By Alvin Codner:
According to my experiences, Life coaches and life coaching sessions are usually used by adults (starting from ages in the mid 20s and up) who would like development in a range of categories such as career and finance, business, family, relationship, weight loss and fitness, and quite a few more. When it comes to people ages 20 and below, the mentor title is more in common than life coaches. The youth are used to being mentored and being told what to do which is less difficult to do than doing the whole life coaching process. With that being a factor, majority of the youth may not want to participate or have full cooperation when it comes to coaching sessions. Even though that may be true, in general, the life coaching is a practice that overall primarily helps humans set and achieves personal goals, while they learn and grow in awareness. These goals are usual consist of a client’s job, personal life or interpersonal relationships.
This post examines several specific concepts and provides researched based evidence on how much of a positive impact life coaching has upon the youth. Firstly, we’ll briefly go over the overall satisfactory of life coaching. Secondly, we’ll discuss how middle school and high school students can benefits from life coaching. Thirdly, we examine how life coaching can have a positive impact on students with ADHD and other mood disorders. Fourthly, we will analyze how life coaching can increase their athletic skills and performance in general.
Overall Satisfactory Impact of Life Coaching
Life coaching has an impact on almost every aspect in life. The world we live on today is divided by positive and negative. How grand would it be to know that there is career fields that will help the next generation live in a more so positive world than a negative one? That industry would be coaching and everything that falls under the coaching umbrella.
Overall, life coaching is based off of personal and professional development. Over the past decade, life coaching has been a rapidly growing industry that helps people reach their goals and improve life satisfaction. Several large companies provide life coaching as well as thousands of individuals who offer coaching areas such as parental coaching, attention deficit disorder, and executive coaching. According to (Luoma, 2013), a Google search of “life coaching” brings up more than eight million hits and “life coach” brings up about 18 million hits. Luoma also stated more than 50 coaching certification programs and coaching training services throughout the world. The growth within the life coaching industry can be attributed to many factors ("ICF," 2005). After doing research on this career field I have found most of the research statistics is based on the impact of coaching and return of investment on executive coaching. There was only a limited amount of research done on life coaching and how it impacts on people’s life satisfaction.
What is life satisfaction? According to (Luoma, 2013, para. 7), “one’s sense of satisfaction in life is influenced by many factors such as health, financial well-being, and personal relationships. For example, feeling good about the neighborhood one lives in can contribute to feeling good about life in general. If such life events as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, unemployment, and getting laid off can affect one’s level of life satisfaction, the next question to explore is to what degree someone’s disposition will prepare them for these events and minimize the overall impact on well-being. For some events, there is a quick return to baseline satisfaction, while others have a lasting effect. To what degree does the anticipation of a pleasant or unpleasant event affect an individual’s life satisfaction? Can counseling or coaching help someone through a difficult situation to return more quickly to their “normal” satisfaction level? Are “happier” people less affected by adverse life events?” According to (Lucas, Diener, & Suh, 1996) happy people tend to possess such characteristics as optimism, high self-esteem, and extroversion. Based off that statement made by Lucas, Diener, and Suh; Darcy Luoma focused on that topic and the effectiveness of life coaching. Luoma goes on to say “If that is true, are there ways to systematically improve these traits in individuals to improve their life satisfaction? The primary objective in choosing this topic is to find out whether providing structured, individual life coaching increases life satisfaction. Based on my previous experience of informal mentoring of United States Senate office interns, the hypothesis is that life coaching will indeed improve a client’s ability to reach his or her goals and be successful, thus having greater life satisfaction. This is likely because when someone seeks out help and is actively engaged in identifying goals and working with someone to achieve them, the chances increase that he will be successful.” (Luoma, 2013, para. 8)
The International Coach Federation ("ICF," 2005) and ("Manchester Consulting," 2004, July) reports that people who use life coaching services increase the following:
- Goal Setting
- Balancing Of Life
- Lower Stress Levels
- Improved Productivity
- Return On Investment
- Organizational Strength
- Better Relationships with direct reports, supervisions, and peers
- Improved Teamwork
- Greater job satisfaction
The purpose of Darcy Luoma’s research project was to determine the effect of coaching on overall satisfaction by implementing a life coaching action research project with former senate interns; in which resulted to proving life coaching made a significant difference in one’s life satisfaction. Based off Darcy Luoma’s research project, according to (Luoma, 2013, figure 1) these are the five key conclusions that emerged from the study:
Life coaching makes a significant difference in one’s overall life
Coaching appears to be an effective approach to goal attainment and personal development
The coaching experience helped clients be more effective by teaching them how to set concrete, measurable goals made up of specific and manageable steps instead of being overwhelmed by large tasks that seemed too daunting or overwhelming to undertake.
Using a collaborative effort to help the client identity and take action on creating change in his life seems to be effective based on the research results
Asking challenging questions to encourage the client to look at new ways to seek different solutions to problems seems to be a key element of effective coaching.
Benefits of Coaching to Students
Being a middle or high school student is not the easiest task in life. Most students between that age ranges of 13 to 18 are going more things than just dealing with schoolwork. Around the age, students are going through puberty, peer-pressure, adolescence, and more. In all reality, between this age range is where the most change occurs in a person’s life span. The two main types of changes I am speaking of is emotional and social change. Those two changes can be quite difficult to handle as a child. Here are different types of issues that may come up in a teenager’s life in correlation to change according to ("Social/Emotional Change," 2015):
Searching for identity: young people are busy working out who they are and where they fit in the world. This search can be influenced by gender, peer group, cultural background and family expectations.
Seeking more independence: this is likely to influence the decisions your child makes and the relationships your child has with family and friends
Seeking more responsibility, both at home and at school
Looking for new experiences: the nature of teenage brain development means that teenagers are likely to seek out new experiences and engage in more risk-taking behaviour. But they’re still developing control over their impulses
Thinking more about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’: your child will start developing a stronger individual set of values and morals. Teenagers also learn that they’re responsible for their own actions, decisions and consequences. They question more things. Your words and actions shape your child’s sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’
Influenced more by friends, especially when it comes to behaviour, sense of self and self-esteem
Starting to develop and explore a sexual identity: your child might start to have romantic relationships or go on ‘dates’. These are not necessarily intimate relationships, though. For some young people, intimate or sexual relationships don’t occur until later on in life
Communicating in different ways: the internet, mobile phones and social media can significantly influence how your child communicates with friends and learns about the world.
Showing strong feelings and intense emotions at different times: Moods might seem unpredictable. These emotional ups and downs can lead to increased conflict. Your child’s brain is still learning how to control and express emotions in a grown-up way
Is more sensitive to your emotions: Young people get better at reading and processing other people’s emotions as they get older. While they’re developing these skills, they can sometimes misread facial expressions or body language
Is more self-conscious about physical appearance and changes: Teenage self-esteem is often affected by appearance – or by how teenagers think they look. As they develop, chil