John Pina, Ph.D
John Pina, Ph.D


Where I Can Help

Professional Coaching

Professional & Executive Coaching

Professional and Executive Coaching is specifically geared towards those in management or organizational settings. I’ve helped executives improve their managerial and/or leadership performance in job-specific areas such as conflict resolution, stress management, leadership training, and learning to effectively deliver or receive feedback. Often, professional coaching is a developmental process contracted between myself, the client, and the organization, and the work we do can range from setting short-term goals to producing longer term systems interventions.

I’ve found that a key component in my work with execs is improving interpersonal effectiveness, or the ability to have leadership impact in relationships with their employees and/or colleagues. This involves practicing emotional self-regulation, boundary setting, and working to understand the overall organizational culture. I have worked with senior and C-suite execs to help identify their strengths, gaps, fears and blind spots - all as a foundation to leadership development and interpersonal effectiveness.

Sports Performance & Motivation

With the many athletes that I’ve worked with over the years, I’ve found that talent only gets you so far. When you reach an elite status, everyone is good. What takes you to the next level, and give you that “edge” that sets you apart from the competition?

It’s what goes on in your mind. It’s your ability to think the right things to keep you motivated at a high level to excel. It’s about setting daily challenges, however big or small, and committing to reaching them. If you can do that, then the goal becomes getting better every day. With individuals or teams, it’s the process that invigorates you, not the end-goal.

I’ve worked with talent nationwide, from amateur, to semi-pro, to professional. Drawing on my 30+ years of personal and professional training experience, I’ve worked with athletes on many areas of performance, from developing and maintaining exercise and nutrition programs, to in-the-moment mindfulness training.

Parent Coaching

Parent Coaching is for those parents who are looking to learn new skills in parenting their children & teens. My goal is to empower parents with “proactive” rather than “reactive” parenting. Proactive means following your plan, reactive means parenting based on the last emotional trigger. Proactive parenting requires important skills such as emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and setting limits and boundaries. Other skills that are developed include improving communication skills, conflict resolution, goal-setting between parents, getting on the same page, and understanding each other’s agendas. Employing these skills regularly tends to generate consistency in your parenting.

Parent Coaching is a product of my “Empower Yourself” seminars, which I started in 2006. These seminars were presented in high schools all across the Bay Area, helping many parents learn the survival skills necessary to navigate some of the difficult waters in raising today’s youth.

Team & Group Coaching

Life Coaching

Life coaching is for those who are looking for an opportunity to engage in self discovery, with the goal of attaining a higher level of fulfillment. The funny thing about life is that we never want to stop moving forward with our goals and dreams. When we do stop, we get stuck. Trying to get out of that quicksand can be quite a challenge.

That’s where I come in. I can help you come up with fresh ideas to move forward, whether you’re an empty nester, a person whose job or career is in transition, a young adult who is trying to find some initial direction, or an elite athlete who is trying to reach peak levels of performance. Whether you’re lost, hitting that plateau, or just bouncing around like a pinball, we can work together to discover some concrete goals and direction for you.

Career Coaching


Parent Seminars


As a parent, do you ever find yourself saying, “When I was your age, I never…….!” in response to your child’s difficult behavior? Do you find yourself feeling powerless to enforce respect and expectations at home? Do you find that your ways of dealing with your child’s difficult behavior typically result in the same old arguments?

This seminar will help you communicate better with your child and create real structure at home. Topics to be discussed include “What is control – who should have it?”, “Understanding Family Dynamics”, and “Traps – Breaking Negative Cycles”. You will be provided with real tools to generate positive esteem within your family.


It is estimated that more than 25% of children and teens suffer from a mood disorder (such as depression) or anxiety. As your child is challenged by difficult transitions during the pre-teen and teen years, he or she is more at risk for anxious or depressive episodes. This seminar will provide an in-depth discussion of mood disorders (such as depression and bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders (such as anorexia, generalized anxiety, and phobias) as they appear in children and adolescents. Learn how to identify whether your child has mood or anxiety issues before these interfere with their daily functioning. Also included will be a discussion of the recent debate regarding anti-depressant use in children and increased violent behavior.


As teens seek to develop their own identities, they face many challenges. They are dealing with increased responsibility while pressure from parents and peers may pull them in different directions. The development of a solid identity and the ability to advocate assertively are vitally important to healthy self-esteem. This seminar will discuss issues such as how esteem can be influenced by mood, parent expectations, and peer acceptance or rejection. Learn how to provide your child with the healthy messages he or she needs to develop into a confident and independent person.


Because Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is so prevalent – some reports place rates as high as 30%! – it is important for you to know what it is and what it is not. This seminar will provide you with a basic understanding of ADHD - its causes, common myths and misperceptions, and issues with medication. You will learn how to differentiate ADHD from other issues relating to behavior, mood, and learning. Also, you will take home real life skills that can be immediately applied at home or school.


Today’s students face more pressure to succeed than those of any other generation. The key to successfully managing the teen years is in understanding the “whys” of stress and pressure. This seminar will focus on helping you and your teen identify stress … and find solutions for relieving it. This workshop is an excellent way to better understand the struggles teens face as they seek to develop their own independent identity. Other issues to be discussed include the influence of peer groups, drugs and alcohol, sex, and promoting mental health. A great workshop to attend with your child!


Social media has caused many headaches and fears for parents and staff concerned about what kinds of information their kids share. This seminar is for those adults who want to understand what Instagram & Facebook are, and what appropriate limits should be set for its use. You'll also learn important tips on how assertive you should or should not be when it comes to "policing" your child's internet activity.