Youth Coaching falls under the umbrella of Life Coaching with the emphasis being on the early development of young people. The early years in someone’s life is when there can be the most lasting impact to their self-confidence and self-esteem. Experiences which are unpleasant and go unaddressed can shape the way a person develops and grows into their adulthood. Behavioural, academic, personal and addiction issues often develop in the early years as a way to cope with a crisis. Coaching can assist a young person through these experiences and teach them the tools to take into their adulthood.
The uniqueness of coaching focuses on dealing with an obstacle before it becomes a crisis. A coach can aid a young person on working through their fears, and help them identify underlying beliefs which they have formed about themselves. Coaches ask a lot of questions to get to a point where the young person will find the answer within themselves. The emphasis is on empowering a young person with the tools to block out and move beyond the unpleasant aspects of life such as "the bully" and "peer pressure". These issues will always be around throughout a young person’s life but how they deal with the issue can change if they have discovered the tools within themselves to move beyond the issue. A coach will encourage a young person to set goals and take action toward their own self-empowerment. There are times when a young person may also require a counsellor to address emotional barriers which need to be overcome before coaching can begin or for coaching to be effective. There are times when a counsellor and a coach can work together for the greatest benefit.
Group Coaching is also very effective forum to help young people realize they are not alone in their difficult situation. The saying “there is strength in numbers” is very appropriate in this instance. When
you place young people together who have been dealing with a similar
issue and allow them to hear each other it can have a positive and
powerful effect. Most often a young person feels isolated
in their difficult issue and out of shame or embarrassment does not step
forward and inform an adult figure. Group Coaching is a
forum where youth can come and talk in a confidential and neutral
environment about their personal experiences with other youth who may
have had similar or different experiences. A coach will
facilitate the conversation, ask questions of the group when necessary,
and express insight to the group on what is being said by the group. Group size is kept to a manageable number so that there can be an open discussion among those that attend.
Whether the coaching is done privately or in group there can be a beneficial outcome for a young person’s early development. Coaching
focuses on building self-confidence, self-empowerment, and the
character building to tackle the obstacles that life will continually
throw at an individual.
" Youth is, just a moment, but it is the moment, the spark, that you always carry in your heart"
Raisa M. Gorbachev