Serious Play and the ability to focus better…

This is probably not quite what you are expecting from a discussion topic suitably titled…but is prompted partially by this particular TED talk in a link posted by Nina Lancaster on NLP Connections forum:-

Now apropos of this and not entirely unconnected comes from a remark I made while talking to a parent of one of my young coachees earlier today.

I was describing how I’ve recently been challenged to adapt fun cricket games activities for large group numbers. The games tend to take on a somewhat chaotic and highly charged faculty where the participants are challenged to maintain a high sensual attention level through the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic modalities. This is not only highly exciting and stimulating, but also brings out of them some amazing feats of performance. This, I believe, is to do with their not having time to ‘think’ and therefore over-clutter their mind with inhibitive, cautious, negative and self-conscious thoughts. I’ve also participated and it is definitely a quite liberating activity experience!

Now the comment I made was that: when the players then later get into a more serious, competitive and formalised game of cricket, they find it much easier to focus because the game is much more ordered and structured and the level of ‘chaos’ around them is very diminished. Consequently they are not overawed in any way.
Without the practice of functioning at a highly stimulated level, they are more prone to skills or technique ‘freezing’ when they are in the cauldron of a competitive environment. Its definitely one way of encouraging a process of thinking clearly under pressure, by pushing the envelope of stimulating sensual awarenesses in a fun (and almost crazy) play activity, which is exciting and pleasureable and yet has purposefully serious intentions at a more unconscious level.