Mentoring the Waterboy

Mentors help us through life when we realize we don’t have all the answers. Finding a good Mentor is as important as being a good Mentor. Adam Sandler has put out some fun tales over the years that include some great mentors. Happy Gilmore learned how to “tap, tap, tap it in” from Chubbs. Lenny Fedler taught his son how important it is to let someone else win once in a while after he became a Grown Up. Bobby Boucher had some pretty colorful Mentors. Despite some of their challenging instructions, he never lost his focus of providing “high quality H2O” to his customers.

waterboy

Mama Boucher: [to Bobby] You don’t have what they call “the social skills.” That’s why you never have any friends, ‘cept fo’ yo’ mama.
Find the right Mentor.
Mama Boucher fiercely loved her son. She wanted what she thought was best for Bobby. Unfortunately for Bobby, that wasn’t always really the best. He did his best to listen to Mama, but it got him in a little trouble during biology class. Not to mention that Bobby’s relationships were a little stifled by Mama’s insistence that “Girls are da Debil”. It’s important to find a mentor for professional, and personal, growth. Just make sure your mentor encourages your growth, not stunts it.

[after Bobby demonstrates his tackling ability]
Coach Klein: Bobby, can you do that for me every game?

Bobby Boucher: Coach, not only will I do it for you, I… I… I… yes, yes, I’ll do it for you.
The best Mentors inspire.
Coach Klein likes the results of Bobby’s strong tackle and wants to see Bobby succeed by doing it again. Bobby, in his effort to try to impress Coach Klein, tries to think of ways to go above an beyond what was asked for. That’s not what Coach Klein wanted. Coach only wanted Bobby to repeat his tackling effort every game. Mentors want the best from their mentees. It’s important for the relationship to build over time, not explode like a firework that has nothing to offer after the grand finale.

Coach Klein: [after football player spits loogie in water tank] Are you all right?
Bobby Boucher: I wasn’t gonna do nothin’, coach!

Coach Klein: Well ya better do something. You gotta stick up for yourself, Bobby.
Bobby Boucher: But what about the finally tuned athletic machine?
Coach Klein: I am not telling you to go on a shooting rampage!
Be a positive Mentor.
Coach Klein understands his role in his relationship with his players goes beyond the gridiron. He can see Bobby is being bullied by teammates, but wants to give Bobby the chance to grow by not sheltering him too much like Mama does. He is encouraging Bobby to take a stand for himself while reminding him there are limits that we should set for our actions.

Paco: Hey Walter! I bet you fifty bucks Guy Grenouille throws a touchdown pass on the first play. Check it out!
Paco: [Guy Grenouille throws an interception] Woo hoo hoo hoo! You owe me fifty bucks!

Be clear with your message as a Mentor.
To be fair, Paco didn’t clarify who Guy Grenouille would throw the touchdown to. As a Mentor, it is your job to be clear with your leadership message and the direction you want to lead your mentee in. Creating goals and having open communication will help both of you grow positively. Don’t leave anything open for interpretation, otherwise you’ll set the wrong expectation for something that you are unable to deliver.

What are some of the best lessons you learned from your Mentors? 

Quotes and Picture from IMDB.com

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