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  • Staff Writer

Benefits of Virtual Coaching for Improving Executive Functioning

Improving executive functioning has many positive benefits for college students. Getting a coach can help college students' executive functioning improve. However, not all college students have access to a coach nearby. Fortunately, due to the many changes over the past year, virtual coaching has become more prevalent. This allows students from around the world access to more choices, giving college students the support and help they need to build skills that will help them be successful in college and set them up for success as adults.

What Is Virtual Coaching?

Unlike in-person, virtual coaching can occur in any location. It includes a combination of methods that help students work with a coach while not being in the same room. This includes video conferencing and utilizing tools like Zoom or Facetime. While the coach and student are not in the same room, they can talk and communicate, working through problems and helping the student learn new skills.

Virtual coaching also relies on using worksheets and other resources that can be shared or sent from afar. In this way, coaches can provide their clients with tools to help them learn new skills and improve their awareness.

Through teaching, talking, and providing information, virtual coaching has many similar aspects to coaching in person, and there are ways to connect with others while learning remotely. It consists of a coach helping a student to learn new skills through talking, exercises, and improved awareness. Research has shown that virtual learning is effective to learn new information. While it is different from in-person coaching, it can help students to learn new skills that help them be successful in college.

Virtual Coaching for Executive Functioning

Executive functions are mental processes necessary for planning, focusing, remembering, and multitasking. There are many reasons why individuals might struggle with executive functioning, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can also impact executive functioning.

However, for those who struggle with executive function, there are ways to learn and improve. Virtual coaching for executive functioning helps individuals learn new skills and build on skills they already have. Skills included in virtual coaching for executive functioning will vary for each person. However, it often includes learning how to make a schedule and stick to it. This includes skills like planning and self-monitoring, both of which are challenging for many college students.

Improving executive functioning looks very different for each student, but it is possible. Researchers have found that executive functions are coachable. Meaning that while students may struggle with them at first, they can learn and improve these skills.

While working with a coach virtually to learn executive functions, students will improve organizational and scheduling skills. Students can of course work on these skills independently, however, a virtual coach offers structure and accountability. These aspects of coaching are very helpful and can be provided from anywhere in the world with the same benefits.

Value of Improved Executive Functioning

Improved executive functioning helps students to be successful in college, but this can be challenging for many students. Often, college is the first time an adolescent is living on their own and responsible for their schedule and self-care. This requires that they can manage their time, organize themselves, and keep themselves on track.

Increased Academic Success

When students struggle with executive functioning, they are less likely to be successful in the classroom and in their personal life. Self-care practices such as consistent exercise, sleep, and hygiene all require executive functioning. Similarly, focusing on school work and making sure to study are necessary to be successful academically, and require executive functioning. Therefore, working with a virtual coach to improve these skills can help in many areas of a student's life.

Strengthened Life Skills

However, the benefits of improved executive functioning reach far beyond college. As students transition into college, they are building habits that can remain with them for their adult life. In learning and improving their executive functions, they can learn how to be successful beyond a college campus. Habits like study habits can turn into focused work time. Patterns of self-care like hygiene and exercise can help students remain healthy and happy long after they leave a college campus.

Improved Mental Health

Being successful in college also helps students to improve their mental health. Many students who struggle with executive functions have mental health disorders that are challenging. In learning how to make an effective schedule, self-regulate, and be flexible to adjust to changes, students can learn what they need to do to improve their mental health. While this definitely helps them to be more successful in college, it also helps general well-being.

Helping students to thrive in college, care for their needs, and improve their overall well-being makes virtual coaching a great option for many students in need of help with executive functioning.

In an age where we have more and more access to technology, virtual coaching has become more common. While it does differ from coaching in person, it offers the same benefits of in-person coaching with increased convenience for many students. At Northwest College Support, we believe that all students deserve to learn skills to help them stay healthy mentally and physically. In our distance program, our coaches help students build new skills and improve old ones that help them to improve executive functioning from anywhere in the world. If your student struggles with executive functioning, we can provide the support they need to thrive in college. Call us today at (877) 485-2776 to learn more.

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