“(Mentorship is) a relationship in which a person with useful experience, knowledge, skills, and/or wisdom offers advice, information, guidance, support, or opportunity to another for that individual’s professional development.”
Berk, R. A., Berg, J., Mortimer, R., Walton-Moss, B., & Yeo, T. P. (2005)
CONNECT is a mentorship program intended to enhance professional and personal development of sport scientists currently working within the Canadian high-performance sports system. By CONNECTing two HP members the program hopes to facilitate close relationships that provide informal guidance, coaching, knowledge-sharing, and a deepened understanding of the Canadian high-performance environment.
Why does CONNECT exist?
Any book or lecture can tell you how to do a thing. But in any craft, whether painting or writing or leadership or performance sciences, there are certain forms of knowledge that cannot be put in to polices, rules, frameworks, or succession plans – practical forms of knowledge that only the people who have experienced it can teach.
When we talk about practical knowledge, we use metaphors. We say that someone has a touch or feel for the game, an intuition for how events will unfold, an awareness of when to push on through or put it aside. When experts use practical knowledge, they are not thinking more, they are thinking less. Experts have a built-up repertoire of skills built through experience that was likely passed on by a mentor who let them come alongside and participate in thousands of situations. A textbook can teach you the principle of sports science, but a mentor shows you how to think like a sport scientist in a personal, friendly, shared and conversational way.
This is why the CONNECT program exists - to CONNECT and impart the tacit wisdom embedded in the craft of sport science to the next generation.
What are the goals of CONNECT?
To CONNECT people as many people within the Canadian system as possible. To provide a platform for new sport scientist to learn from those who have been there before and for experienced practitioners to pass it forward and enhance the system. The holistic goal is to establish a dynamic, genuine, and ongoing learning culture across Canada that will be healthy challenge network allowing a for continual growth.
Who is CONNECT for?
Any HP Practitioner who is a member of Sport Scientists Canada and wishes to become a mentor or find one. While still under development, the goal of this program is to create a platform whereby sport scientist can sign up and declare interest in becoming or finding a mentor.
The CONNECT program provides an e-module that focuses on the foundational principles of mentoring. It is available to Sport Scientist Canada members and provides knowledge and skills regarding three types of mentor support:
- Skills and knowledge support
- Career-related support
- Psychosocial and emotional support
The CONNECT module also plays a critical role in preparing sport scientists for participation in other programs such as: LEAD, WiSS, and Paralympic Practitioner Development initiatives.
For the purpose of HP Certification and for maintenance of your membership eligibility requirements, please take the survey once you have completed the module.
Frequently Asked Questions
Through this module you will learn to provide newer sports science practitioners with your insider knowledge of the sport system. You will help them understand different roles and responsibilities in your profession, and you’ll help them build skills related to self and team leadership, conflict resolution and relationship management. Finally, you’ll be working to enhance your mentee’s sense of competence and identity through problem solving, counselling, friendship and acceptance and confirmation.
Your Draft Mentorship Philosophy will be critical if you choose to take part in a formal mentorship program like Women in Sport Science (WiSS) or the LEAD (Learn, Engage, Accelerate, Develop) program.
The Draft Mentorship Philosophy may also be a requirement to demonstrate your competency as part of the Canada Sport Scientist High Performance Certification and could be included as part of your HP professional development plan.