Pacific Assocation of USA Track and Field

Mentor Program

The Mentor Program

The Pacific Association Mentoring Program benefits the sport of track and field by providing the knowledge, skills, and professional contacts of veteran officials for newly certified officials.  Mentoring also assists veteran officials who wish to upgrade their certifications.  Mentoring improves the officials’ overall effectiveness, promotes individual growth, and adds to their professional development.  Mentoring also improves the retention of our new and veteran officials.

Each new (Apprentice) official is provided the opportunity to work with a mentor.   In most cases, a National or Master Level official will be assigned to them by the Pacific Association Mentor Chair. The new official may request an active qualified Pacific Association official with whom they are already familiar.

The Role of the Mentor

Mentors are active Pacific Association National and Master level officials.  They are role models, who provide an example of what one may become in the Pacific Association.  Mentors have considerable officiating skills, knowledge, experience and contacts within and outside the Pacific Association.    They instruct, listen, guide, and coach while offering support and understanding.  Mentors take a personal interest in assisting both new and veteran officials in becoming more qualified to advance and upgrade to higher levels of certification.

New officials may work alongside of their mentors at meets.  The mentor will evaluate the new official’s work after each meet to give the Apprentice official feedback on their performance. (See example evaluation here.) The mentor will also work with the new official, to coordinate opportunities to work with other seasoned officials at a variety of venues on the track and on the field.  This allows new officials to receive a broadly-based education in many venues before they advance to the Association level of certification.  The mentor remains with the new official throughout their years at the Apprentice level.  With active participation, this period will take approximately two years.  Mentors may be counted on to make the new official’s time in track and field, a positive experience through communication and planning with the new official.

Mentor FAQs

1. Do I need to be assigned a mentor?

It is recommended that each new official, regardless of their experience in Track and Field, be assigned a mentor.

2. Does the mentor need to come from the region in which I live?

Your mentor may live within any Region within the Pacific Association.  They must be residing within the geographical area and be an active member of the Pacific Association.

3. May I suggest a mentor who I believe would work well with me?

You may suggest a National or Master Level official to be your mentor as long as they are an active member of the Pacific Association.

4. What do I do if I my mentor does not work out well for me?

Contact the Mentor Chair and a new mentor will be assigned to you.  The Mentor Chair, as well,  would be happy to discuss the reasons for the request of a new mentor, if you desired to do so.

5. What certification must a mentor hold and why?

The mentor should be either a National or a Master Level official.

The reason for this occurs when you eventually seek a certification upgrade.  You will need a letter of recommendation from a National or Master official who has worked with and observed your performance in disciplines for which you seek an upgrade.

6. Can a mentor assist me with upgrading my officiating level?

The mentor can most certainly be able to assist you with an upgrade.  You will need a National or Master official to observe your performance in disciplines in which you wish to upgrade.  Your mentor may be able to do so, if they are certified in the area you wish to upgrade. If the mentor is not certified, a recommendation to a National or Master official in the specific discipline may be made by your mentor.

7. How long do I work with my mentor?

Usually, the mentor will work with you through your first two years.  A mentor may be willing to extend their time upon request from you.  Many times, the mentor and mentee build a professional relationship that lasts well beyond the initial period.

8. Do I need to work alongside my mentor at every meet?

The mentor may want you to work with them but will want you to work with other experienced officials at meets.  The mentor may be at the same meet but the two of you may be working different disciplines.  You may often be at different meets but can get together by whatever means and discuss the meets and any questions you may have.