Mehran Rowshan draws on the Samurai Mindset for empowered youth mentorship
Inspired by the Samurai path, in recent years, Mehran Rowshan has developed various character development programs for young people; Youth mentoring, youth masterclasses and the brain (brain training) are three of them. Its purpose is to help build a path and encourage meaningful character advancement for the younger generation, both on and off the pitch. This approach has enabled him to provide Alliance FC players with the tools to master rational decision-making and deal with all situations from a problem-solving perspective.
Research shows that training hard, while being aware of the worst possible outcome, are two powerful techniques for promoting calm. The samurai trained tirelessly. They firmly believed in always “being ready” – why? Preparation reduces fear, so when things get tense you don’t have to think, but instead, training physically and mentally will have prepared you to act intuitively. After all, the samurai survived catastrophic scenarios like battles and wars. Their secret? Be prepared.
And Mehran is dedicated to helping young people through sports and coaching follow their natural path from A to B with his Youth Mentorship Program. As a dynamic coach who is constantly evolving with our rapidly changing environment, Mehran works with realities, scenarios and belief systems; all the aspects that dictate and influence the way people think, feel and behave. Its toolkit for creating transformation, development and general excellence combines in-depth training and hands-on experience in this field.
Here Mehran tells us more about his vision for mentoring youth through sport, the methods he uses and why listening is the key to connecting with young minds.
Let‘s start at the beginning – when was the first time you found out that youth mentoring is a passion of yours?
I have always had a deep interest in making things better; even at 10 years old I was developing something like growing plants or creating small structures like a pond or a wall inside our villa.
Once I became a coach who interacts with young people every day, I was destined to become a mentor as well. Seeing how young boys and girls develop their character over time is the best feeling a coach can have.
What are some of the methods and schools of thought that you use in your approach to empowering and mentoring youth?
The first step is to define a young mentor because most parents mistakenly think of a young mentor as a speaker or a counselor. I certainly don’t see myself either. My definition of a young mentor is to have a qualified, knowledgeable and experienced mentor present in a young person’s life. A support system outside the family that is constantly involved in times of need.
Mentoring is not a one-way street; it is two-way traffic. A young mentor needs to listen more than he talks.
I always start by establishing a respectful relationship with the mentee. It doesn’t happen by using “words” but more through my behavior and actions. Teens need to accept that your presence is meant to help them when needed and that whatever the circumstances, you will never judge them. Without the confidence of the mentee, you can be the best counselor in town and not make a difference in the life of a teenager.
Here are some of the things I don’t do:
- Tell them what to think.
- Decide for them.
- Interfere in their daily life or even in any bad habits they might have.
Instead, in two simple sentences, I help them:
- Learn to decide.
- Become more comfortable in uncomfortable situations.
We are in 2021, a hectic period with everything at our disposal. Why do you think youth mentoring should focus more than ever and be more important than ever?
Children, teens and even adults are exposed to a tremendous amount of information every day, from school to their friendship circles and the more dominant world of social media.
Regardless of how we try as parents, we are no longer responsible for what our children can see, hear, read and learn.
The age of censorship is over and children will always find a way to access information. Are they competent enough to deal with open information?
How can we protect our children when we are not responsible?
The answer is to teach them how to decide and how to process the information they receive.
A young mentor can download enough thinking references into a child’s brain for the person to make the logical decision in any situation.
What do you hope to accomplish through your youth mentorship program?
The number one goal is to train thinkers and problem solvers from an early age.
We all see adults in our lives unable to cope with disappointments and failures. Just imagine if they had someone (outside of the family) at a young age who could help them figure out how to deal with issues.
Parents hire personal trainers for their children, why not do the same for their cognitive development and character?
Based on your experience, what are the most beneficial lessons that children and young adults can learn from mentoring and coaching youth?
You would be surprised how many times I have been asked to choose a teenager in a youth mentoring program. “Making the best logical decision” by the teenager himself is the whole point of having a mentor.
Another huge benefit is being independent enough to face their challenges instead of using parents as a way out. One of the aspects of mentoring for young people is to empower adolescents to turn problems into opportunities. From small tasks to big decisions, a teenager should have enough reflective credentials to become a problem solver.
From a personal perspective, what interests you about coaching and mentoring, especially working with young people?
Making a difference in someone’s life and having a more meaningful impact than you ever imagined brings such internal satisfaction.
These teens have no connection with successful professional adults outside of their families. When you mentor them, you become the ambassador of a future world of success that is often unknown, complicated, scary, and seemingly inaccessible.
An intergenerational bond emerges when you (40) share your life story with a 13 year old teenager. When I first started mentoring youth, I did it blindly with no return on investment in mind, but possibility of potential.
Most of my students keep in touch and are now adults – in their late twenties – who have gone on to become business owners, sports coaches, athletes, and teachers.
What are the most common issues brought to your attention for mentoring and coaching youth?
Mentoring young people is a much more difficult task than mentoring adults simply because we are dealing with people whose character development is still in the process of being formed. Every teenager is different and has their own ideas on how to live. Finding a starting point to work with them is, most of the time, the first challenge I have.
Often I am faced with the challenge of educating parents on different aspects of youth mentoring.
A skilled mentor does what’s right for the mentee instead of what parents expect.
Explain three reasons why you would make a good choice of mentor for young people?
I don’t do it for the money. I can make more money with my time, but I consider it a moral responsibility to supervise young people.
I am not a textbook trainer. Years of continuous coaching have helped me develop a unique mentoring approach. I have supervised hundreds of teenagers; some of them are now business owners, teachers and coaches themselves.
Despite my expertise, I consider myself a lifelong student. The learning never stops.
For parents and peers who wish to enroll their child in mentoring or youth coaching, but do not‘Not sure where to start, explain in your own words how they can approach the conversation?
It is important to say that I am neither a therapist nor a child psychologist. If they are looking for youth mentorship, they can contact me through my website: MehranRowshan.com
Currently, I am not accepting new mentees, but parents are welcome to contact me with any questions or advice.
Mentoring and coaching are often confused with therapy, what do you think?
This is a great point that parents should be aware of. Therapy focuses on the past and present, while youth mentoring helps teens get to where they want to be in the future.
Every teenager needs a mentor outside of their family. Unfortunately, there aren’t many qualified young mentors. This is why some families hire therapists, psychologists and life coaches.
How do you keep your training as a mentor and coach up to date and up to date with all the latest tools and techniques?
My main job is to run a youth football club in Dubai, which means making sure that all of our boys and girls get the best education possible, not just as a footballer but, more importantly, as a person. To achieve this, I have to constantly keep up to date with the latest braining methods (brain training) to educate our coaches.
There are no structured training paths for mentoring youth. Everything must be autonomous. Another way to improve each day is to interact with other coaches around the world. Currently, I am a founding member of a private coaching network with some of the best life coaches in the world.
Going forward, what do you plan for the future of youth mentoring and coaching?
The demand for mentoring for young people will increase dramatically over the next few years. Today, children’s mental health and well-being issues are actively addressed, and many people are trying to find creative ways to meet life’s challenges.
The company places a core value on self-improvement and because of this the demand for young coaches is likely to grow and excel.
For more details, visit MehranRowshan.com
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