Developing mental toughness in young people: coaching as an applied positive psychology



Publication Details

Van Nieuwerburgh, C. & Green, S. (2014). Developing mental toughness in young people: coaching as an applied positive psychology. In D. Strycharczyk & P. Clough (Eds.), Developing Mental Toughness in Young People: Approaches to Achievement, Well-Being and Positive Behaviour (pp. 81-97). United Kingdom: Karnac Books Ltd.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Karnac Books


This chapter has provided an up-to-date review of current research and practice in coaching in education, particularly relating to coach- ing for mental toughness, resilience, and wellbeing. We have made explicit the links between mental toughness and positive psychology and believe that this connection will be more broadly acknowledged over time and that mental toughness will be viewed as a key construct in positive psychology and a core component of a positive education programme in schools. We have argued that the aim of positive educa- tion is to not only enhance wellbeing but to increase mental toughness and wellbeing of both students and staff. We have also provided an introduction to the coaching process with a step-by-step approach to providing coaching for mental toughness to both students and teachers. We have highlighted the importance of identifying the unique needs of a school and prioritising coaching initiatives, which could range from the engagement of external professional coaches, to the training of a small group of coaching champions who then become in-house coaches within a school. We have also proposed that it may be helpful to train students as coaches, which can have both beneficial effects for the students they coach and the student-coaches themselves. In conclusion it is our hope that coaching in education (for wellbeing and mental toughness) becomes more widespread in schools globally and ideally becomes part of larger scale positive education programme that integrates positive psychology and coaching (Green, Oades & Robinson, 2012). The overall aim of such programmes is to create flour- ishing students, staff, and schools.

Please refer to publisher version or contact your library.