The Importance of a Coach and a Mentor in the Lives of Youth (Part Two)
In part two of our three part series on the benefits of mentoring and coaching youth, we’ll look at who needs it most and why.
It is estimated that over 40% of teens’ waking hours are spent without adult supervision. That means that nearly half of their time is spent making their own choices. That can be kind of scary. In part one we looked at the consequences of youth not utilizing mentoring or coaching opportunities. By seeking out their own role models, teens may gravitate to a less-than-ideal person to emulate. This is a common cry for help and where mentoring is needed most.
Chuck Horton has seen first-hand how mentoring can turn around the life of a young person. The Duluth, Minnesota boxing coach has been charged over the years with mentoring a number of youth popping up in the juvenile offender system. These kids desperately need mentoring and coaching, and Horton provides it. Through his Golden Gloves program he brings them into the gym and teaches them discipline and the sport of boxing. There are also life lessons too plentiful to count as the older boxers share their stories of the struggles of sobriety and life on the straight and narrow.
Many of the youth Horton sees come from disadvantaged or single parent homes. They may be in that category of having too much time unsupervised and find themselves in with a bad crowd. But that could happen to anyone, at any socio-economic level, in any neighborhood. Sometimes kids are just struggling to find their niche, their band-of-brothers with whom they can bond and grow.
Horton is happy to provide such a place and the boxing coach has done it many times, developing some into world ranked athletes. He has taken teens and stripped them of their bad habits, their negativity, and their penchant for making bad choices. Through mentoring and coaching he instills in them self confidence and positive beliefs. By using physical conditioning, conversation, and mental exercises he has helped to turn their lives around. Often times just when they needed it most.