With so many experts out there who are doing what I do for a profession and so many experts who have decades more experience than I do, I carefully select the mentors from which I learn from and the same is true for the professionals that Karel and I welcome into our life to help us with our own needs.
Seeing that a mentor has experience, I find this valuable as I want to understand different approaches and methods to help me determine the most appropriate advice that aligns with my philosophy and that will help me better serve my coaching and nutrition athletes.
With so many experts out there, here are some ways that I select the professionals that help out with our coaching athletes (ex. physical therapists, sport psychologists, PhD researchers, other coaches, etc.) as well as the experts who I look up to and consult with as mentors.
1. You believe in his/her philosophy. When you have insight on how an expert approaches situations and how he/she helps others, you will gain trust in this individual as you have similar views and understand his/her methodologies.
2. Your expert has credentials, competence, experience and a good reputation.
3. You feel safe and not judged by your expert and you feel like you are treated like an individual.
4. Your expert has a specialty area or is an expert in a specific field, based on personal experience and formal education.
5. Your expert is actively involved in learning with continuing education, writing and speaking.
6. Your expert has patience for you and does not rush your journey. She/he doesn't have a quick fix or an one-approach-only method.
7. Your expert gives you his/her full attention, provides a supportive environment and does not ignore or dismiss your questions during your consultation. Your expert values a team approach when working together.
8. Your expert challenges you and wants you to step outside your comfort zone. She/he doesn't tell you exactly what you want to hear or give you false or too-good-to-be true promises.
9. Your expert maintains your confidentiality.
10. Your expert doesn't change his/her approach based on what is "in" or trendy, especially when she/he can sell something to you in order to buy you into his/her method.
As you search for the best expert(s) to help you with your personal needs, keep in mind that the same expert may not work for two different athletes.
Always understand what you need from an expert, keeping in mind that not every problem has a clear or easy answer.
Despite having knowledge, education and being the full package, experts are not magicians and there is no wand to cure a problem in one day or in one session.