Consider yourself lucky when your mentors become your friends too. My friend Vince has privately mentored me for years. Informally, he has taken on several of us coaches and tried to impart much of his knowledge to us. A master technician and clinician, he has spent countless hours looking over routines, listening to ideas, and imparting knowledge too. He has amassed a 3000 DVD collection of former gymnastics meets, world championships, invitationals, and olympics that he shares freely, and uses to recharge his own batteries. He has footage from the first televised olympics in 1939 Berlin and everything since. Vince lives eats and breathes gymnastics.

However, the thing about Vince is that he IS so generous with this material. He realizes full well with each passing year, that his tutelage helps to make other coaches better. As such, their students will eventually beat his own. A LOT of coaches attempt to keep all their training secrets…well secret. Vince gives, it isn’t in his nature to do otherwise. What is wonderful as well, is that he is willing to receive as much as he gives.

Vince honored me by allowing me to come work with some of his athletes yesterday. He honored me more when he brought his other coaches over to watch some of the drills I shared. And as if to prove that he valued what I was sharing, he recorded the drills and progressions. It made me feel so good to finally be able to give something back.

So consider yourself lucky if you are and have mentors. Consider yourself extremely fortunate if your mentors and those you help are your friends. Isn’t that the way it could always be???