ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – How does one go from being in the insurance and real estate business to being a highly successful leadership coach for children? Simply by recognizing your talents, having confidence in yourself, and loving people. Especially children!
That’s how Tania Gilpatrick got to establish “Coach Tania” the business she operates from her office on Hennessey Blvd. though she also goes into schools, recreation areas and sports fields, or private homes.
Outgoing and friendly, with a perpetual smile, Tania, her husband Greg and their son Jonathon, moved to Atlantic Highlands two years ago from New York, via a few years in Hudson County where the couple both commuted daily to Manhattan. Greg heard from friends at work that traveled by Sea Streak from this great place in New Jersey. Fascinated by the friend’s talk of a leisurely, enjoyable boat ride as opposed to his own, often traffic delayed and always hectic, vehicle commute, Greg and Tania decided to “take a look” and drove down. Tania said the entire area is beautiful, after visiting Rumson, Middletown, Red Bank. But, she added with a sparkle in her eye, “when we got to around Jaspan’s on First Avenue and could see what was in front of us, we both knew this is where we wanted to be.” It wasn’t much later that couple purchased a Victorian home in need of love and care and then not long after that the busy homemaker and professional opened her office here, in addition to continuing her counseling and coaching in New York.
Canadian born and now a United States resident, Tanya earned her degrees in psychology and economics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, recognized as one of Canada’s leading colleges in comprehensive post-secondary studies, but known primarily for developing exceptional thinkers. She came to the states when she literally talked her boss into letting her transfer to the busier, more active New York office of the international firm dealing with real estate and insurance. However, though successful in the field, Tanya felt she wanted more in her life, wanted to give more to others she felt confident she could help, and voila! Coach Tania was born.
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‘My job is to simply let a youngster grow to his greatest potential, to be the best at what he does and the happiest he can be,” she enthuses. Just as a soccer coach can add to a parent’s own ways of teaching a youngster to play the game, this coach can add guidance and help in numerous ways in a variety of problems, issues, or actions that face a child today.
As an example, Tania has coached children at the request of parents while they were in the midst of a divorce, aiding the child to accept the changes in his life, and challenging the child to discover his own ways of coping with things he might not like or expect. She has also helped youngsters who are bullied, or who bully other children, or a child who is shy and unwilling to speak in public, even within his own classroom.
“I am not a psychologist, I am not a psychiatrist,” Tanya explains. “I’m a coach who helps children get over tough spots simply by letting them know the avenues they can take, the questions they can ask, the solutions they can come up with themselves. I guess you can say that I can coach children to become more self-reliant, self-confident, and self-thinking.”
Tania has already discussed plans for the borough’s Recreation Department to possibly become a part of the program once programs are all up and running post-Covid. She is also looking forward to possibly working with the school districts to offer coaching assistance as an after school activity. Currently, she has worked with local police officers and representatives of both the school and the elder community and come up with an innovative program that brings together the wisdom of senior citizens and the vitality of youth in what could be lifelong remembrances.
In the meantime, her office on Hennessey Blvd. offers a variety of options for half hour long sessions, depending on which setting makes a youngster feel most comfortable. There is her small office with its large windows opening out to a quiet courtyard, a formal officelike board room where a child can present himself as the Chairman of the Board or where parents and child can meet and talk together. Then there is the spacious open-air rooftop setting with its comfortable casual chairs and its unsurpassed view of the bay, Sandy Hook and the ocean beyond. “It depends on the area in which the child is being coached, and where he feels most comfortable that determines where our sessions are held.” Tania thinks of everything in designing the specific program for each child’s specific needs.
In offering personal sessions, the coach said most parents contract for eight weeks of weekly half hour sessions for a specific area which needs to be addressed for the child. Often, she added, contracts will be extended for another eight weeks because the first challenge was successfully accomplished, and now the child is asking for help in another area. As an example, a child who might overcome the challenge of refusing to eat might also be afraid in certain situations. Because he has been coached in how to face problems, how to ask questions, get informed, and try to think out his own solutions, he might realize on his own that he can conquer that fear as well with a little professional coaching.
“I’m here to assist parents who often can recognize a need in their youngster but may not have the capability of helping on their own. So they come to me for skill and expertise,” she laughed, “just as they go to the sports coach for more skill at that sport. That’s why I like to couple my coaching with coaching for athletics. It’s the same kind of expertise, just for a different situation.”
Coach Tania knows it’s a successful way to expand the abilities and capabilities of a youngster. She has been successful at an after-school program at Figure Skating in Harlem, an academics and sports program in New York that helps girls transform their lives and grow in confidence, leadership and academic achievement. The organization prides itself in combining the power of education with access to the artistic discipline of figure skating and as a result builds champions in life.
Persons wishing to know more about CoachTania or set up an introductory appointment can contact her at www.coachtania.com.