How to Find a Mentor (and why it is so important)

The most important step of your sports career may not be where you go to school, or where you get your first job – it could very well be finding a mentor that can help guide and support you throughout your journey. Find out more in the short video about how to find a mentor, and how valuable they can be.


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Video Transcript for “How to Find a Mentor (and why it is so important)”

Brian Clapp, WorkinSports.com Director of Content: I sat down with our financial adviser the other day – he’s an older gentlemen in his 70s – and I asked, “if you could go back in time knowing what you know now – when you were my age with young children and many years ahead of you, what would you do differently from an investing standpoint?”

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Finding the right mentor can help you traverse your sports career with confidence

His response surprised me, he said “that’s the first time anyone asked me that type of question” excitedly, he rattled off 5-6 pieces of advice that were built from his direct experiences.

For me, that question was an easy ask – this guy has knowledge I don’t why wouldn’t I tap into that?

And that is the very definition of a mentor relationship. No matter where you are in your career, you need someone who has been through more and is willing to share their thoughts and experience – or just listen.

How do you find a mentor?

Well, the first step is knowing the person – you can’t just ask a stranger to be your mentor. I’ve had people ask me through LinkedIn to mentor them and while I’m flattered, if I don’t know you or your situation I can’t really be of help.

The best mentors usually come from a natural evolving relationship – there is no asking “Will you be my mentor?” It starts with performance – do a good job and get noticed for it whether in the classroom or the workplace. Then start a dialogue – don’t go the banal small talk route – ask smart questions about the business, not about you. Once a good dialogue begins, there will come a time where asking career minded questions will make sense.

You have to feel that moment – be patient, if you ask for stuff too early most people will tune you out.

The bottom line is once you find a mentor – provide value to them as well – it can’t be just a one way street of expectation. Mentors are a powerful tool in everyone’s development, so make a conscious effort to build that relationship!

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About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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  1. […] Brian Clapp, WorkinSports.com Director of Content offers some great advice in his three-minute DVD, How to Find a Mentor (and why it is so important). […]

  2. […] Clapp, Director of Content WorkinSports.com: I had a mentor earlier in my career who told me I was not a good enough writer to work in the sports industry. […]

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