We provide a more neurodiverse version of sports coaching. Games Coaching helps players to play with space to create something out of nothing. To take players' ability to adapt on the field of play to another level.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
The more we focus on the details - the more we suffer from tunnel vision. We blind ourselves to space. Below, look at the black shapes. Then, look at the space between the black shapes.
If we can't see the space - we can't see how to play with space - to create something out of nothing. We can't adapt on the field of play. The image is 'Heaven or Hell' by M.C.Escher, 1960
MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING
We can use the details of the flowers to frame the space to see the face. Games Coaching helps players to move the flowers to create different faces. To be better at moving the details to reshape space to create something out of nothing. Players see what they didn’t see before. It seems magical. From where did that solution come? Players feel like they have all the time in the world to make micro-decisions that ripple through flowing teams, diversity generates progress, and outcomes (sometimes unexpected) follow progress.
Everyone from beginner to pro - from 8 years to 80+ can play to take their ability to adapt on the field of play (of life) to another level.
Everyone is welcome to play at our general public sessions. For SEN we run the Spectrum series.
Professional clubs, schools - academies - universities, and employers can employ Games Coaches directly. Anyone can be a Games Coach by coming along to our general public sessions.
WORKSHOP / AWAY DAYS / INSET DAYS
Jon Thorne provides a workshop where he shares why and how he made sports coaching more neurodiverse. How Games Coaching lifts players out of any tunnel vision on the details - hoping opponents will crack - to moving the details to reshape space to create something out of nothing. Jon then Games Coaches a suitable game to help players take their ability to adapt on the field of play to another level.
Do we need a more neurodivergent version of sports coaching
Because an exclusive focus on learning the details of how to play a sport takes away the joy of playing with space to create something out of nothing. It removes the major reason we play games - to maintain our ability to adapt on the field of life.
We need our own governing body
We can't join most sports governing bodies because they are set up to support their coaches in coaching the details of a sport. So, we have created our own governing body for Games Coaching so that we provide balance to the focus on the details.
Are we called NeurodiverseGamesCoaching.ORG
A healthy brain is elastic. It rewires. If our brain is healthy we adapt to our personal circumstances to find new and different ways to make situations work. As we are all different and living different lives we are all - to varying degrees - neurodiverse from each other. We provide a balance to today's extreme focus on the details making us all think the same narrow way. We provide a space where the neurodivergent (those who are wired sufficiently differently they stick out) help everyone to be more neurodiverse.
Mental illness can afflict both healthy and unhealthy brains. As a healthy brain can adapt - interventions to lift mental health are likely to have a bigger, quicker, and longer-lasting impact on a healthy brain than on an unhealthy brain.
We help the neurodivergent
A common sign of Autism is sensory overloaded. This hyperfocus works because all the individual sources of energy merge into background energy. But, hyperfocus means we can’t see the bigger picture of what is going on around us. We can’t see things or events unfolding until they are on top of us. Everything outside of our hyperfocus is a surprise. To hyperfocus is to live in a state of high threat alert. To rest we must withdraw to a place where energy is both less and certain.
Games Coaching is about playing games to show players how to use their hyperfocus on the details to see the space between the details. To see that space is where there is no energy. It's calm. It's beautiful. To process the world by hyper focussing on the details AND by seeing the space between the details.
WE ARE THE GOVERNING BODY
for Games Coaching
We have 3 main activities...
To give everyone access to Games Coaching as a different way to improve.
To recruit, train and maintain standards of Games Coaching while helping Games Coaches find work doing Games Coaching.
To promote the benefits Games Coaching offers that are over and above Sports Coaching.
Please note that NeuroDiverseGamesCoaching.ORG is not currently associated with, connected to, or affiliated with any sports governing bodies. We don't operate as a sports club. We don't have trials. We don't run squads. There are no subscriptions. We don't enter competitions run by any sports governing bodies. NeuroDiverse Games Coaching helps everyone to play games in the space between all the sports clubs. Everyone from all clubs and no clubs are guaranteed a warm welcome. Sports clubs are welcome to attend sessions to recruit creative agile-thinking players to play in their teams.
HOW WE OPERATE
Let’s get the standard stuff out of the way. All Games Coaching members must be welfare trained, with DBS, and first aid trained.
We use three forms of peer review...
Peer review of Games Coaching members by players. All sessions are pay-as-you-go, with no trials, no squads, and players turn up because they want to. If players keep turning up they are giving their peer reviews of their Games Coaching.
Existing Games Coaching members peer review when someone can join as Games Coach
Existing Games Coaching members peer review each other to maintain membership.
The second and third peer reviews follow these steps…
Step 1: Current Games Coaching members keep an eye out for players who attend our community sessions and who are very comfortable playing games to diversify their thinking and ask if they would like to explore joining.
Step 2: Those selected by current Games Coaches members attend a course on how the brain works in the most and least effective way while working alongside current Games Coaching members. No exams. No certificates. It’s just interesting. The basic content is outlined later on in this document.
Step 3: When 3 of the Games Coaching members confirm someone is ready to run their own sessions they are accepted as Games Coaching members of NeuroDiverseGamesCoaching.ORG
Step 4: Once a year all Games Coaching members attend a festival of games where we have fun as we play games to diversify our thinking as a way for of us all to peer review each other.
Step 5: If 5 Games Coaching members agree a current Games Coaching member is no longer suitable to be a member that person is removed. If they want to come back they go back to Step 1.
OUR GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE
The people below make sure we do what we said we would do. 3 more people are in the process of joining this team.
Iain qualified as a lawyer in 1988 specialising in M&A, stock exchange and complex commercial and joint venture work. Between 1998 and 2002, Iain was Director of Corporate Finance at a corporate industrial developer headquartered in the UK and USA. He joined one of the world’s largest law firms in 2002 and was global Co-Chair of the Commercial Contracts and Franchise and Distribution Groups for 10 years before joining Freeths as National Head of Commercial in 2019.
Freeths is a UK top 50 law firm with offices in 12 cities in the UK. The firm employs over 1,000 lawyers and support personnel and in the last financial year had fee income in excess of £110 million.
Iain’s work involves commercial transactions of all descriptions, including outsourcing, offshoring, manufacturing, consultancy, services and service level agreements, procurement of goods and services, supply chain management, logistics, international trade and capital asset procurement, and maintenance. Iain also advises clients in relation to the many different ways of delivering goods and services to market, both within the UK and internationally, including direct sale, agency, distribution, e-commerce, and business format franchising.
Iain also advises in relation to domestic and multi-jurisdictional structured joint ventures, partnerships and strategic alliances, providing advice on appropriate deal structures and delivery mechanisms relating to national and multi-jurisdictional transactions.
Iain is ranked as a “leading individual” for commercial and franchise work in The Legal 500 and Chambers, is listed in the global Who’s Who Legal for franchise work and is an Acritas™ Star Lawyer. Iain is an Affiliate Member of the British Franchise Association and contributing editor of Global Legal Group’s “International Comparative Legal Guide: Franchise”.
Iain lives in Hertfordshire, is married to Victoria (also a Partner in an international law firm) and has 4 children. He is a keen sportsman with interests in rugby, snowboarding and all forms of motorsport. He is an RFU accredited junior rugby coach and referee.
Stuart is an experienced outdoor instructor with over 30 years of commercial outdoor teaching experience. He is a national instructor for scuba diving and also a cave leader, bushcraft instructor, and river guide with a particular interest in exploring the remote rivers of Scandinavia. He spent many years working at the Leadership Trust when it was the UK's foremost management training centre.
He is also a company director of his own First Aid Training business with clients as diverse as the Forestry Commission, Imperial College, Birmingham University, and the Natural History Museum. He has used neurodivergent thinking to develop a unique one-day blended First Aid at Work course (plus two days of eLearning) that massively frees up staff time (compared to a traditional 3-day classroom-based course).
Stuart also chairs the Advisory panel for the First Aid Industry Body, the UK’s foremost governing body for independent First Aid training companies. He has also held national positions with the Sub-Aqua Association one of two British Scuba Diving Governing Bodies.
Stuart’s qualifications are diverse from an academic PhD in Microbiology to H&S and leadership qualifications plus video production, animation, etc
Stuart has been working with Jon Thorne for many years and being neurodivergent himself understands the aims of the awarding body and the benefits to those who take part.
Louise has 30+ years of experience in Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) working beside organisations of all sizes, within a range of sectors to achieve their OSH goals and beyond.
Louise is an unconventional #HealthandSafety entrepreneur and influencer motivated by the potential of the profession to unlock the hidden abilities of people to support one another to create a healthy world to live, work and do business.
Louise is Director of Hosking Associates Ltd, a boutique Health & Safety consultancy, supporting a range of organisations. Director of the OneWISH coalition which is a social enterprise supporting Women & Inclusion in Safety & Health. And, recently completed a term as the elected President and Chair of IOSH council.
For those who don't know - The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s Chartered body for safety and health professionals - representing almost 50,000 people around the world
Kenny is a freelance festival coordinator and event producer, specialising on festivals and events in Wales since 2013. He is a qualified Anthropologist who has developed academic theory on group wellbeing, & community resilience funding (WCVA). Kenny has a strong connection to West Wales greenfield community festivals such as Unearthed Festival, Fire in the Mountain, The Big Retreat, Green Gathering (as Artist Liaison, admin coordinator, volunteer manager, stage manager, site production, promotions manager). Kenny is the founder of Unearthed Sound System which is an inclusive platform for a range of up and coming arts and music performers. While being academically known for his current PhD study at the University of Dundee. Kenny also has strong ties with the University of West Wales, Lampeter. Kenny has until recently been an event Director for a CIC restoration project in Haverfordwest (Haverhub) which is now a thriving and diverse community hub.
The Executive is responsible for executing NeuroDiverseGamesCoaching.ORG strategy that is agreed by the Governance Committee. We are in the start-up phase so it's only Jon at the moment.
Jon's corporate career was helping multi-million-pound innovation projects get back on track and budget by operating in the space created by people with different disciplines, different line managers, and often employed by different companies - competing to avoid being blamed.
He gave up his career to home-educate his children. Supported by his wife Jon started a journey that led to Games Coaching.
The journey started with Jon's frustration with Sports Coaches' tendency to exclude the neurodivergent for not following their instructions to overcome obstacles. Jon found another way to coach by helping players flow through the space between obstacles to see what else can be done. It keeps our brains healthy. We make big progress quickly. We win 50:50 games.
Jon is the founder and CEO of NeuroDiverseGamesCoaching.ORG - the governing body for Games Coaching which runs sessions that are open to the general public and trains coaches to add Games Coaching to their portfolio of skills.
He is always happy to chat