DEVELOPING A CULTURE OF ACHIEVEMENT
Adolescence is a difficult time for young adults; it is a constant tug of war between childhood and adulthood. Parents expect a certain level of responsibility in their child, and yet with many decisions the young adult makes they will respond with, “You’re not old enough to do that yet!” Going from the shelter and care of high school, where many of these young adults have scarcely understood how to clean their own clothes much less cook for themselves, to the sometimes bewildering independence of college in a foreign country can be quite a shock to many. A shock that often affects their academic performance in the first year.
The challenge of this rite of passage into adulthood is for the student to take ownership for his/her life and their choices. The importance of this is that the student begins to be accountable for their performance, as opposed to parents being the motivating factor for elements of development at this age. This shift is likely the single most important element of an adolescent’s development and is critical to making the jump to adulthood in a constructive way. It is not necessarily an easy step though, for either the parent or the young adult because of repetitive patterns in communication that have established a certain way of interacting.
The effect of a professional third party coach is that this person does not fit into the same communication pattern and can develop an unbiased communication with the young adult on the mutual understanding that this is a process undertaken for their development. It is important to note that this process is an integration of both the parents and the student’s objectives, not a microphone for the parents. It is often necessary to be the facilitator between these sometimes seemingly divergent goals in order to find middle ground. The Coach is a senior, experienced and knowledgeable person with excellent communication skills who can develop a relationship with the student, guide the student and be a resource to the student in his/her path towards achievement in their goals. This is done through various methods and strategies, but the ultimate vehicle is to push the student to make the shift to ownership for his/her life decisions.
One of the most important influences, either negative or positive in a person’s life, regardless of age, is one’s peer group. We will rise or fall to the expectations of the peer group we have around us. Young adults are even more susceptible to the power and influence of this as they are still developing their unique personalities and they feel extreme pressure to belong to a group. Negative influences in the way of unmotivated peers make it extremely difficult for a student to improve their performance. Like crabs in a bucket, once one starts to pull away, the others pull them back down. Similarly, if a young adult surrounds himself with positive influences, it is much easier to cultivate achievement.
Vector Performance works with students from 9th grade to 12th grade and also with undergraduate students through a Rite of Passage approach to coaching. Although the eventual milestones and goals along the way are focused on college admissions, we are focused also on guiding the student through this rite of passage into adulthood. We provide the type of guidance and mentorship to be a resource for the family in this process while at the same time, preparing the student to get into one of the more competitive schools in the US.