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13 Oct, 2011

Coach in the Spotlight – Sarah Mackay

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Spotlight|In The Spotlight|Personal Success|Success Stories

Coach in the Spotlight - Sarah Mackay

Sarah Mackay qualified through The Coaching Academy programme and has enthusiastically agreed to share her coaching experience, so we have put her in the Coaching Hot Seat. Here is Sarah’s story:-

What brought you to coaching?

Coaching goes hand in hand with my work as a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner so it was a natural progression which would support me in the work I was already doing.

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

From the very beginning when I started my business I wanted to support people to make positive changes but also specialise in working with young people. Hence, I followed my Personal Performance Diploma with the Youth Impact Diploma.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

I was (and still am) a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner.

What did you find most interesting to learn?

I love how a process so uncomplicated can produce such incredible results. Learning the amazing power that just one question can elicit has been the ‘wow’ factor for me.

What was the most rewarding part of the training/journey?

One of the great bi-products of coaching others is the ‘borrowing benefits’ you gain as a coach. To be my own coach has made a huge difference to the way I manage myself in almost every area of my life.

Which bits did you enjoy the most?

I loved meeting other coaches and some very inspirational trainers on the accelerator days.

How did the qualification slot in with your current life?

Being self-employed allowed me to be flexible with the training and work involved in getting qualified. Fortunately, I’m naturally very motivated so I was able to get on with what I needed to do whenever I had an opportunity.

What else did you have to consider whilst qualifying?

When running a business, being a mum and studying there is inherently the challenge to carefully manage your priorities. For me, the challenge was to qualify as quickly as possible whilst also giving my attention to the other important areas of my life.

Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?

I use my coaching skills every day in my business, and as a youth support worker for my local authority. In addition, I am about to start coaching in two local secondary schools as part of a nationwide project I am involved in and I am also going into a local primary school delivering coaching based workshops for the older children throughout this academic year.

I have also recently been selected as a coach to support young people at the UK Youth Leadership Summit this year. In addition I give youth coaching skills training to other youth workers and budding coaches.

What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

I have two areas which I am really passionate about. One is to support people to build confidence and self belief. This has come about over a period of time with clients coming to me for help in these areas by word of mouth from previous clients. I have clients with many different challenges and believe that when self belief is strong you can overcome almost any other obstacle. This underpins all the work I do.

The other area I am particularly passionate about is supporting young people to become the best they can be. The young people of today are our leaders of tomorrow and I believe it is important for them to feel empowered and able to manage themselves most effectively so they can be who they want to be; able to identify, create and embrace opportunities with conviction and self-assurance.

What is the best thing that could happen to your coaching business in the next 2 years?

I would like to spend more time focusing on coaching in schools and other youth organisations and offering more workshops for groups so I can reach more people in the time that I have available.

What is your favorite coaching question?

How are you going to celebrate your progress? This might not be the most challenging question but it allows the person to consider how great they will feel when they have taken action – even just the small steps along the way – to achieving their end goal. I think celebration is a very important aspect of coaching which can be overlooked. By celebrating your success you are acknowledging just how much you have achieved.

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

The results! Seeing a person become the person that they have imagined as they realise they can do anything they put their mind to. I love to watch a person change from having an issue they have been trying unsuccessfully to resolve on their own to someone who is motivated and empowered as they develop and blossom into their own greatness.

Also, coaching becomes a way of life. I find that I coach myself through all sorts of areas of my life and I know that I handle challenges a great deal more effectively than I used to!

What are your top tips for:

People who are looking at coaching?

If you are a ‘people’ person and you love to support others to improve then coaching could be for you. Have coaching yourself to see what it’s all about. Also, talk to other coaches about what they do so you can get an idea of what you could expect if you do decide to take that path.

Those coaches currently in training?

Keep on top of those Learning Record Sheets! For me it was vital to ensure I completed each record sheet as soon as possible after each coaching session and after each accelerator day so the information was still fresh in my mind. That way, when you have completed all the coaching sessions required and attended all the accelerator days you can be ready to qualify without too much more work and effort trying to remember sessions that took place in the past.

Coaches that are about to qualify?

What are you waiting for? (Think about that celebration!)

People that are in a similar situation to yourself?

Be part of a community. Join like minded individuals at practice groups and share what you do. I also think it’s important to have your own coach and of course supervision.

1 Response to "Coach in the Spotlight – Sarah Mackay"

1 | Dee Wilkinson

October 13th, 2011 at 11:12 am


Having met Sarah, I know she is the perfect person for this vocation. Her skills with young people are profound. She has this amazing ability to give a presence of enormous holding and strength but with a gentleness full of wisdom.

Youth coaching is so important and reading this is inspirational to think that Sarahs work is being a catalyst to the next generation of amazing achievers that will be working with and spreading a POSITIVE influence.

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