Mentoring and coaching a quite similar. Mentoring is often much more about the relationship than the results. Mentors are often someone who is older, with more life experiences than the mentee. The process typically involves the mentor sharing their knowledge and experiences in various settings. These relationships tend to be volunteer relationships between people of different generations. They are especially geared toward young people.

While coaching and mentoring are both about relationships, mentoring is more about the relationship and coaching is more about achieving specifically defined client outcomes.

Mentoring versus coaching

While a mentor may act as a coach in some regards, their primary purposes are different. A coach is hired to help their client achieve clearly defined objectives. The client is will to pay the coach, often a significant amount of money, to get help in achieving their desired outcomes.

The mentoring relationship on the other hand is primarily about giving a young person the opportunity to connect to a person who can provide knowledge, community connections, advice, and in general become a trusted advocate for them. Coaching and mentoring both rely on relationships, but the mentoring process is much more about the relationship than specific skill, knowledge, or behavioral objectives.

Mentoring or Coaching which is right for your child?

Before deciding whether you want to hire a coach or simply set your child up with a mentor you need to ask yourself what your child’s needs are and what your goals for your child are. If you are looking for something specific like wanting to help your child improve their athletic or academic (or both) performance you would likely want to hire a coach. If your desire is to help your child develop a positive supportive relationship with another adult so your child can develop a positive relationship with someone outside the family circle while also gaining access to someone who can provide extra advocacy for your child then a mentoring relationship may be what you want.

One valuable resource on mentoring programs would be There are other organizations and if you are a person with a strong religious faith or upbringing you may want to look to your local religious affiliated church, synagogue, mosque or the like. You definitely would want to make sure your child’s mentor is not contradicting the value structure you are trying to teach your child. 

Mentoring can be incredibly valuable for any young person. It is not coaching. We advocate for both but to make sure you are clear on the difference. A coach may also be mentor but their primary job is to help your child develop specific habits, skills, knowledge, and or attitudes that will help them achieve specific outcomes. Typically, coaches for youth are academic or athletic. Our programs are life coaching because we emphasize gaining and applying knowledge and skills that transcend athletics, academics, arts – particularly performing arts.

At Growth Mindset Training Academy and Athlete Training Academy our focus is helping teen agers and young adults – and their families – learn essential knowledge, develop invaluable skills, adopt supportive beliefs, apply emotional management strategies, and create habits that will improve their mental health, over-all well-being, and academic, athletic, or artistic performance. Because we have several trainings the coach – client relationship has the potential to also become a mentor – mentee relationship as the relationship can extend many months even up to four years.

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