Mehran Rowshan draws on the samurai mindset for empowered youth care

Inspired by the Way of the samuraiOver the past few years, Mehran Rowshan has developed various character development programs for young people. Youth Mentorship, Youth Masterclasses and Braining (Brain Training) are three of them. His goal is to find a way and nurture meaningful character development for the younger generation both on and off the field. This approach has enabled him to provide Alliance FC players with tools to help them make rational decisions and face any situation with a problem-solving perspective.

Research shows that training hard while conscious of the worst result are two effective techniques for promoting calmness. Samurais trained relentlessly. You firmly believed that you should always be “prepared” – why? Preparation reduces anxiety. When things get tense, there is no need to think, but you are exercising both physically and mentally and having prepared yourself to act intuitively. After all, samurais survived catastrophic scenarios such as battles and wars. Your secret? To be prepared.

And Mehran is committed to helping young people through sport and coaching to tread their natural path from A to B with his youth mentoring program. As a dynamic coach who is constantly developing in our fast-paced environment, Mehran works with realities, scenarios and belief systems. All aspects that determine and influence people’s thinking, feeling and behavior. His toolkit for creating transformation, development and overall excellence combines extensive training and hands-on experience in the field.

Here Mehran shares more about his vision of caring for youth through sport, the methods he uses and why listening is key to connecting with young minds.

To lets start at the beginning – when did you first discover that youth care is a passion of yours?

I’ve always had a deep interest in doing things better. At the age of 10 I developed plants like plants or created small structures like a pond or a wall in our villa.

When I became a trainer who interacts with teenagers every day, I was destined to be a mentor too. Watching boys and girls develop their characters over time is the nicest feeling a coach can have.

What methods and schools of thought do you use in your approach to empowering and caring for young people?

The first step is to define a youth mentor as most parents mistakenly view a youth mentor as a lecturer or a counselor. I don’t see myself that way either. My definition of a youth mentor is that a qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced mentor is present in a young person’s life. A support system outside of the family that is consistently integrated when necessary.

Mentoring is not a one-way street. It’s two way traffic. A youth mentor needs to listen more than talk.

I always start by building a respectful relationship with the mentee. This does not happen through the use of “words”, but rather through my behavior and actions. Teens need to accept that your presence is meant to help them when needed and that no matter the circumstances, you will never judge them. Without the mentee’s trust, you can be the best advisor in town and still make no difference in a teen’s life.

Here are some things I don’t do:

  • Tell them what to think.
  • Choose them.
  • Interfere with their daily life or even the harmful habits they might have.

Instead, I’ll help them in two sentences:

  • Learn how to choose.
  • Feel more comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

We are in the year 2021, a fast-paced time with everything that is available to us. Why do you think youth care should be the focus and importance today more than ever?

Children, teens and even adults are exposed to an enormous amount of information every day, from school to their friendship groups to the dominant world of social media.

Regardless of how we as parents try, we are no longer responsible for what our children can see, hear, read, and learn.

The age of censorship is over and children will always find a way to access information. Are you competent enough to handle open information?

How can we protect our children if we are not responsible?

The answer is to teach them how to decide and how to process the information they receive.

A youth mentor can download enough thought references into a child’s brain so that the person can make the logical decision in any situation.

What do you hope to achieve with your youth mentoring program?

The main goal is to encourage thinkers and problem solvers from an early age.

We all see adults in our lives who are unable to cope with disappointments and failures. Imagine having someone (outside of the family) at a young age who could help them figure out how to deal with problems.

Parents hire personal fitness trainers for their children. Why not also for their cognitive and character development?

From your experience, what are some of the most beneficial lessons children and young adults can learn from youth care and coaching?

You would be surprised how many times I’ve been asked to choose a teenager on a youth mentoring program. Making the teenagers best logical decision themselves is the whole point of having a mentor.

Another great benefit is that they are independent enough to face their challenges rather than using their parents as an escape route. One aspect of youth care is empowering young people to turn problems into opportunities. From small tasks to big decisions, a teen needs to have enough thought-references to become a problem solver.

From a personal point of view, what are you interested in coaching and mentoring, especially in working with young people?

Making a difference in someone’s life and making an impact more meaningful than you ever imagined brings such inner satisfaction with it.

These teenagers have no connection with successful, professional adults outside of their families. As you mentor them, you will become the ambassador of a future world of success that is often unknown, complicated, scary and seemingly inaccessible.

A cross-generational bond is created when you (a 40 year old) share your life story with a 13 year old teen. When I started youth care, I did so blindly, with no return on investment in mind, but an opportunity for potential.

Most of my students keep in touch and are now, in their late twenties, adults who have become business owners, sports coaches, athletes, and teachers.

What are some of the most common issues that come to your attention when mentoring and coaching the youth?

Caring for teenagers is a much more difficult task than caring for adults just because we are dealing with people whose character development is still developing. Every teenager is different and has their own ideas about how to live. Finding a starting point to work with is usually the first challenge I face.

I am often faced with the challenge of educating parents about various aspects of youth care.

A competent mentor does what is right for the mentee rather than what the parents expect.

Can you give us three reasons why you would make a good choice as a mentor for the youth?

I don’t do it for the money. I can make more money with my time, but I see it as a moral responsibility to look after the youth.

I’m not a textbook coach. Through years of non-stop coaching, I have developed a unique mentoring approach. I’ve looked after hundreds of teenagers. Some of them are now entrepreneurs, teachers and trainers themselves.

Despite my specialist knowledge, I see myself as a lifelong student. Learning never stops.

For parents and peers who want to enroll their child for youth care or coaching, but notDon’t know where to start and explain in your own words how to approach the conversation?

It is important to say that I am not a therapist or a child psychologist. If you are looking for youth care you can contact me through my website:

I’m not currently accepting new mentees, but parents are welcome to reach out to me with any questions or advice.

Mentoring and coaching are often confused with therapy. what’s your opinion on this?

This is an excellent point for parents to consider. Therapy focuses on the past and present, while youth care helps teenagers get to where they want to be in the future.

Every teenager needs a mentor outside of their family. Unfortunately there are not many qualified youth mentors. This is why some families hire therapists, psychologists, and life coaches.

How do you keep your mentor and coach training up to date and find out about the latest tools and techniques?

My main job is to run a youth football club in Dubai, which means that all of our boys and girls receive the best possible education, not just as footballers, but above all as a person. To achieve this, I need to keep myself constantly updated on the latest brain training methods (brain training) to educate our trainers.

There are no structured educational pathways for youth care. Everything has to be controlled by yourself. Another way to get better every day is to interact with other coaches around the world. I am currently a founding member of a private coaching network with some of the world’s best coaches.

Looking ahead, what do you predict for the future of youth mentoring and coaching?

The demand for youth care will increase significantly in the next few years. Today, children’s mental health issues and wellbeing are actively addressed, and many people try to cope with life’s challenges in creative ways.

Society places a significant emphasis on self improvement and it is for this reason that the demand for youth coaches is likely to rise and stand out.

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