Stories from our coaches: Asta

By Asta Diabate, Oxford University Coach

My journey as a coach started with an email, “we are looking for mentors to become coaches”. Fast forward a few weeks and here I was sitting in a room full of other university students that I had never met, being trained by Robin and Hazel.

I didn’t know anything about coaching before I set foot in the Oxford University offices for training. I’d heard about “life coaching” but had no clue what it was. After two training sessions, I’d learnt how to listen and how to motivate students . But I also realised how CoachBright was helping students gain confidence and improve their academic capability.

After all this, I was still terrified I’d do everything wrong and my pupils would find the sessions a waste of time. But it got better, and every new session was a chance to help someone. University tends to be all about ourselves. We go there to study, write essays or do problems sheets and to improve our career prospects. Coaching was my chance to put a few hours every few weeks towards something other than myself. To really listen to what my students were saying, ask them the right questions, and work out their future together.

I will always cherish the memories I’ve made during my time as a coach. Highlights include being told by Rebecca that she had improved massively and was on target for the goal of As and Bs we had set together; finding out about Beth and Rebecca’s future plans; and seeing them graduate from the program, thank me for my time and for believing in them. I will admit that I cried a little on that day. I’m proud of my pupils and they’ve worked hard. Come this August I know they will be able to achieve whatever they set their mind to.

This is why I am proud of being a CoachBright coach and doing my part, however small, to make two pupils believe in themselves.