Absolutely! Anyone that is mature enough to set a goal can be coached, so this includes a four-year-old who is collecting stars to buy sweets. In adolescent coaching, we use tried and tested tools and strategies, traditionally used with adults in the corporate and sporting worlds and reworked for adolescents.

These tools and strategies are relatively simple and straightforward to use with adolescents. Even though professional coaches have achieved mastery when applying them, they can also be used by non-professional coaches who want to facilitate positive change alongside their work as teachers, school staff, parents/guardians and club workers. 

adolescent coaching

Coaching with Adolescents

Coaching adolescents is still relatively new and there is a demand for more research and empirical evidence to support it – especially given how popular and successful it is becoming. However, there is a growing amount of empirical evidence to support coaching generally. Given that many of the tools, strategies and methodologies underpinning all forms of coaching are essentially the same.

Coaching adolescents has become increasingly popular globally and the success rates are striking. Perhaps therefore some of the best schools in the UK are now working on embedding a coaching culture and are introducing coaching initiatives, such as employing in-house coaches and training management, staff, counsellors, and pupil leaders to be adolescent coaches. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why coaching works so well with adolescents and perhaps this could be the subject of further research. However, in the last ten years it has grown rapidly.

Possible reasons for this may include:

  • It is simple and cost-effective way to boost overall performance, mental health, and wellbeing.
  • It facilitates teaching and learning, which sits at the heart of the adolescent experience in education.
  • It is non-stigmatized.
  • It is simple and easy to understand.
  • It is accessible to adolescents of all abilities and backgrounds.
  • It is logical, solution-focused and time-limited.
  • Many coaching tools, strategies and methodologies are tried and tested and backed by science.
  • It also creates a very simple and shared language and foundation of support in a school community or family which can help drive change, success and fulfilment of more potential systemically.
coaching with adolescents

How is it Different from Coaching Adults?

  1. Sense of self is less formed.
  2. Sense of direction is not as clear.
  3. Have less life experience.
  4. Seek more guidance, direction, and mentoring.
  5. More impressionable and influenced by others.
  6. More prone to hero worship.
  7. Tend to get bored of the coaching far more quickly.
  8. Find it harder to ask for help.
  9. More impacted by stigma and what others think – perhaps this is why coaching is so popular as it is non-stigmatised.
  10. Less likely to request coaching and more likely to have been invited to coaching or sent to coaching by school staff or parents/guardians.
  11. If not managed carefully, there can be inequality and/or a power imbalance.
  12. The coaching must be tailored in each instance to be age-appropriate and to meet the client where they are in terms of maturity levels. For example,there is a big difference between an eleven-year-old and an eighteen-year-old in terms of maturity.

Specific reasons why adolescent coaching has become so popular:

  • It uses simple tools and methodology to boost overall performance, mind health and wellbeing.
  • It is easy to understand and creates a simple shared language and foundation of support in a school community or family. This can help drive change, success and fulfilment of more potential.
  • Coaching is a modality that is evidence-based and backed by scientific research and studies.
  • It works together with teaching and mentoring.
  • It facilitates learning, growth and development which sits at the heart of schools.
  • It is directive yet empowering.
  • It is non-stigmatised (meaning more pupils, staff and others will feel comfortable in accessing it).
  • It is accessible to adolescents of all abilities, cultures, religions, and backgrounds.
  • It is structured, logical, tools-based, solution-focused, and time-limited.
  • As it is time-limited it is also cost-effective, which is very attractive for schools, parents, and guardians with little or no budget.
coaching adolescents

Adolescent Coaching

There has been much research and several studies that support the success of coaching in the corporate, sporting and health worlds. More recently there have been studies in the education sector.

Given that many of the tools, strategies and methodologies underpinning all forms of coaching are essentially the same, this research and these studies are useful in supporting adolescent and child coaching.

However, our hope is that more research and studies will be done over the next 5-10 years specifically into adolescent and child coaching. This is critical given that it is still relatively new and a rapidly growing area of coaching. And everyone can learn the basics. The basics of Adolescent coaching to help our young generation. Teachers, educational staff, and parents.

Visit our Adolescents and Kids Coaching programs on our course page.

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