Welcome to the Westport Triathlon Club mentoring programme.
The goal of this program is to provide a way for club members to support each other in training and racing. By assisting each other, we can all grow as triathletes.
Triathlon is a very equipment and time intensive sport and can appear complex. For the new it can quickly become overwhelming and intimidating. Even for the experienced stepping up a level the change will bring fresh challenges.
With the mentoring program, we intend make the transition into the sport, as well as the transition to longer distance races, much easier.
So, what exactly is a mentor?
A mentor is someone that listens to, questions, and helps guide the mentee as a positive and effective way to obtain their goals. A mentor is not a coach. A mentor may not have the answers, but may have the knowledge to help the mentee discover the answers.
A mentor needs to:
- Help build self confidence
- Share critical knowledge
- Encourage to identify successful behaviour
The extent of involvement between mentor and mentee is flexible and is at the discretion of mentee.
To become a successful mentor, you must maintain regular contact with your mentee. When you get a mentee, establish contact as soon as possible and agree on communication channels, email, phone, etc. Introduce yourself and give some background. Be honest. You will not have all the answers. By being honest, you will establish openness within the mentor/mentee relationship.
Triathlon is a sport of limits, if you are afraid to fail, you are afraid to test your limits.
Therefore, as a mentor avoid being judgmental, and encourage your mentee to test their limits in a safe environment. By not applying judgment upon your mentee, you are encouraging them to take a chance, you are showing them that you believe in their goals.
If they don’t succeed they will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that they tried and you can help them by seeing what they need to develop for the next time. Try not to give answers, lead the mentee in the discovery of their own answers, along the way they will learn.
And remember, be patient. Everyone learns at a different pace, in a different way.
What will you discuss with your mentee?
Topics of discussion and guidance – Basically anything that can help them (a mentee may seek help in only one, a few, or all of these, areas). Remember you are not an expert on these but you can point them in the right direction ,offer clarity, be a sounding board.
- Selecting events based on the club competitions league/What to expect during a race/ Racing tips
- Selecting equipment/ Equipment repair
- Training Peaks advice
- Introduction to other team members
- Injury prevention/Injury recovery
- Training programs/1 on 1 workouts/Weekly training balancing
- General encouragement
- Finding training partners
- Planning/preparing/practicing for transitions
A mentor may introduce the mentee to Westport Triathlon Club group training sessions and help find others seeking similar pace for that workout. Mentors need not feel obligated to remain with the mentee during group swim, rides or runs as their abilities are likely much different, but the mentor should not drop the mentee without discussion.
So, who should mentor?
If you are an experienced member who is willing to help other members enjoy the sport and meet their personal goals You will be a valuable source of information and encouragement. You will help by listening to your mentee and providing advice based on experience and sharing advice so they avoid potential pitfalls. Your aim is to help the mentee get to their best level.
So, who will be mentored?
Mentors are not just for new athletes, but for any athlete who wishes to attain a new level of performance, tackle a new race distance or gain a better understand of the sport.
So, if you are looking to get more out of yourself as a triathlete or just want to get more comfortable with the training process then this should help you.
You could choose to be a Mentor, a Mentee — or both. (In fact, being a mentor should help you as a mentee and visa-versa).
So, what is it not?
This is not a coaching program; it is not technical training, it won’t replace the swimming coach/ running or cycling expert advice. It will augment it, help you get clarity. It is about talking to someone who will help you deal with some of the complexities and challenges we all face as triathletes.
What race distances does it cover?
This program will serve triathletes who are interested in training for any of the following race distances:
- First triathlon, Sprint, or pool-swim triathlon: 750 m (.5 mile) swim / 20 km (12.4 mile) bike / 5 km (3.2 mile) run
- Olympic: 1.5 km (.9 mile) swim / 40 km (24 mile) bike / 10 km (6.2 mile) run
- Half-Ironman “70.3”: 1.9 km (1.2 mile) swim / 90 km (56 mile) bike / 21 km (13.1 mile) run
- Ironman “140.6”: 3.8 km (2.4 mile) swim /180 km (112 mile) bike / 42 km (26.2 mile) run
This programme is for:
- Mentors: If you are a club member who has completed at a minimum a Sprint and an Olympic or Half Ironman triathlon, and have a desire to encourage others with one to one advice …then you are qualified to be a Mentor.
- Mentees: If you are new (or fairly new) to triathlons OR would appreciate support and guidance toward your goals this season, OR if you are looking to train for a new distance.
If a Mentor/Mentee mismatch occurs, try to work out the difference, if this option is not possible, contact the Mentor Programme Coordinator and work with them to develop a solution. Remember, sometimes mismatches occur, this is a part of the system, and is not the fault of the mentor or mentee. The best solution is to recognize a mismatch as soon as possible so that it can be resolved and the mentee can receive the best fit possible.