The Mark of a Timeless Leader
Melissa J. Gonzalez
SPHE 417- Leadership Concepts in Coaching
Assignment 3; Mentorship in Coaching-
The Mark of a Timeless Leader
A mentor is someone that you can look up to. Someone who can teach you about life, offer advice, “been there done that” experience and can guide and speak to you in a way which others don’t seem to have. They get you. It is a special occasion for someone to earn the title of Mentor. You may not even know they are earning that until you chose to take their advice, or you go to them and for some reason it just makes sense. This is someone you can go to for a variety of things and they will always say something to inspire you or say the right thing. Then, enable the best in you to shine and excel in a way you didn’t think was possible. They see the strongest in you and your weaknesses. They make the weaknesses strong and the strengths learn to flourish and thrive. Under the wings of wisdom and encouragement you learn that anything is possible and they can be the ones to get you there.
Growing up, I always loved sports and loved being challenged. I had a variety of soccer coaches, cheerleading coaches, gymnastics instructors and swim instructors. I had instructors who taught me how to shoot marksman on different weapons systems, team leaders who got me through deployments and ones that showed me being Airborne was a reality. However, of all those incredible influences, one who I can’t seem to get rid of, even years later, is my martial arts instructor Master C. Normally known as Isaac Costley, he is the owner and head instructor of Calvary Family Martial Arts and Fitness. Under his guidance, I learned more about myself than I believed, at the time, to be possible. He taught me how to perform a strong and high round house kick. He taught self-defense and how to out ground grapple men 3 times my size. He even taught me how to run up a wall and do a back flip! While all of these were insane work outs and wonderful bonding experiences with my class mates, Master C gave me something I didn’t know I was missing. He gave me the courage and strength to grapple men three times my size. He showed that I can push a little harder than I actually wanted to or had the conscious ability of doing. He taught all of us teamwork, regardless of gender and size. He taught us that God, family, country, honor, respect and humility take you much further in life than anything.
He was my sensei for 4 years, then I left his classes and joined the military. During the various classes of self-defense training I had in the military, one thing stood out to all of those instructors. They would ask if I had prior training. I would answer, “Yes” and talk about Master C’s classes. They complimented his instruction and they appreciated the discipline and technique his classes taught, so I could also help teach and correct others. They saw that I didn’t give up easy, rose to a challenge and always fought hard. Also something he instilled in me. He also instilled and helped me find leadership skills I was definitely not prepared for. I loved children and helping them so he allowed me to be a teacher’s assistant in his youngest children’s class. Little did I know, this was shaping the future mentor in me and the future children’s fitness instructor-to-be.
Currently, I work on base in the afterschool program and my room is “Power House,” the fitness room. We teach all kinds of exercises, strength training and even do yoga. I didn’t realize that Master C saw that passion in me for helping kid’s years ago, and now I am able to help again. I instruct the children and help their form. I even push them a little harder than I normally would because he did the same to me. At the end of the day, the kids are beyond proud of their accomplishments and the parents tell us the kids love our room! I would not say I am an amazing mentor, but I am in a position to educate and influence children. I hope that I can be a positive influence to them and that at the end of the day I can send a kiddo home to his family and he can say “that was a great day!” I only hope that I can be a great mentor as Master C was to me, and as he graciously continues to be.
All of these things which he taught me not only apply on the mats, but they also apply in everyday life. I know I can defend for and stand up for myself and I also know that I will not put up with nonsense from anyone because I know what I am capable of. I am capable of being strong and helping others find that strength. I am able because he gave me the tools to find it within myself, even when I don’t have the strength, there is always another way. Another technique. Life is essentially like a grappling match. Sometimes we are motivated and things are going our way. Other times we are on the floor stuck between a mat and a difficult situation weighing us down. It is the different techniques we use, taught from out mentors, to get out of that situation and get up on top again. It is finding that sweet spot and holding on to it even if it the most trying test of strength. Thank you to the mentor who had the biggest influence on my life, because of your selfless efforts in teaching hundreds of children with love, passion and drive, we are a stronger people.
Krzyzewski, M., & Phillips, D. T. (2000). Leading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life. New York: Grand Central Publishing.
CFMAF. Colorado Springs Martial Arts and Fitness. (2016). Retrieved on 11 January 2017. http://cfmaf.com/