A study of mentoring in volleyball coaching
White, Jeffrey Scott
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Research has suggested that formal mentoring programs can play a significant role in the development of mentees in business (Eby, Allen, Evans, Ng, & Dubois, 2008), nursing (Riley & Fearing, 2009), and education (Hall, Draper, Smith, & Bullough, 2008) but research on formal mentoring programs for sport coaches has been lacking (Bloom, 2013). One of the most important factors considered in formal mentoring programs was the matching method used in pairing mentors and mentees (Blake-Beard, O'Neill, & McGowan, 2007). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of matching methods on formal mentoring relationships in volleyball coaching. This study addressed the following research questions: a) what is the effect of matching methods on mentor functions and roles of volleyball coaches involved in a formal mentoring program, b) how do matching methods contribute to perceptions of similarity, commitment, and investment of volleyball coaches involved in a formal mentoring program, and c) how do matching methods contribute to perceptions of overall mentoring of volleyball coaches involved in a formal mentoring program? Participants were members of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) that applied for the AVCA Coaches Mentor Program. The Coach Mentor Role Instrument (CMRI) (Schempp, McCullick, Berger, White, & Elliott, 2014) was administered to participants and Welch's t-tests were used to analyze the quantitative data. Interviews were also conducted with 30 participants on the topics of similarity, commitment, investment, and overall mentoring. The notable results revealed several findings: a) the choice-based method did not appear to be a better matching method than administrator-assigned based on mentor roles and functions, b) choice-based mentors and mentees reported increased perceptions of similarity, commitment, and investment and c) choice-based mentors and mentees reported increased perceptions of overall mentoring when allowed to define the term in their own way. Future research should focus on a) continued comparisons of matching methods, b) examination of similarity, commitment, and investment in mentoring relationships, and c) e-mentoring in formal mentoring programs for sport coaches.