In this episode of Un Niched, Andrea McGrew interviews Confidence Coach Christen Shefchunas. Coach Christen talks about the challenges women face with confidence, specifically in a male dominated industry. She explores her thoughts on how our brains operate and this can differ by gender. Identifying and addressing our thoughts and fears is key to building confidence and Coach Christen offers some specific steps to follow.
Show Notes & References
Coach Christen started coaching swimming after her career at the University of Tennessee, where she walked on to the Lady Vol Swim Team as a freshman and walked out four years later as a 4x All-American and captain her junior and senior seasons. After graduating from Tennessee in 1997 with a BA in Psychology, Christen (Christie) Shefchunas spent 2 years coaching at the club level before starting her college coaching career. She was an assistant coach at Michigan State University for 2 years before going to SMU as the women’s assistant for 4 years, where she worked with Olympians, World Champions and NCAA Champions.
In 2006, Christen became the Head Coach at the University of Miami, where she spent 7 seasons. She was hired to rebuild a struggling program, and after a few disappointing seasons of trying to do it “her way”, Coach Christen knew that something had to change, and it started with her. That summer, she surrounded herself with wise mentors that challenged her to stop trying to be what she thought a “head coach” should be, and start using her unique gifts. The next season, she brought “Confidence Coaching” into her program. She met with her athletes individually, and the results were astonishing, producing All Americans, ACC Champions and the first ever ACC Champion and ACC record holder in swimming for the University of Miami. Falling in love with Confidence Coaching and seeing the difference it made in athlete’s lives, Coach Christen started speaking and doing more Confidence Coaching outside the sport of swimming.
In 2013, Coach Christen decided to leave her college coaching career to start speaking full time, as well as Confidence Coach female athletes. In 2015 though, she returned to the swimming world for a year, as she helped Team Elite, a group of Olympians and National team members prepare for the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio. Coach Christen has now returned to working with women as a Confidence Coach, and speaks to athletes, leaders, coaches and women in corporate America across the country. She is a speaker at the LEAD Sports Summit, and is the creator of Confidence Nuggets.