Life Coach Training & Coach Mentoring Services

Youth Life Coach Training & Certification

We offer an 80-hour evidence-based youth life coach training and certification program for youth-serving professionals. Our program is approved by the International Coaching Federation and the Center for Credentialing and Education. Coaches who complete the full program (Stages 1-4) earn our Certified Youth Resilience Coach designation. Organizations with youth serving staff may enroll them in our abbreviated 50-hour program for a Certified Youth Transition Coach designation. We merge behavioral science and coaching to equip youth to overcome and thrive.

ICF Mentor Coaching

Individual and group mentor coaching for certified coaches pursuing the International Coach Federation’s Associate Certified Coach credential.

Continuing Education for Certified Coaches

Live and self-study coach continuing education options for certified coaches interested in developing evidence-based knowledge relevant to coaching youth.

Our Rise and Thrive Model

Our coaches are trained to guide clients through an intake assessment process to understand the client’s needs and goals. From there, the coach tailors the coaching plan to the client incorporating relevant focus areas from the four domains below. These domains integrate research-based resilience building initiatives for optimal performance and enhanced well-being through achievement. 

Coaching clients through resource optimization involves helping the client identify and leverage the internal and external tools presently available to them to begin moving toward their goals. We facilitate self-awareness around concepts like identity, strengths, interests, values, and desires to enhance self-mastery.

Coaching clients through personal development involves helping clients enhance their sense of agency to choose goals, act toward chosen goals, and succeed. We support clients as they prioritize self-regulation and tap into self-determined motivation, meaning, and purpose on their way to achievement.

Coaching clients through social development involves facilitating social and emotional learning and related competency building. Through this focus, clients become more aware of the functional role of social interactions and relationships to success and well-being.

Coaching clients through structural support development involves facilitating goal-orientation for fit in education, job paths, and prosocial groups conducive to goals. We coach clients through the research and considerations necessary to begin to establish self-determined life direction, related planning, and action steps around long-term goals.

Most of our trainees are pursuing their professional development around full-time careers and/or full-time family responsibilities. We believe lifelong learning and professional development should be accessible for all. As such, our programs are designed for the working adult to be able to complete weekly requirements in five hours or less. Our trainees also attend from all over the world; thus, our programs are delivered virtually, via online meetings and transition between morning, evening, and weekend courses to accommodate diverse groups. We apply a combination of self-directed, active, observational, and experiential learning techniques in an environment where we foster positive interdependence among trainees.

Our live course options include self-study lectures, quiz questions, discussion prompts, and assigned reading that trainees can complete on their own time, when its most convenient for them, prior to the weekly live class. (Self-directed and active learning)

Live classes are led by ICF-credentialed Faculty who facilitate an opening debrief on the assigned self-study content where trainees get the chance to engage in rich dialogue around real-world applications. (Active learning and positive interdependence)

Trainees observe a real-life coaching session to witness skills in action. Faculty then leads the group in a debrief of the observed session to discuss observed competencies and/or opportunities. (Observational and active learning, positive interdependence)

Trainees are paired with peers to practice coaching skills in private meeting rooms where they take turns serving as the coach or client. (Experiential learning and positive interdependence)

Live classes close with a return to the group meeting forum to debrief on the practice experience. (Active learning and positive interdependence)

Trainees experience observations of coaching practice and receive supervision feedback and mentorship for ongoing skill development.

Coachee Content Considerations

Life coaching is a forum where clients discuss real-life experiences to enhance awareness and set and pursue goals that matter to enhancing their lives in some way. This may include welcome and unwelcome experiences. While coaching is not therapy, nor a substitute for therapy, life coaches do and will encounter supporting clients through difficult conversations and emotions at times. You will be trained to recognize indications that clients may need a referral to therapy, as not everyone is ready, willing, or able to engage in the coaching experience. Embarking in the coach training journey is committing to holding space for clients in a safe and supportive way. A core factor of coach training is also being coached – experiencing sitting in the client seat. Since coaching clients are ready, willing, and able to engage in the coaching process, it’s also important for coach trainees to meet this criteria.

Virtual Practicum-Based Experience Considerations

Energy and Capacity Demand

Learning to coach well is often a process of habit formation and change related to the way we interact with others. Coaches behave, engage, and communicate with coachees in very specific ways. That means, trainee coaches must have the capacity and space to attend to that habit change as they develop their skills. If you are already overstretched, overworked, and/or overwhelmed, it may not be feasible to engage in this training experience until you’re able to lighten your load enough to manage the additional challenges inherent in this training process.

Participation Expectations

Practice coaching sessions in class are designed to give the coach a chance to practice their skills while under supervision in the training environment. A number of those sessions are observed and evaluated for feedback and scoring. Trainees must pass a particular number of those evaluations based on their training path.

When serving as a practice coach,

  • remaining on track with the self-study content is vital to ensure you’re well-equipped to coach your coachee well and do no harm,

  • Joining the session from a private location is imperative to 1) protect the practice client’s privacy and confidentiality; and 2) remove all distractions to focus on mindfully attending to your coachee.

When serving as a practice client,  

  • Trainees need to be able to attend the session from a private location where they are free from distractions.

  • Being focused and settled while sitting in the coachee seat are imperative to a meaningful coaching session.

We’d love to have you join us in this deep, beautiful work, if this sounds like a fit for you! 

Training & Curriculum Offerings

For ICF-Approved Certified Coaches

For coaches who have completed their first 60 hours of ICF-approved coach training who want to add adolescent coaching specializations.

Coach CE & Mentor Coaching Offerings

We offer various coach CE options and ICF mentor coaching for you. Scroll down to see what we have available.

Non-ICF Credentialing Path for New Coaches

For youth serving professionals who want to add coaching skills to enhance their work, but have no interest in private practice or business building. Click here to reveal your path.

Certified Youth Transition Coach

Our 14-week, Stages 1-2, program was designed for you.

ICF Credentialing Path for New Coaches

For individuals who do have an interest in independent practice or business building and/or those in leadership roles supervising coaches. Click here to reveal your path.

Certified Youth Resilience Coach

Our Stages 1-4 program was designed for those who will be pursuing higher credentialing through the International Coaching Federation.

**Click on a program title to view available registrations**

Live, Virtual Coach Training Programs

Language: All training programs, curriculum packages, and services are offered in English only at this time. 

For Certified Coaches: Coach Continuing Education - Self-Study

For Certified Coaches or Organizations: Coaching Program Curriculum

Our coaching program curriculum packages are designed to foster resilience and thriving for youth and emerging adults in life, school, and work. Each is designed for delivery as a combination of group and 1:1 coaching. Group workshops include micro-learnings in behavioral science relevant to enhancing mental and emotional health, social and emotional learning, well-being, life, academic, and/or job skills. Coaches support participants through applying weekly concepts directly to their lives during follow-up 1:1 coaching sessions. Programs are designed to be delivered over 10-12 weeks and may be implemented into schools, higher education institutions, juvenile detention centers, churches, community serving organizations, and/or any other setting where you serve. 

Trainee Review Highlights

Esther Gonzalez Freeman, BCC, ACC
Esther Gonzalez Freeman, BCC, ACCCEO/Founder of E Powered Media LLC
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For years I thought about becoming a certified coach, but I always put it off because I thought it would be time intensive and unaffordable. I kept coming back to becoming a coach and I decided to look into it one more time. That's when I came across YCI on the ICF website. It was so affordable (including a potential scholarship!) and seemed to go at a reasonable pace. Less than a year later I am a Board Certified Coach with the following designations: Personal/Life, Career, and Executive/Corporate/Business/Leadership. I am also ICF ACC credentialed. I have a growing coaching business and none of this would have been possible without YCI! Maggie Steele is an incredible instructor,coach, and mentor. She not only supported me through the learning process but provided guidance that helped me focus on the right things to pass my credentialing exams. The skills I learned can be transferred to serve any population, not just youth. Although I do coach youth, most of my current clients are women on the brink of a career change or starting their own business. I have even been featured in publications such as BUSTLE! I highly recommend the Youth Coaching Institute's program to ANYONE who wants to be a confident and successful coach.
Bonnie Prestridge
Bonnie PrestridgeTransition Coach for Youth with Disabilities & Chronic Illnesses (Private Practice) Head of Leadership Development & Member Resources at the Berkeley Student Cooperative
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Without question, signing up for YCI's Life Coach Training program was one of the best investments of my money, time, and energy. I had been working on a business idea for a private coaching practice for almost a year before I came to YCI and was frustrated by how fluffy and outrageously expensive most coaching programs were and how they lacked any overt commitment to social and political change. Talking to Leah for the first time was a breath of fresh air. She is organized, straightforward, pragmatic, results-oriented, highly ethical, and deeply committed to serving at-risk youth. The 5-month 3-stage certification program was everything I needed. Going in, I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough time for practice and feedback, but that was not the case. I learned A TON, not just from the sessions where I coached one of my peers, but also from watching Leah coach other people in front of the group and being coached myself by my classmates. I was also concerned that the training wouldn't be rigorous enough, but that was not the case. The reading assignments were rich and deep, and Leah held us all to high standards with feedback that was warm and encouraging, but also direct and honest. On top of that, the lectures were engaging and the reading materials were useful. I appreciated the balance of theory and practice; everything we learned could be put into action right away. When I started YCI, my head was spinning with all of the different directions I wanted to take my business and the amount of knowledge I needed to acquire. Leah's style of training grounded me, and I've left more focused and confident than I ever expected. Leah and YCI are the real deal!
Jade Enrique
Jade EnriqueSchool Psychologist, College Instructor, & Life Coach
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Maggie was a great facilitator. She was genuine, kind, and had a level of patience that I have not seen in a long time. She spent time during class, after class, and privately to reassure students about their coaching skills and to help them with extra practice. Her reflections after live coaching practice were simply thought-provoking and inspired me to consistently want to improve and seek out more information and the skills to do so. She made the powerpoints in class come alive with vivid examples and never seemed as if she was reading a script or if she was bored. The classes just seemed like we were having a really great informative discussion that no one wanted to leave. She gave resources that always matched up with what I have seen coming out of the top research journals and universities. But most importantly, whenever I spoke to Maggie I felt heard, understood, and as if she cared about my individual needs as a learner, coach, and as a person. As a seasoned mental health professional who has dabbled in different models of practice, I came to YCI thinking that there was not much that I was going to learn that I did not already know about asking questions. However, I was proven incorrect. It was not necessarily new questioning techniques that I learned but when and where to place them coupled with the evidenced-based reason of why I was doing so. Being trained in mental health and other fields themselves, they also knew the fine line between coaching and other disciplines and helped students to be able to clearly differentiate where that line is. So many coaching programs and/or facilitators don't give the depth and breadth of background information that YCI does; which can lead to sticky situations at times. Overall, my clinical skills as a practitioner and critical thinking skills were stretched in new ways. I am excited to take clients on this new journey with these skills that I have learned.
Leondria Taty, FNP-C
Leondria Taty, FNP-CFamily Nurse Practitioner, Medical Writer, Adjunct Clinical Faculty
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As someone with a diverse medical background, I derived substantial value in supplementing my learning in the theories and evidence-based applications of life coaching. In my case, the potential for enhanced health outcomes amongst the at-risk/high-risk youth population through professionally applied life coaching skills is a significant opportunity. Completing the YCI program has without a doubt validated my position that life coaching skills should be integrated within not only medical education, but all higher education. Irregardless of who you are, where you come from, or where you’re going – well taught and well applied life coaching skills have the potential to transform the way you exist in the world. With that said, I would encourage anyone who is deeply committed and invested in profoundly serving others to consider the YCI as a complement to their personal and professional development.
Deborah Brown
Deborah BrownOwner/Life Coach, Wild Spirit Coaching
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I had the great pleasure of studying with Leah Mazzola at the Youth Coaching Institute last year. The course curriculum is extremely thorough and inclusive, and very well-paced, so that by the end, you actually feel competent to begin coaching yourself. The course included a lot of hands-on experience via practice coaching with other participants along with helpful, relevant feedback on our developing skills. Leah’s depth of knowledge of coaching and psychology is extensive, and her feedback was always on-target, compassionate, and encouraging. As I got to know her, I became more and more impressed with her expertise and commitment. Because of her own life journey, she truly wants to help improve the lives of young people who may have no other access to caring guidance. She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks it, and I find her a true source of inspiration. My life is better for taking this course and for being able to learn from Leah.
Davida I. Arnold, BCC
Davida I. Arnold, BCCLife Coach in Private Practice
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I leave every class feeling more prepared and more encouraged to do my work as a coach. Coaching is a serious and pivotal helping profession. YCI sets the standard in coach training by treating it with the seriousness and quality it deserves. I cannot recommend YCI enough to anyone who wants to enter the coaching profession or master their skills as a coach.
Larry Goodin, MBA
Larry Goodin, MBAAdjunct Professor, Life Coach, & Motivational Speaker
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Youth Coaching Institute training is a must do! After completing all four stages, I was able to gain clarity on my "why" and “purpose”. YCI was a safe space which empowered me to be vulnerable and tap into my empathic self during each stage. My coaching cohort was very diverse and provided our team with realistic challenges youth face around the world. This experience allowed me to identify many deficiencies in my coaching style and transformed them into rewarding possibilities. The training has also supported me with becoming a motivational speaker and influential second year adjunct professor.
Tammy Scully
Tammy ScullyFounder, Foster the Journey
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Over the last eight months I have gone from excited and clear headed, to being completely challenged and questioning my abilities, to picking myself up again and learning how to operate as Tammy, 'The Coach'. When I started, I knew I loved inspiring people to dream and set goals to achieve them, but was completely unfamiliar with the 'how-to's' of coaching. I have gained valuable experience in the psychological, strategic, technical and legal aspects of coaching. This was an incredibly holistic learning experience! Next stop, a Masters in Social Work/Counseling!
Pedro Rodriguez, MA
Pedro Rodriguez, MACounselor, Coach, Mentor
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My experience with Youth Coaching Institute has been life changing. The training was informative and challenging. It was great getting to build relationships with my peers and learn coaching skills together. The coaching sessions were my favorite because it gave us hands-on experience. Dr. Leah is a great communicator and gave me good feedback to help me sharpen my coaching skills. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been trained by Dr. Leah and be a part of the Youth Coaching Institute. I look forward to growing in this field and launching my coaching business.
Chris Eudy
Chris EudyEducator
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YCI and the youth coaching certification course have been highlights of my personal and professional development for my entire life! I did not want it to end. I have such a sense of accomplishment! I have learned a new skill along with tons of research-based material on young people, their growth stages and their challenges. I appreciate Maggie's teaching style and all of her feedback to my classmates and me. It was always bold AND compassionate with the goal of making us the best coaches we can be. I unequivocally and without hesitation recommend Youth Coaching Institute to anyone wishing to pursue life coaching or otherwise wanting to enhance his or her competence in helping the young people of today. The training is time well spent!
Sharim Shoman
Sharim ShomanLife Coach, Courage to Seek
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I have been honored to learn alongside talented and diverse classmates that share my passion for empowering our younger generations through coaching. YCI’s founder and instructor, Leah Mazzola is an inspiring living testament proving that we have the power to change our life story. The models taught are all evidence-based practices, the group discussions and supervisions offer continuous constructive feedback allowing for all trainees to maximize their learning potential. Every week Leah does an exceptional job at creating lectures that are powerful, informative, engaging, and relatable. I am so grateful to be a part of a program that has given me the opportunity to practice what I love and live my vision.
Daisy Mertzel
Daisy MertzelYouth Advocate & Case Manager
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The YCI Certification was more than I could have hoped for... the learning and insights gained are invaluable. The environment of encouragement and learning, presence and community is unlike any other I have experienced. To ability to observe Leah's coaching in action, (at the risk of sounding over the top) felt akin to watching a master painter. ​I lost count as to how many "AHA!" moments I experienced for my own life as well as with regards to being of service to others. Though I tend to be skeptical of distant format education, it felt as if we were all in the same room, while still remaining in the comfort of my own home. This program was more than a rewarding educational experience, it was truly life transformational. I'm most grateful to YCI and to Leah!
Courtney Barton
Courtney BartonLife Coach
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My decision to earn a Life Coach certification through YCI was made after months of research and conversations with numerous coaches and training programs across the country. Unlike most of the other programs I found, YCI’s methodology is based upon proven experience and research. Further setting it apart, classes are taught by credentialed and experienced instructors, educating life-coaches who help expand professional accountability and credibility in the field and study of life-coaching. Although the audience I am most inspired to work with is youth and young adults, the education I received through YCI fully prepared me to work with clients of all ages. This program delivers instruction and equips its students to enter the field of life-coaching at a fraction of the cost of many less thorough programs, and provides continued collaboration and professional development upon completion of the class. Many life-coach training programs have a primary goal of selling a program; Dr. Leah Mazzola is driven by her passion for equipping life-coaches to make a positive and significant impact on underserved youth, and her work through YCI is accomplishing exactly that.
Amani Bataineh
Amani Bataineh@amanibataineh
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I coach youth out of passion, a sense of purpose and deep conviction that we can all be a light to help each other have more authentically empowered humans in this planet. YCI was the perfect place for me to learn and practice that in the most efficient, structured way possible with a research-base that was the core of our training with Dr. Leah. This training was ideal for me because it combined research and theory with Dr. Leah's passion, purpose and desire to help young people be the best version of themselves. I doubt you can find this mixture anywhere else. If you are passionate about giving youth a safe space to process through a powerful, structured, self-discovery process to reach balance and achieve their potential, YCI is the place for you.
Rhonda Jackson
Rhonda JacksonPresident/Founder of Add VOICE Too
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The classes provided at YCI are phenomenal! Strength-based teaching and coaching methods are two of the foundations of this program I really appreciate. I have gained greater self-awareness to overcome obstacles both personally and professionally through the class demonstrations, practice sessions and feedback. What I appreciated the most about YCI's program is how realistic and practical it is for youth that are at risk, have disabilities, or dealing with the peer pressures of school, home or work.

Withdraw/Refund Policy: Trainees may cancel or withdraw from Stages 1-4 training within 7 days following Class 1/Stage 1 start date for a pro-rated refund of paid tuition beyond the non-refundable registration fee. Cancellations or withdrawals more than 7 days following class start date result in no refunds or reductions in tuition owed, as trainees must cover the cost of the lost seat.

Questions? Reach out