We hear a lot about coaching these days. While this term was reserved in the past for sports, we now have coaches for just about every profession and activity in life. So what exactly is a coach, and how does it differ from a teacher or a therapist?
Having ADHD is a complex, multifaceted condition that we are still learning about through science, research and experience. We know that it is not a lack intelligence that creates the challenge, rather the ability to harness the mind to direct it to perform when, where, and how the individual would like it to.
When you want to be successful at something – be it a sport, a profession, conquering a health challenge, improving your personal relationships, or parenting your children, often change in your knowledge and approach is necessary.
While teachers can provide you with knowledge, not every situation lends itself to the structure and curriculum that suits your needs. And therapy, while tremendously valuable in helping your sort through how you may have arrived at a certain point in life and how you may want to make changes in yourself or your situation, some circumstances are not about addressing a troubled personal past, rather creating an opportunity to design a better future.
Succeeding often means working at what you are unfamiliar with or are not good at. Most people have a hard time doing this, either because of lack of confidence, lack of skill, or a combination of both. The coach is able to help people stay attached to their purpose, gather resources, and maintain momentum.
Coaching, when you allow it, is a safe way to expose yourself to receiving observations and feedback about yourself in action. A coach can observe you and help you methodically reflect on how you are doing – what is working and what is not.
Coaches provide you a mirror, and help you put the picture in focus. The play back what you say and help you clarify the meaning so it matches your heart. They help you learn how to think, and to trust in your thoughts. They don’t tell you what to do; yet they help you see what you want to do.
Coaches are not teachers, but they teach. Coaches are not your boss, but they can be gently bossy. Coaches help you edit – your thoughts, your actions, your goals – to shape them into masterpieces. Coaches are a unique blend of motivator, educator, manager and partner.
Parenting a child who has ADHD is more complex than typical parenting. It takes more forethought, patience, strategy, time and effort. Being a person with ADHD requires no less! Support and education in the form of Coaching can make the difference between constant struggle and doubt and a positive state of hope, growth, and success.