Originally posted as a reply in the StrengthCoach.com Advanced Forum
I envy anyone who can make it on their own, and don't think you necessarily need to be an understudy for years. However, I don't personally like the explosion of young "experts". I was reading an article recently and the blurb at the end of the article (about the author) claimed that the author had helped athletes of all ages reach their full athletic potential. That's a huge claim to make. And when I researched the author, I found that they were my age (23). My point is that when it becomes so easy to throw statements around like that, I think we've lost appreciation of coaches who've spent years developing this field, and actually are expert coaches.
Supertraining is not an easy read, but anyone who can get through the first 100 pages will at least get the sense of Dr. Siff's sentiment towards Westernized training methods. We want everything and want to be everything so fast, and physical development and coaching ability are absolutely not two things that are acquired quickly.
To clear things up, I don't think anyone who writes an article is claiming to be an expert (I write myself). But we need to watch the claims we make, and always make sure we credit and reference our ideas.
Even if it's not a true definition of mentoring, I think its a good idea for everyone to gain more knowledge of the brief history of the field and the contributions from older coaches. I think some of us might be eager to dismiss that because the training methods may not accord with dynamic warm ups, the glute medius, prehab, post activation potentiation..etc. That's not the point, there's invaluable information to gained from those coaches. Maybe the point is simply to respect our elders.
Either way, learning from those who've done it longer and more sucessfully will always be the best way to further develop our own abilities.