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Referee News and Tips

10 Ways to be a Better Mentor

Mentors make a significant contribution to AYSO by helping us retain volunteers, our most valuable resource! Mentoring is an effective process that helps volunteers improve their knowledge and skills, and also influences their motivation. Great mentors understand how to develop strong relationships and provide valuable support and advice.

Below are ten ways to be a better mentor and thanks for helping us value our AYSO volunteers!
  1. Be sure to get the person's approval to be mentored. Nobody likes unsolicited advice!
  2. Help the person understand and feel that you're there to support them.
  3. Honor confidentiality - everything the person tells you stays with you only.
  4. Listen to their story to show interest and understand their issue.
  5. Identify with the person's concerns.
  6. Ask questions to help the person build awareness of good skills and areas for improvement.
  7. Identify and confirm performance/behavior that demonstrates good skills.
  8. Be compassionate when you discuss areas for improvement.
  9. Discuss no more than 1 or 2 areas for improvement per mentoring session.
  10. Provide a couple of options for correct practice for each area of improvement.
And as a bonus: Identify a mentor to mentor you.

Mentoring should be an ongoing process that provides a loop for self-analysis that generates awareness, commitment to change, and applying correct practice. For the process to be effective you must provide honest feedback, what the person needs to hear; not what they would like to hear. Thank you for helping us mentor our volunteers.

Read more about mentoring referees in the Referee Mentor Handbook which is available at Please contact Tom Bobadilla if you have additional questions or need more information.
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