Denver Unit 361 is pleased to announce our Mentorship Program for 2021.  Under this program, a newer player (Mentee) will have the opportunity to pair up with a more experienced player (Mentor) for a series of four club games. The program is a chance for Mentees to gain bridge knowledge and confidence, and a venue for Mentors to share their love of the game and be a part of the growth of bridge in our Unit.

This program is part of our Unit’s Education mission and supported with Unit funds. The current Program Coordinator is Donna Givner. You can contact her for further information in person or by email at MentorProgram@DenverBridge.org.

Who’s Eligible?

  • All Mentors and Mentees must be members of ACBL Denver Unit 361.
  • Mentees must have fewer than 200 masterpoints.
  • Mentors will typically have more than 1500 masterpoints, although exceptions may be made to this requirement.

This program specifically excludes:

  • Professional pairings (i.e. teachers being paid by students for lessons - we will not pay for the teacher's table fees).
  • Regular or established partnerships (people who have been playing together before the mentor program).
  • Relatives (spouses, parent-child, siblings, etc.).

How Does It Work?

This year we ask for a commitment of four sessions of bridge with some time after games for informal discussion.  Partnerships may agree to play these games on whatever schedule works for them. Pairs may play at any participating club and in any game where both players are eligible.

Regular card fees apply for the Mentee.  The Unit will pay the Mentor’s entry fee for each of the four sessions.

If you are a newer player wanting an introduction to Open games or wanting to try Team games, this is a good way to get your feet wet.

When a Mentorship is formed, the Mentor and Mentee should take some time to discuss the Mentee’s convention card, goals and expectations.  Some possible goals, depending on the Mentee’s current level of experience, might include:

  • to feel more comfortable playing in open games
  • to better understand alert procedures
  • to better understand director rulings
  • to explore basic conventions
  • to practice duplicate strategies

The Mentorship Program is not designed to be bridge lessons.  It is hoped successful Mentors will guide their Mentees in identifying areas in which they need more help and direct them to appropriate resources (private or group lessons, bridge books, ACBL materials, online information about conventions, etc.)  This mentoring help should be provided after the game when the pair spends some time discussing a few hands and any problems that came up at the table.

After four sessions, the Mentor and Mentee can make their own arrangements to continue the partnership if they wish, however without further Unit subsidy.

PLEASE NOTE:

Mentees may have a maximum of two Mentors during the calendar year (total of eight mentoring sessions).

Mentors may have an unlimited number of Mentees under this program (with a commitment of four sessions per Mentee).

How Do I Become a Mentee?

You are encouraged to find a Mentor you feel would be a good, compatible fit.  Here are a few ways:

  • Directly arrange a partnership with a qualified Mentor.
  • Contact the Mentor Program Coordinator.
  • Ask a Club Owner or Director. Some are aware of qualified Mentors in their clubs and can help arrange a partnership for you.

How Do I Become a Mentor?

Previous Mentors will tell you how rewarding it is to guide a newer player’s bridge growth. Give it a try:

  • Suggest Mentorship to an eligible prospective Mentee.
  • Contact the Mentor Program Coordinator.
  • Ask a Club Owner or Director to put you on a list of those who want to participate.

IN ALL CASES PARTNERSHIPS MUST BE REGISTERED WITH THE PROGRAM COORDINATOR BEFORE UNIT PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE!

How Do I Get Started?

If you’ve arranged a Mentorship directly or through a Club Owner/Director, one player must email the Program Coordinator at MentorProgram@DenverBridge.org to register the partnership. Include the names of Mentor and Mentee and contact information (phone and email). Your registration confirms both players understand the program guidelines.  As partnerships may play in multiple venues, players are responsible for tracking number of games played. You agree not to exceed the four game limit per Mentorship so that the Unit can correctly reimburse Club Owners for the Mentor’s games.

If you would like the Program Coordinator to match you with a Mentor or Mentee, send an email to MentorProgram@DenverBridge.org with the following information: name, number of points, clubs where you wish to play, phone and email.  When a match is made, the partnership will register as above.

And The Last Things

Our Unit wants the Mentorship Program to be a great experience for everyone. We all know in bridge, as in the rest of life, not all relationships work out. Although this program is based on a four game commitment, if compatibility is an issue, either Mentor or Mentee can dissolve the partnership. Please notify the Program Coordinator. We’ll cancel your registration and try to find you a better fit.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Donna Givner, Program Coordinator, at MentorProgram@DenverBridge.org.

(For research and comparative purposes Historic Mentor and Coaching Programs can be found here.)