I get a lot of emails and a lot of them revolve around things young coaches can do to be better in this field. Well wether you are in the fitness field or not, the most important thing you will ever do in your life is have a great mentor.

When I was coming up I didn't understand the value of a great mentor. I have made a ton of mistakes in my life and if I had found a great mentor early in my life I think I could have avoided a lot of these mistakes.

They say that a smart man learns from his mistakes but a genius learns from other people's mistakes. It's taken me a long time to understand the value in this statement.

A great mentor will be someone who can relate to who you are and help shape you into who you want to be. They should also be someone that is successful in a field that can relate to what you are trying to do. For example, if you want to be a collegiate strength coach, you better find a mentor that is a collegiate coach or has a ton of connections in that field. Otherwise, you won't get anywhere in that field. For me, I needed to find business mentors. People who had successful businesses and could guide me not to make some of the same mistakes that they made.

When I was younger and people said having a mentor was crucial, I dismissed this advice. I thought "I can do it myself, I'm smart." Well this is arrogant and shortsighted thinking. I now realize that a good mentor can help you get where you want to go a lot faster and with a lot less headache.

So how do you find a good mentor? Well, find people who are good in your field and try to talk to them. It's that simple. It is so easy to connect with people today and finding someone's contact info is simple. For me though if you want to have a mentor you must find a way to meet that person in person. The other side of that is usually there is a mutually beneficial relationship.  What I mean by this is that if you want someone to be your mentor than you need to find a way to help them with something so that they will want to return that favor by giving you guidance.

Volunteer work for a company or organization, internships and other similar type of situations create a potential for you to access successful people and show them you are a person with potential. If they see this and you work hard for them and take pride in everything you do they will want to help you succeed.

The problem is that a lot of people want successful people to mentor them without showing that person that they deserve it. You have to remember that successful people are very busy and if they are going to give someone their time then they have to know that it is going to be a good investment. Someone simply making one phone call or sending one email does not show that you have potential.

So while picking out someone to be your mentor may not be that difficult, it will take work on your part to actually get them to want to be your mentor. Trust me though, getting a good mentor will be the best thing you can do for your life and your career.