Which comes first: skills or strategies? Does a person need to be skilled at something to acquire a set of strategies for success? Or does a person need to have strategies to become skilled? In the case of young people with ADHD, the latter is typically the case. Because certain skills do not come naturally to adolescents and young adults with ADHD, they need to practice their way toward being skilled at something. In coaching, the client and coach work together to brainstorm personalized techniques or strategies that the client can use to improve a particular skill. So, it is fair to say that:
Strategies + Practice = Skill
The coaching process recognizes that we can’t simply send young people with ADHD out into the world, tell them to do something, and expect them to accomplish it. Success is not a mere matter of helping these young people see that they need to keep their books, papers, and personal space organized; we need to actually help these young people figure out how they are going to keep their materials organized. Parents can say until they are blue in the face, “You need to keep your desk organized,” or “Go study,” but a young person with ADHD won’t make any progress at all until someone helps the young person discover how to keep the desk organized or how to sit still long enough to study and then gives the young person an opportunity to practice the skill of organization or studying over and over again.