Life Coaching

Want to Improve Your Game?  Try a Life Coach

By Joanie Yanusas-Maughmer, Personal Life Coach

 Many of us are familiar with the idea of an athletic coach—someone who provides guidance and accountability to improve sports performance for an individual athlete or team.  For example, we can simply look up the road to Penn State’s Joe Paterno as an excellent example of an athletic coach. But did you know coaches are available to help you improve your “life game”?

Life coaches can help improve your quality of life and overall health and wellness.  What you achieve depends on you.  The client sets the agenda.  You can set very specific goals, such as quitting smoking and losing weight, or work on larger issues, such as dealing with the death of a family member or other loss.  If you aren’t sure which direction you need to take, a life coach can help you figure out what you really want to do with your life.

Many people think that coaching, sounds like therapy or counseling received from a psychiatrist, psychologist or healthcare provider.  In some ways it is similar, but those models typically assume that something is wrong and may come with a diagnosis, such as depression.  Counselors and therapists will also analyze the past.  Life coaching deals with moving forward from the present, and people often seek it out when nothing is wrong in their lives.  They simply know it could be better and aren’t quite sure how to make it so.

The word “coach” comes from the name of a city in Hungary that used to build horse-drawn carriages.  The words “carriage” and “coach” became used interchangeably for a vehicle that transports people from one place to another.  That’s what life coaches do—they help transport people from one place in their lives to another.

A basic principal of personal life coaching is that each and every person is resourceful and whole.  We all know —maybe somewhere deep down inside—what we really want and what would make our lives complete, fulfilling, and happy.  A life coach will help you discover your happiness.

Many family members or friends can provide this advisory role, but family members or friends may not really want you to change because it may upset things in their lives.  For instance,  who will cook dinner if Mom goes back to school?  How will we make ends meet if Dad decides to spend more time with the children and less time working overtime?

A key benefit of a life coach is that he or she has no vested interest in a client’s life or the outcome—a coach only wants to help clients figure out what is best for them, and then help them figure out how to get there.

When looking for a life coach, there are several things to consider.  First, look at a prospective coach’s training and credentials.   People with a variety of backgrounds and education become life coaches.  There are special training programs to prepare people to become life coaches, and you may want to consider coaches with credentials from a training program certified by the International Coach Federation. (

Also, consider the general fit between your personality and values and those of a prospective coach.  Sometimes personalities simply don’t mesh.  Choose someone with whom you feel comfortable.  A good coach will offer an initial session, preferably in person, to see if the coaching relationship will be a good fit for both coach and client.

You can find a life coach in several ways.  If you have access to a computer, you can search on the Internet.  You can also check your phone book or talk to someone from a health and wellness group.  Many life coaches also conduct topical workshops, for example, on how to deal with divorce.  These workshops provide clients an opportunity to meet the coach and hear about his or her philosophy at a reduced cost and in a noncommittal environment.  Many workshops are as low as $20.00 or $30.00 in the Huntingdon area. If you like what you see and hear at the workshop, you can follow up with the coach to explore personal services.

Because change takes time, coaching services are typically offered in packages.  For example, clients usually sign up for three one-hour sessions per month, either by phone or in person, for a minimum of three months.  The coaching service often includes follow-up between sessions with e-mail questions and correspondence.  These service packages can range from $200.00 to $400.00 in our area, depending on the background and experience of the coach.

To find out more about life coaching or about life coaching workshops and personal sessions in and around Huntingdon County and the State College area, feel free to contact me at 814-777-0410 or


The Huntingdon Health and Wellness Association makes no medical claims or recommendations.  Check with your doctor about your specific health care need.  For more information on the Huntingdon Health and Wellness Association, contact Jennifer Champion, President, at 814-667-2097 or