Providing Coaching Support for Youth with ADHD

In the context of coaching, support is defined as the trusting, nonjudgmental relationship the coach provides to help the client make desired changes. For coaches, offering support will play an important role in helping the client meet goals; in the process, the coach’s support also has the potential to help the client develop self-confidence and increase self-esteem.

Providing support for the young person with ADHD involves a variety of tasks on the coach’s part, such as active listening, celebrating, championing, clarifying, empathizing, holding the focus, reframing, and requesting. Here are some examples of how a coach might engage in each of these different supportive tasks.

  • Active listening: The coach makes eye contact with the client and nods his or her head while the client is talking
  • Celebrating: “Congratulations! You set your sights on the lifeguard job and you got it. Way to go!”
  • Championing: “Your efforts were fabulous even if you didn’t reach your goal.”
  • Clarifying: “Do I understand your plan for today—you want to go back to your dorm and take a power nap before studying?”
  • Empathizing: “I understand how difficult this must be for you.”
  • Holding the focus: “To keep our session on track, let’s return to our review of your goals and action steps.”
  • Reframing: “I wonder what this situation might look like from your professor’s perspective.”
  • Requesting: “I would like to request that you let me know when you have completed your job application. Is that acceptable to you?”

These are just some of the ways in which a coach can support the young person with ADHD. Whether by expressing an attitude of curiosity to prompt the young person to brainstorm self-generated solutions or by inviting the young person to celebrate each small success, the coach provides the young client with unconditional support that promotes an increase in self-esteem and puts achievement of goals within closer reach.

All the best,