success strategies used by former MLB player, Sam Hairston. The strategies include staying focused, improving every day, and not taking anything for granted. In other words, be grateful. In fact, one of the most important values practiced by
our foundation is gratitude.
However, many times we forget about being grateful. In actuality, most of us are fantastic complainers. When someone doesn't meet our expectations, we let them know. We may even let their boss or mother know. There's nothing wrong with expecting excellence, and taking steps to get it. The problem is, we tend to take excellence--and thoughtfulness, and kindness, and joyfulness--for granted.
When things go as we expect, we don't even notice or acknowledge it.This has been referred to as the "broken tile" syndrome: look at a ceiling with one broken tile, and where is your eye naturally drawn? To the broken tile, of course. Not to the hundreds of whole ones.
To see if this is true for you, think for a moment about your many contributions to the people around you. Do you get thanked enough for them? Does the gratitude-to-criticism ratio you experience feel right to you?
Many of us suffer from GDD: Gratitude Deficit Disorder. Despite all our good intentions and actions, we receive much more flak than gratitude. We are hungry for genuine appreciation and thanks. When the fact of the matter is that we want to know that we matter, we make a difference, and that our efforts are making a positive impact..
And so do others in your life including your managers, coaches,teammates, friends and family. Think back on the past year. It's been tough for many of us, for many reasons.
What have your teammates done that you are truly thankful for? What about a coach or manager? Did someone give you special assistance? Help you without being asked? Called to check on you after a rough day? Treat you to dinner?
Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life. So, before the next baseball season starts, how can you communicate your appreciation for what’s been done for you already? How can you catch people in the act of goodness now?
Spend five minutes today making a list of people you are sincerely grateful for. Then plan to communicate your thanks, with no hidden agenda. Maybe even give one a call or send them a text today while you’re watching the playoffs. You’ll be glad you did.
Here are the last three steps to building an effective network.
Step 4. Another thing you need to make sure to do is to follow up with regular emails or texts updating that person on your progress.
A sample email may read as follows, “I thought I’d keep in contact with you and let you know that I met with ______ that you recommended. He was very helpful and provided me with even more information on ______. If you have any other ideas or potential contacts, please let me know. Thanks!”
Step 5. Be sure to keep your network alive and growing. Be on the constant lookout for individuals that you may wish to add to your network. You may need to add or subtract individuals from your network depending on how your professional needs change..
Step 6. And finally, make sure that you also support others grow their own networks by either becoming a part of their network, and/or sharing your networking contacts with them. The more you give, the more you get. You will find that people’s generosity is limitless if you treat them with respect and show them generosity and appreciation, too!
Overwhelmingly, research continues to show that top performers have strong ties via networks to people who offer them
information or expertise, provide mentoring and developmental feedback, add a sense of purpose or worth, validate their work, show them that their work has a broader meaning, or promote their work/life balance by holding them accountable
for activities that support all aspects of their life such as family, leisure, recreation, and/or spiritual well-being. A network built with these components will grow exponentially, and continue to support you in all areas of your life.
Let’s begin by exploring how to build, maintain, and grow an effective network in six super easy steps.
An effective network will help you promote yourself as a professional athlete, as well as aid you in more rapidly advancing in your career. Take greater control of your professional future starting today!
Today we'll share the first three steps, and tomorrow the last three:
Step 1. Identify your network cluster
First determine where you want to focus your networking efforts. For example, are you interested in creating a network to improve a specific skill level, or a network to help you learn more about the business side of the game? Or both? You can have more than one network. It's up to you. Then create a list of contacts to assist you in that particular area.
Step 2. Ask for ideas and advice
Contact each person you identified in Step 1 and say something like, “I’m hoping to get your ideas and advice on _________, and I would appreciate 15 minutes of your time.”
This conversation is about telling them about your background and skills, and then asking them for their ideas and advice. As your conversation with them wraps up, ask for the names of a couple of people they recommend you talk with regarding this same topic. Continue that pattern with each conversation so you end the conversation with at least two more people to contact. Be sure to contact the new people, and tell them who sent you. Give credit where credit is due.
3. Be sure to follow-up shortly thereafter with a thank you
Doing so tells the person you just spoke with that you’re grateful for their time, and also helps you to build a long-term relationship with that person to keep them in your network. Good manners never go out of style, You want to be remembered not only as someone who is interested in learning from others to be the best player you can be, but also someone who is grateful and appreciative.
That's it for today...check back tomorrow for the last three steps.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to start building--or enhancing--your network. Having a large, effective network is critical to progressing in your career as a professional baseball player.
Networking is vital to increasing your success as a professional athlete. All successful professionals have networks, regardless what career fields they are in.
What is networking?
Networking is you consciously building and maintaining various groups of individuals who both support and challenge you. An effective network consists of high-quality relationships with people who come from several different spheres (professional and personal), as well as from up and down the organizational hierarchy.
As a general guideline, an effective core network typically ranges in size from 12 to 18 people.
The people in your networking circles should model positive behaviors. They should be a positive influence on you! This is important because if those around you are energetic, positive, authentic, and generous, you will more likely be the same. There’s an old saying that “like” attracts “like”, so you want to attract only the best because you want to be the best.
Check back tomorrow as we begin by exploring how to build, maintain, and grow a network in six super easy steps!
Why is mentorship important?
It’s crucial to talk to people who do what you want to someday do. Mentors provide a wealth of advice, knowledge, and personal guidance. Things that aren't directly taught to you on or off the field, such as the "hidden rules" are often discovered through mentor/mentee interaction.
Prospective mentors are everywhere, and can serve as your passport to the professional baseball community. You need to become part of a professional community if you hope to one day make a professional impact. Others in your field will need time to get to know you, and mentors can broker valuable introductions.
You also need time to build up your knowledge and expertise, and your mentor can provide access to events and information that you might not otherwise have access to, including networking opportunities. You can never have too many professional contacts, so it's important for you to network to the greatest extent possible.
Someday you’ll be the experienced one and it’ll be important for you to have a referral network in place. Start building that network now. The earlier you start getting involved with things like mentorship and networking, the sooner people will begin to recognize YOUR NAME and think of you when opportunities that you’d be well suited for arise.
¿Por qué es importante tutoría?
Es fundamental hablar con la gente que hace lo que quiere hacer algún día. Los mentores proporcionan una gran cantidad de consejos, conocimientos y orientación personal. Cosas que no se enseñan directamente a usted en o fuera del campo, tales como las "reglas ocultas" que a menudo son descubiertos a través de mentor / aprendiz interacción.Los mentores potenciales están en todas partes, y puede ser su pasaporte a la comunidad del béisbol profesional. Que necesita para convertirse en parte de una comunidad profesional si la esperanza de un día tener un impacto profesional. Otros en su campo necesita tiempo para llegar a conocerte, y los mentores pueden corredor de la introducción de valor.Usted también necesita tiempo para construir sus conocimientos y experiencia, y su mentor puede proporcionar acceso a eventos e información que de otro modo no podrían tener acceso, incluyendo las oportunidades de trabajo en red. Usted nunca puede tener demasiados contactos profesionales, por lo que es importante para usted a la red en la mayor medida posible.Algún día será el experimentado y va a ser importante para usted tener una red de referencia en su lugar. Empezar a construir esa red ahora. Cuanto antes comience a involucrarse con cosas como la tutoría y la creación de redes, más pronto la gente empezará a reconocer SU NOMBRE y pienso en ti cuando las oportunidades que sería muy adecuado para presentarse.