Academic Life Coaching
Academic life coaching is a lot like coaching in sports – at least, in our opinion, good sports coaching. For example, Pete Carroll, head coach of the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks, engages his players in meditation sessions during which they are instructed, "Quiet your minds," "Focus your attention inwardly," and "Visualize success." These professional champions are coached toward reducing anxiety and raising mindfulness. And the reasoning is simple: it works.
Such a mindset is what helps one perform his or her best. Like any good coach, we'll motivate, pep talk, build skills, cultivate winning mindsets, have our students play their personal VICTORY SONG as pre-game (or pre-test) pump-up music. At the end of the day, we always believe in the student's abilities, and when we can get him or her to believe in that also – miracles can, and do, regularly happen.
We use a lot of positive psychology and skill development, but also gear our programs to learning and motivational differences rather than "positive think" and "drill" students to death. Often a gentle approach, one of "little-by-little" incrementalism, is the most wildly successful. Our version ofacademic life coaching uses the platform of school and tests to develop greater inner understanding and habits that will apply to the rest of a student's life. One of our students suggested we call what we do, "How I got through High School and even went to Standford." We would add "and learned ways to live happy ever after."
Our academic life coaching includes processes that encourage our students to succeed at the following life-long skills:
honoring one's commitments,
trying one's best,
creating work and life balance,
managing stress, burnout, and negative thinking,
eliminating fear or shame,
developing confidence, vision, and purpose,
understanding character strengths,
understanding learning styles and profiles,
arranging optimal environments,
positive mental attitude, learning note-taking,
gaining motivation and resilience,
managing/taking control of time,
learning more efficiently,
understanding how learning works best for one's needs,
making friends with one's inner voice.