The Fundamentals of Coaching Young People – Part 1

Coaches work with young people to help them identify their own goals, dreams, and vision for the future. Counter to some parents’ or even young clients’ expectations, the coach does not control the coaching plan. Instead, the coach supports and monitors the success of the plan.

Coaching is an inquiry-based process such that the coach doesn’t decide the agenda or the action items. Whatever agenda emerges from the client’s responses, the coach stands behind the client and that agenda.

Most often the coaching process begins with an initial two-hour intake session, which is similar to the intake session in adult coaching with the exception of parents being present. During the intake, the coach asks background questions to learn more about the client and offers powerful, open-ended questions to get to the heart of the client’s values, goals, and desires. As the process unfolds, the coach and client create a personal coaching agreement, which contains the client’s goal/s and lays out client-generated action steps for success. Oftentimes, young clients want to focus on specific short-term goals during coaching (e.g., get a Bin history or sign up for football tryouts).

These goals may help the client to become more confident and develop the readiness for loftier, long-term goals that may not have seemed possible at the start of the coaching relationship. As the client progresses, he or she is likely to expand goals, achieve more success, get a feel for independent thinking, and develop a comfortable, trusting relationship with a coach. Learn more about our coach training programs.