I'm Sam McDonald a British national currently living in South Africa. I've been coaching informally for many years, never being able to pass by an opportunity to fulfil my passion of assisting someone to get the best out of their life.

When I moved to South Africa, I was full of ambition. After completing a PR Diploma and going on to work in marketing, IT and with youth groups, my career was not living up to my expectations. I often wondered what I would do with all my experience as I felt like a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ kind of person.  That first day of training in London, with the Coaching Academy, everything fell into place. 

I have since spent years focusing on what is positive in life and have become what I like to call, a cynical optimist (apparently Steve Jobs was one too)  It is this focusing of my thoughts, together with The Coaching Academy training, which has given me the tools to coach. It was important for me to have an international presence, as I love travel. I chose The Coaching Academy with this in mind and I now coach in many different countries and absolutely love it. 

One of my niches is coaching young people from the age of sixteen upwards. This is the time when children are making their important subject choices and most parents and children are at a loss.  I guide and inspire them to recognise their talents, assess their personality types (using tools such as Disc Profiling), so they can differentiate themselves from the thousands of other young people and set amazing, achievable goals. 

Many people live unhappy, unfulfilling lives, because they buy into the lie that what they were born into, is where they have to stay. I encourage people into believing you can be anything you put your mind to, if you’re prepared to put in the effort.  If I come across someone who cannot afford coaching fees, I will happily coach pro-bono if I can see they are focused. That said, it is not always those people who are born into opulence that make the most out of their lives. I received a desperate message recently from a child attending one of the top private schools requesting my help.

One of my youth clients lost both his parents when he was much younger. He is a very ambitious young man with hopes and dreams of one day opening his own business, which I have no doubt he will achieve. I began coaching him in February 2015. He walks many kilometers to attend his session each week. He is very mature for his age and therefore is very open to understanding the coaching process. He was born into the previously disadvantage environment in South Africa, and we have worked together to uncover his fears and habits, teach him why it is important to have goals that fit in with his values, and assisted in raising an awareness of his limiting beliefs and, of course, raising his own self-awareness. This has resulted in him setting concrete goals, which he is working hard to achieve, to moving him from where he is today, to the dream he sees in his mind’s eye. 

I also coach small business owners as this comes naturally to me, but I’m hoping to give motivational talks at schools regarding the amazing potential of incorporating coaching into your life from a young age.  

You can find out more about Sam on her business facebook page 

If you would like to see one of your articles feature here, send this to qualifications@the-coaching-academy.com for us to consider.  


Youth coach fulfilment purpose disadvantaged children goals pro-bono South Africa


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