#InspiredCoaching: Early mentors can make a difference

Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach for the U.S. Naval Academy, reacts on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Oct 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Navy Midshipmen head coach Ken Niumatalolo reacts during the fourth quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at SDCCU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re doing what you love, there’s a good chance you can think back to a special person or people in your life who helped you get where you are today.

It could be your parents, a coach, a business mentor or someone else who led by example or told you exactly what you needed to hear to take that next step.

“I think that a mentor’s role is to help someone find the hope within themselves that they don’t see within themselves right away,” said Bhargavi Arrunategui, an Amway Independent Business Owner (IBO) who credits her business mentors for helping her find her path to success.

“It’s really being able to identify how you can support them, how you can encourage them.”

Childhood coaches

Thanks to Amway’s commitment to #InspiredCoaching and the Amway Coaches’ Poll partnership between Amway, USA TODAY and the American Football Coaches Association, Bhargavi shared her story of mentorship and coaching along with other IBOs and some all-star college football coaches for a piece published at USATODAY.com.

For Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach for the U.S. Naval Academy, that person was a volunteer basketball coach he had while growing up.

He recalled how the coach came straight from work on a grounds crew to the basketball court where he helped mold, train and guide the young, rural team. He even paid for team uniforms with his own money.

“He really cared about us. It had a profound impact on me,” said Niumatalolo, who holds the title of Navy’s winningest football coach.

University of Oregon Head Football Coach Mario Cristobal stands in the stadium holding a football and looking at the camera.

For Mario Cristobal, head football coach for the University of Oregon, it was his high school football coaches.

“They truly made you want to come to work,” he said. “I completely credit them for me wanting to get into coaching. Having the responsibility of being a coach, requires you to inspire and motivate others.”

Business mentors and parents

Amway IBO Eugene Liddie points to the couple who introduce him to the Amway business as key to his success. They didn’t just show him the business and send him on his way. They offered to show him the ropes and learn from their own experiences.

“It was like boot camp, walking me through the minefield so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes they made,” Eugene said. “Everybody has inner greatness in them, it’s just a matter of having someone actually bring it out of them.”

Anthony Melillo’s parents were the ones that had an early impact on him. They were Amway IBOs and their business allowed them to be there for Anthony, coaching his teams and being there when he needed them.

“From a very young age my parents were home full time, and they had an amazing lifestyle, they had amazing relationships, they had an awesome marriage,” he said. “I was always listening to them, learning from them.”

Now he enjoys doing that for others who want to start an Amway business, guiding them along the path to success.

“Those breakthrough moments are the most valuable to me,” he said. “When you can pull out the best of somebody, that’s the greatest reward.”

Want to read more about the importance of early mentoring and coaching? Visit USATODAY.com to see the full story. And check out our other blogs on #InspiredCoaching.

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