We're proud to announce the new CTA Mentor Program. It's difficult for newbies to wrap their heads around the many facets of CTA, and if you were one of the frustrated many who wanted to get involved but wasn't sure who to contact (and maybe even nearly gave up), now's your chance to make a difference!
We've outlined the specifics, details, responsibilities, and requirements below should you have any questions concerning time commitments and other issues, so if you're interested in being a positive influence for new and incoming members while offering an experience they deserve, please consider becoming a mentor today. Contact Shawn Stingel to get involved
What's the goal of the Mentor Program?
To make new members feel welcomed and to provide a central point of contact for questions pertaining to CTA activities and to alleviate any fears a new recruit may have about how CTA operates. We don't want to lose new members out of frustration, confusion, or for a simple misunderstanding. The focus should be to provide the opportunity/option for new members to get involved with CTA, if he/she chooses to do so.
What does it take to be a mentor? Am I qualified?
Any CTA member in good standing (and friendly) who knows the culture of CTA from leagues to socials can serve as a mentor. You're not expected to know everything, however general knowledge of (but not limited to) leagues/registration, the substitution policy, tournaments, CTA listservs, and an overall concept of the social calendar and events is strongly encouraged.
How does a new member get assigned?
The Mentor program is purely voluntary. All new members can elect to participate in the Mentor Program if he/she desires, but it will not be mandatory. Unfortunately, we'll be unable to designate which new members are assigned to any specific mentor. Be mindful that you're going to be his/her go-to contact for all questions or concerns relating to CTA without prejudice or discrimination.
Do I have to assess a new member's skill level?
You're not required to hit with a new member (you can if you like), but he/she may have questions or concerns about what leagues to sign up for or which division they should enter (in case of tournaments, for example). In these instances, it's best to find out as much information about his/her tennis experience to recommend a suitable fit for their skill level.
What is a Mentor NOT responsible for?
As mentioned above, you are not required to set up a play date with a new member. Additionally, while you're expected to provide assistance and support with the following, you're not obligated to:
- Register him/her for leagues on their behalf
- Teach him/her how to play tennis
- Find him/her a substitute for leagues
- Logging him/her into the CTA website on their behalf
- Signing him/her up for tournaments on their behalf
- Giving him/her rides to CTA events and/or leagues, and
- Anything outside the realm of reasonable guidance on CTA
How much time do I have to commit as a CTA Mentor?
It will likely vary depending on the new member and his/her concerns. While this is a new program, we don't expect there to be too much of a time commitment required on your part. The expectation is that as a mentor, you'll be acting as a "big brother/sister," steering new members in the right direction. However, you may provide as much outreach and assistance as you wish (or maybe even strike up a great connection while doing so).
What's in it for me? Why should I join?
As a CTA Mentor, you'll be offering your time and commitment to a non-profit organization that promotes the sport of tennis within the DC LGBT community. Without your helping hands, CTA would not exist to offer the year-round experience enjoyed by our 300+ members. Additionally, as CTA receives in-kind support from our community partners, volunteers are given first dibs to these opportunities (think tickets to the Citi Open, the Kastles, movie tickets, contest prizes, discounts, and many other cool offerings).
Okay, I'm sold. How do I become a member and what's the next step?
Very simple. You may contact CTA's Social Director, Shawn Stingel (or any friendly board member) expressing your interest. We'll kick off your first connection with a new member, but from there, you may engage however you deem appropriate or necessary. We'll modify the program through lessons learned and feedback we receive from new members and the mentors.