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Tue, 06 Dec


Longdean Sports Space

Our most inclusive, gentle, Neurodiverse sessions of them all @ Hemel (17)

Games Coaching is a different way to improve

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Our most inclusive, gentle, Neurodiverse sessions of them all @ Hemel (17)
Our most inclusive, gentle, Neurodiverse sessions of them all @ Hemel (17)

Time & Location

06 Dec 2022, 18:00 – 19:05

Longdean Sports Space, HP3 8JH


About the event

The journey to create Games Coaching started with Jon Thorne's  frustration that Sports Coaches needed Neurodivergent players to follow  their instructions or they were excluded.  Jons determination to find another way to improve without following  instructions -  gave rise to Games Coaching. Jon discovering that many  people - of all ages and abilities - wanted to progress from  instruction-led sports coaching drove Jon to create  NeuroDiverseGamesCoaching.ORG

It’s basketball - but not as you know it. We play to escape this overly controlled world where everyone seems to get upset at the slightest inconvenience and the smallest rule break. And play to 'be kind' - to share a creative dance of connection and flow - to get a result before the uncontrollable gets out of hand. And We laugh. It’s a different way to improve, compete, and play in teams that we call Games Coaching.

  • 6 to 7pm. 
  • It is at Longdean Sportspace. The entrance is not via Longdean school.  There is a separate entrance that you can only find by just putting the post code in - HP3 8JH - off Hill Common. The easiest way is to use “What3Words” and they are ///guard.forks.fries
  • There is a big "ish" with age. If it works for the player it works for us.
  • Full court
  • The easiest way to pay us using the app which you can get by going to  your phone's app store, search for app called Spaces. Download.  And then enter this code QTKFDS
  • Don't let a lack of money stop you from coming. We have free tickets.  Contact you don't need to explain - He will  just give you the code.

Any questions contact the help centre

Games Coaching is a progressive way to play sports

We are open to all abilities. From 8 to 80+. Good for those on the Autistic Spectrum. Good for mental health. No trials. No squads. No leagues. Pay as you go. Play for the joy of improving. There are 3 things that make Games Coaching progressive...

  1. We have moved on from thinking competition is about winning a battle for control and superiority to seeing competition as a process for everyone to push each other to progress. Those who progress the most in a game - win the game. Winning follows progress.
  2. We have moved on from thinking progress is making fewer mistakes to seeing progress as a movement away from where we are now.
  3. We have moved on from thinking coachable players are those who follow instructions to encouraging everyone to try different ways - go with the flow - and seeing where it takes us all.

Our progressive thinking means Games Coaching provides a different way to improve, a different way to compete, in a different type of team. 

A different way to improve

Games Coaching is a different way to improve - because it's about getting a result in the uncontrollable parts of a game - and not about improving the ability to control the controllable - which is commonly done by many sports coaches.

  • The important parts of life happen in the uncontrollable.
  • Competitive games are won by how we deal with the uncontrollable parts of the game.

This  is why it's a good idea to play games with a Games Coach and learn to  be less anxious when we can't control what is happening and relax into  agile, fluid, creative, joyful, entertaining, flowing thinkers and  movers who find different ways to get different results - before the  uncontrollable gets out of hand.

A different way to compete

Competition  is not victory. it's a way to progress. A journey of progress always comes before winning. We don't set our minds on the outcome of winning because it triggers both FEAR and HOPE in most of us. FEAR we will fail and HOPE we will win. FEAR stops us try different ways and HOPE makes us give up when we don't get what we want. We become motionless - both fearing and hoping for change. We want to avoid this. We play games to create a journey of improvement - a sense of moving away from where we are now. A feeling of flow. It's left foot, right foot, lift ourselves out of the details - see the bigger picture - see space between obstacles - and left foot, right foot, through that space. Breathe and repeat.

A different type of team

Games Coaching creates fluid thinking teams that ripple. As the first player moves, the next player takes into account what the first player did and moves, the 3rd player does the same, and so on through the team in a constantly flowing rippling of movement that opens and closes space to flow through. It is beautiful to watch. Even when we stumble, fall, backtrack and all the evidence tells us we are failing - we are always moving forward. Teams that are set up to control the controllable move at the same time - as planned - everyone expecting each other to be in a certain place at a certain time. It’s more attritional than beautiful. These rigid teams win when they have enough athletic dominance to control a game and lose if they don't. Often boring to watch.

How Games Coaching works

Games Coaches generate a dynamic set of obstacles that impact what players want to do. Players are stopped from trying to control the obstacles - and helped to lift themselves out of the detail - to see the wider context - the bigger picture of what is going on around them. To see how the obstacles relate to each other. To flow through the space between obstacles to discover different ways to get different results when nobody knows what is going happen - before the uncontrollable gets out of hand.

The one guiding principle - be kind

The principle of 'being kind' lowers any anxiety we have about not being in control of what is happening which makes it easier to relax into being agile, fluid, creative, joyful, entertaining, flowing thinkers and movers able to get a result in the uncontrollable before the uncontrollable gets out of hand.

There are 3 ways many of us try to control others, which Games Coaching stops.

1. We use superior knowledge of the details to make others do as we say.

2. We control who is seen to be the weakest by deflecting blame onto others.

3. We use the fact we are bigger, stronger, and faster to make others do what we want them to do.

Only those who always seek to control are excluded. We are diverse, not inclusive. Click here to see a video that explains why Games Coaching is particularly useful for those on the Autistic spectrum.

What players and parents think

  • We went to the most amazing basketball session in  Hemel at Longdean school. My son is autistic and has ADHD he struggles  to follow instruction and is extremely demand avoidant. This session  took all the barriers away for my son and he had the most amazing time,  his words “I loved it”. Well worth checking out
  • A young player - "I like Jon’s sessions because instead of telling us what to do we all just work it out ourselves" 
  • A parent - "It’s refreshing to see someone run a sports session with a focus on kindness and flexibility instead of adherence to set patterns based on traditional ways of learning. We have always been made to feel welcome and encouraged to participate and my children gain confidence by being part of something that requires teamwork. As an observer, I enjoy seeing the players thinking about not just themselves but the whole team. It’s not about just playing ball, it’s about creative thinking, consideration of others and teamwork" 

Any questions contact the help centre


  • Lets play ball

    We are a social enterprise. We use all profits to give those who are excluded or vulnerable to social exclusion a free experience of playing sports and games where everyone set's each other up to succeed. Where everyone constantly imagines other ways. Where everyone uses mistakes to find what is next and grow. Experiences to build a belief that they are not stuck as they are now. Thank you. Contact to get a free ticket

  • Pay what you want

    Please, don't let a lack of money stop you from coming. We are a social enterprise. Or, pay more as a donation.

    Pay what you want



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