Incorporating play into your coaching sessions

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Incorporating play into your coaching sessions 

We now know that the area of the brain responsible for complex thinking and memory formation in children, adolescents and adults, can also be stimulated by play.

By incorporating play into your coaching sessions, you will help your clients practice essential cognitive skills, such as problem-solving and memory development. You can also use a coaching tool like a simple card game to help energize a client who seems distracted or get a group working together quickly, and if this is all done within a relaxed and supportive environment, life skills can be learned naturally and practiced when they are feeling stress-free.

So try incorporating play into your next coaching sessions and bring some real insight into how your clients think and react in different situations.

For example:

  • Do they naturally take risks or chances?
  • Do they follow rules or try to bend them to help them succeed?
  • Are they strategic thinkers or do they think creatively?
  • Do they take the lead or are they happy to follow?
  • Do they support others or undermine them?
  • How do they react if they win or lose?


Keeping the mind active

People who regularly play board games have been shown to keep their mind more active and focused. It has also been shown to help people respond better to situations that require agility or quick thinking. Playing games with your clients will teach them how to set goals and play by the rules, but they will also learn how to take advantage of the rules, think strategically and work towards a win.

Developing skills that support responsiveness and concentration will help activate their natural survival skills that help to build problem-solving and analytical skills over time. This ability to maintain and strengthen cognitive functions within the brain is seen as one long term defense against the ageing process and supports well-being.

But maintaining cognitive function also has a direct link to the ongoing release of endorphins, however you may not be aware that endorphins relax muscles, allow blood to flow much more easily and reduces stress.


Reducing stress through play

This release of ‘Happy Hormones’ will give your clients the power to improve conscious and unconscious mental functions, make them feel happier and generally more compassionate. Play can be a key part of some games and we all know how good we feel after playing a game that makes us laugh.

By incorporating play into your coaching sessions to generate a sense of fun or laugher, your clients may be able to forget about the things that make them feel stressed, or at least reduce the importance they are currently putting on them. No matter how temporary this feeling is, it can be a welcome relief from any feelings of stress and helps your clients remember how important play can be in their adult lives.


Building relationships through play

But at the core of many games, is the desire to bring people together to share an experience. Play gives us the perfect opportunity to connect with others, feel free to open up and taps into the creative side of our personality in a non-intrusive or arrogant way.

Play also encourages us to try new things and develop a stronger sense of individuality which leads to greater self-esteem and a feeling of being included and noticed. This can be a huge benefit to shy people, or within a group where they have naturally dominant personalities.

And with cooperation as the basis of many games, it can be used to build or strengthen relationships and can show us the perfect way to spend time together and strengthen bonds with others. So try incorporating play into your coaching sessions and see if it helps strengthen the connection between you and your clients.



Further reading:

If you would like to incorporate play into your coaching sessions, check out our range of virtual and printed card games in the online shop:

Card Games – Our range of virtual and printed card games provide you with a creative way to coach individuals or small groups.

Printed coaching card games:


Virtual online coaching card games:


We constantly add content to the site, so please check our on-line shop and look at the full range of games, ebooks and kits. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.


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