Book Excerpt: Josh, the Video Game Designer

Josh was an 18-year-old client who wanted to go into the field of video game design. He loved to play games on his own computer and clearly recognized the need for improvement in his favorite online game. When first discussing his interest in video game design during the coaching intake, Josh became frustrated and agitated. He wanted to get out of school now and go to work for the company that designed his favorite game. With the support of his coach, Josh was able to step back from his frustration by creating a structure and a plan, captured in the PCA (Personal Coaching Agreement), through which he would contact the video gaming company with his ideas while staying in school and on task in order to complete his studies and graduate in six months. The coach provided a safe space for Josh to address his present frustrations while simultaneously planning for the future.

Josh’s story represents the power of support and structure to help young people make decisions that will facilitate successful completion of their own goals. In particular, Josh was able to work on his goals and dreams within a structure that kept those goals realistic and intact. Because the coach offered nonjudgmental support, Josh was able to clearly see his goals and the steps he agreed to take to reach those goals. The clarity of his PCA afforded Josh the opportunity to follow his dream while focusing on accomplishing the tasks at hand, which, in turn, helped facilitate his long-term goal of becoming a video game designer. Ultimately, the support and structure offered in the coaching experience helped Josh avoid making an impulsive decision to drop out of school, which might have sabotaged his ability to achieve the very goals he was hoping to meet in the first place.