What makes an effective mentor from the perspective of the mentee in a young, elite cricketing environment?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Mentoring is when a trusting, developmental relationship forms between a more experienced athlete and an athlete of less experience (Bloom et al., 1998; Hardy, 1994; Alleman et al., 1984). Literature suggests mentoring is beneficial to a mentee’s overall development (Raisbeck, 2012). It is evident through research such as Collins et al. (2011) and Cushion (2006) that mentoring has become increasingly popular within sport, however little research has been undertaken into the effectiveness of mentorship within elite sport. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors that make for effective mentorship within a young, elite cricketing environment. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews. Six participants from one Marylebone Cricket Club University (MCCU) squad were interviewed. The data was analysed using matrix tables which revealed five key themes to effective mentorship in an elite cricket environment: Informal origin of the relationship; commitment; understanding; psychological support; and the position held by the mentor. Conclusions of the study supported the literature already present on mentoring, however the findings were specific to that of elite cricket. Limitations of the study include the participants’ general lack of prior experience within a mentor relationship and inexperience of the interviewer. The study has contributed to the understanding of effective mentorship with elite sport, specifically cricket. The findings seen to be transferable to other elite team sports. Future research suggestions include undertaking research of similar focus into other team sports; and studying further the psychological support that the mentor provides to young elite cricketers.
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