How to get the most out of Academic Coaching
Are you thinking about signing up for 1:1 Academic Coaching with Life More Extraordinary? It's important to us that you get the most out of this experience – and making sure this happens starts before you even sign up for a preliminary call to discuss how we can help you.
In this blog you'll find some helpful pointers about how to get the most out of Academic Coaching. This will also help you to decide if you're really ready to make contact with us to discuss coaching. And, if you are ready it will ensure that you get the most from the coaching relationship from the very beginning.
How to get the most out of Academic Coaching
Be a willing participant
This might sound like a strange thing to start with, but we've had several parents sign their children up for academic coaching when their children haven't been willing participants. This led to a very difficult client-coach relationships that weren't nearly as productive as they could be.
The first aim of all our coaches is to form a relationship with your child where your child feels like they can be open and honest and they can trust their coach. However, some students resist this because they just don't want to be there. You don't want this to happen if you invest in academic coaching.
If you're thinking about signing your child up for academic coaching, the very first step is talking to your young person about it. They don't need to commit to it immediately, they just need to be willing to explore it. However, be aware that some young people say they'll take part in the coaching calls but have no intention of following through on what is discussed. You need to make sure your young person is willing to not just turn up, but we a full and willing participant in every aspect of the process.
If your child wishes to talk to your coach before you go ahead with the coaching we can arrange a quick ten minute call so that they can meet their coach and feel comfortable. We also have podcast interviews with all the coaches so that you can get to know them better before signing up. You can find all these podcast interviews here.
Be open and honest
The best way to get a lot out of the coaching relationship quickly is to be open and honest about the things you're finding difficult in your studies, as well as the things that are getting in the way of your progress.
The more open and honest your child can be about their thoughts and feelings about their studies and the situation around them, the better their coach will be able to help them.
Your coach will do their best to make you feel comfortable. However, we often find that students only really open up during their fourth coaching call. If students can come to their first coaching call willing to share openly their coach can help them make more progress with their studies much faster.
The worst thing that students do is fob their coaches off saying that they've done things when they haven't. It really is virtually impossible to help students when they're effectively lying to us about their progress and achievements.
Try the things your coach suggests
If you're struggling with aspects of your studies (most students do, by the way, even the ones getting the top grades) your coach will make suggestions about how you can move forward.
Sometimes these suggestions will make perfect sense and they'll work for you. Other times, you might be more sceptical. If you're convinced a suggestion won't work for you, let your coach know during the call so that they can help you come up with another solution. Or, go away and give it a try and be ready to come back to your next coaching session to explain why it didn't work for you. Your coach will then have a better understanding of how you do and don't work.
Basically, be open and honest!
Use the resources in The Extraordinaries Club
All 1:1 coaching clients get full access to The Extraordinaries Club. This is because while 1:1 coaching can help you make progress a lot faster than working through the materials in the club because we're able to address the things getting in your way a lot faster when we get to know you 1:1, no coach can know the details of how to revise every GCSE and A-Level subject.
The resources 1:1 clients will find most useful in the club are the How to Revise Masterclasses. Each of these has been put together by a subject expert (nearly all of them are experienced examiners) and guide students through the most productive and effective approach to revision for that subject, at that level.
Students will make massive progress if they use the advice they're given during their 1:1 calls, combined with watching the How to Revise Masterclasses. Of course, students are welcome to explore all the other resources in the club as well.
You'll get the most out of coaching calls if you remove distractions before starting the call. It's also the polite thing to do!
Make sure you leave your phone outside the room and shut other browser windows on the computer.
We occasionally get people joining coaching calls using the Zoom app on their phone when they're on the move. This is not at all satisfactory.
To get the most out of the call you need to be in a quiet place and be calm and focused.
Come to the call with questions
Students who come to coaching calls ready with questions or issues they'd like help to resolve will get the most out of the experience.
Before logging on think about things like:
- What have you struggled with this week?
- What gets in your way of focusing on your work?
- What are you stressed about?
- What's coming up that you'd like to talk through?
Let your coach know at the beginning of the call if you have anything you'd particularly like to discuss and they will make it a priority to help you with the things that you're struggling with, or could cause you stress or difficulty in the future.
Understand the relationship
We have had a few clients sign-up for 1:1 coaching thinking they were outsourcing some of their parenting responsibilities to us. That's not what this relationship is.
Instead, your academic coach is a neutral, non-judgemental study skills expert who is supporting your family to find the best way possible to succeed together in the exam years. The families who see their relationship with their academic coach as a triangular, supportive relationship get the most out of it.
As a parent, we suggest you do these things while your child is working with an academic coach:
- Read the summary emails after each coaching session and talk to your child about the session.
- Complete the parent modules inside The Extraordinaries Club as they will give you additional help on how to support your child to achieve their best.
- Get in touch by email if you have questions, worries or concerns so that we can arrange a time to talk outside your child’s coaching session.
- Respond promptly to communication from your child’s coach.
- Support your child to come to their coaching calls on time with a calm and focused attitude.
The client/coach agreement
Before your academic coaching begins we ask you to do two things:
- Make your payment
- Sign the client/coach agreement
We ask both parents and students to sign the client/coach agreement and it covers many of the things I've written about in this blog post. The client/coach agreement is not a legal agreement – it's a way of making sure everyone involved is fully signed up to a productive and respectful way of working. We do find that some students, even when they've signed it, don't fully abide by it. Therefore, if you sign-up for coaching please take the time to read it properly and think about what it means in practice as working within the spirit of it will enable you to get the most out of academic coaching.
You get out what you put in
As with all things in life, you get out of academic coaching what you put into it. If a young person comes along to all their sessions with an open mind, wanting to be helped and willing to take on advice and support they will get on much better than someone who's just showing up because their parents told them to and they have no intention of doing anything except sitting through the call.
As professionals we will always do our utmost to build a relationship with your child, draw them out and help them to see that we're on their side, but if they've closed their minds before they start it can be be a painful and unproductive process for everyone.
Are you ready for academic coaching?
If you're ready to explore academic coaching further, check out our coaching packages here. On that page, you can book a call with Helen to discuss whether we're the right people to help your child.
And, if you're not sure whether 1:1 academic coaching or standard membership of The Extraordinaries Club is for you, come along to our Open House event on Tuesday 17th August to understand all the different ways you can work with us and which is the right one for you. Click here to sign-up for the Open House event.