CoachVille Home Page


Featuring the Play BetterTM Coaching MethodCoachTwoWin-Product200X400-v1-gif

Coach-Two-Win is a coach training program where you learn the Play Better Coaching Method TM and experience the power of Serious Play. Our theory is that any endeavor in life can be designed as a winnable game worth playing AND that the true purpose of coaching is to Play Better. In this program you will learn how to create a winnable game and use it as the foundation of every coaching relationship - with every player you coach. And you will learn the essential coaching methods to help your players play their game better and win on their own terms.

Program Benefits

If you are a professional coach in practice or in training this program will provide you with something of extreme value: a METHOD. While excellent coaching relies on communication, intuition and other “soft skills”, a method is your gateway to consistent and predictable results.

If you are a manager/coach You will achieve much better performance from EVERYONE around you with less stress and more fun by designing a winnable game and focusing on playing better.


Learning Objectives

  1. You will learn the 9 steps of the Play Better method
  2. You will work with a class colleague as coach and player to design a winnable game for them to play and play the winnable game they design with you.
  3. You will learn the powerful distinctions between work and play - and you will discover how to PLAY in the serious games of life: like business, career, family and romance.
  4. You will learn how to elicit greatness using game pattern language - the natural language of the coaching craft
  5. You will learn how to determine if the game your player wants to play is winnable or not
  6. You will learn how to outline the activities of any life or business game and identify the skills, basic game plan, inner conflicts and environments for each one.
  7. You will learn the ONE BIG QUESTION that you MUST ASK EVERY NEW CLIENT

What is a winnable game?

It has a desired outcome that focuses your energy, attention and imagination

It has activities that are fun and challenging.

It has basic rules and boundaries that establish respect and fair play

It has a score card so you can evaluate how well you are playing on a regular basis; note to managers: this is major upgrade from the generally useless annual performance appraisal

It has skills that you can practice to expand your capacities AND if you really get into the game you can pursue mastery.

In a game you can notice and feel yourself improving over a period of time.

It has a variety of possible strategies and game plans that spark your creativity.

It is full of surprises that test your resilience and resourcefulness

AND above all it has OTHER PEOPLE PLAYING so that you feel like you are a part of something. You build relationships through shared experiences.

A winnable game is something you PLAY for enjoyment, for a purpose. A winnable game will bring you to life.

“I have been coaching for a long time and I have been a student of life for just as long. And in the last 11 years I have coached close to 1,000 people one-to-one and in small groups. There is nothing more inspiring than a person PLAYING - fully engaged in a challenging AND winnable game.”
-Coach Dave Buck

Now, let me tell you something here: playing a winnable game does not mean life is always easy or fun! NO.

Sometimes you get into a really challenging game and it is tough. And sometimes you LOSE and it is heart breaking. All of these things are part of playing games. But when you REALLY play, you feel that reward that only comes from giving it your all no matter what happens.

However, there is a BIG problem! (and a big opportunity)

And it is the reason this whole concept is so transformational and so important - NOW more than ever.

Most people are trapped in an
unwinnable game, OR a game
that is not worth playing. their careers, businesses, relationships, finances, health - most people are playing a game they can not win OR a game that is not worth winning because it has no real purpose for them. And they are suffering as a result; even if they put up a good front and say that everything is GREAT. This may be true about you in some areas of life as well!

The unwinnable game...
Dampens the human spirit,
Thwarts creativity and
Suppresses self-expression
Causes overwhelm, frustration, isolation and apathy

... in stress, anxiety, over-consumption, low-grade frustration and a whole host of other cultural phenomenon.

One explanation of these symptoms is the INCREASING degree to which people are playing unwinnable games in life. Keep reading, I think you will find it quite liberating.

An unwinnable game has many causes. But here are a few of the most common:

Playing a game that requires skills that you have not fully developed AND you do not have a coach teaching you those skills

Playing a game based on a goal with an unrealistic time frame (have you heard of this one?)

Playing a game with an environment that is not set up for winning. The environment is the world of people, places, things and ideas. There are resources that are needed to win that you just do not have, or obstacles that are constantly in the way.

Playing someone else’s game - it has no real meaning for you personally

Playing a game where there are escalated expectations for performance - or where it is expected that you can play at a high level 24/7/365 - you can’t!

The Purpose of Coaching:
Guiding an individual or team to PLAY BETTER
in a winnable game that really matters to them

Brief review of the steps of the Play Better Method

The purpose of the method is to create a framework to guide you toward helping people play better and win. You supply the knowledge of the game based on your experience and the basic coaching skills such as asking powerful questions, active listening and direct communication. The method does the rest.

The method has a natural flow, but is not always linear. A method is a predictable process designed to produce consistent results. While there is a natural flow to the nine distinct steps in the process they are not necessarily linear. Typically you will use the nine steps in order when first working with a new player; Defining the game comes first and designing the game comes next and so on. But once you are really working with someone the steps can be used in any order depending on the situation.

Step #1: Define a game worth playing
Clarify focus on the BIG game

Coaching always begins with a desire to play a winnable game. In this part of the process the coach and player identify what the game is, why the game is being played, what winning looks like, determine if the game is winnable, assess the skills that are needed to play well and scan the environment for assets and obstacles. Whew!

The main ingredient is to make it a game worth playing; A game that is connected to what the player truly wants out of life; A game that touches the heart of the player in some way.

Step #2: Design a winnable game
Identify the recurring activities of the game and the desired results

There are two essential ingredients to this step: The first is the art of designing a winnable game in terms of the desired short term results. A winnable game is right in the sweet spot between easy and challenging. If the game is too easy it is not inspiring. If it is too hard (not winnable) then apathy sets in. The coach must continually expand the game so that the player grows in ability by stepping into bigger and bigger challenges.

Next is identifying the activities of the game and the way to earn points toward winning. Essentially you “make up a game” by assigning points to performing designated activities and achieving specific results. For example in a business game you might assign one point for meeting with a potential new customer and five points for signing a new paying client. In a loving relationship game you might assign one point for each day you remember to lovingly acknowledge something you enjoy or admire about your partner and three points for enjoying a date that both agree was fabulous.

Making up a game and then setting a standard for a number of points to be obtained in order to “win” is a highly creative process. And it is important to know that while it is made up, it is NOT arbitrary! Keeping score is essential to pursuing excellence in any game. Making a game that inspires the desire to play sets the stage for everything that follows.

Yes, now it is time to get into the game!
3) Play the game
4) Manage the Game
5) Evaluate Progress

Step #3: Play the game
Give your heart, soul and energy
AND enjoy it! Have fun.

Playing the game is what it is all about. The key is to play fair, play with gusto and be respectful of the game itself and everyone in the game. AND play to win. Playing to win means that you play with purpose; with the intention to give the very best of yourself. Playing to win means that you will do whatever it takes - within the context of fair play - to achieve the desired outcome. This way of playing always creates the best experience of playing no matter what the outcome is.

What does playing well look like:

1) Go into the game with eager anticipation; have a clear idea about what you want to do
2) Play with enthusiasm. Have fun. Enjoy being IN THE GAME. Lose yourself in the moments of the game.
3) Be aware of what is happening in the game. Stay awake; Be present. Let the game guide you and pull you forward.
4) Respond to challenges and setbacks with grace and resourcefulness
5) Don’t get bogged down in self-judgment or critical thinking. Avoid making assessments about how you are playing while the game is on, there will be time for that AFTER the game.
6) While the game is on, keep playing. Always looking for a way to win.
7) Maintain respect for everyone in the game, the rules of the game AND yourself.
8) When the game is over, IT IS OVER. Be grateful for the opportunity to play. Have the experience of feeling satisfied with your effort whether you win or lose.
9) When you win, enjoy a little celebration. (Yeah!)
10) Be prepared to review the game with your coach. Learn from what happened and did not happen. Inquire with intensity: what can I do to play better next time?

ENJOY the experience of playing. The ultimate reward for all of your effort and preparation is the experience of playing well. YES!

Step #4: Manage the game
Get the best result possible from the situation

 When the game is on, there are always opportunities to make the most of situations; to make adjustments to your plan or push through difficulties in pursuit of the desired result: winning the game. Often the game can pull the player through challenges where they would normally stop.

Managing the game also involves being aware of “the score”. This is why having a scorecard is essential for a great game. By knowing the score you can assess the situation quickly and make the appropriate adjustments to how you are playing. This is true for athletic games as well as business games or relationship games.

As a coach, you have to stay in communication while the game is on and be available for quick advice.

Step #5: Evaluate Progress
Learn and grow from judgment-free awareness

Playing any game well requires an ongoing process of evaluation and refinement. The coach must keep one eye on how the client is playing now, and another on where the client is going. Often the client will not see that what they are doing is not working! Celebrating wins and transforming loses into learning opportunities are at the very essence of coaching. Enjoy, celebrate and leverage victories. Debrief and quickly learn from losses by practicing judgment-free awareness. This is how coaches create long term player improvement and growth.

The essential ingredient here is to realize that there will always be wins and losses in any game. One of the BIG jobs of a coach is to transform losing experiences into learning experiences. If you lose and you are playing alone, often you feel like a loser. If you lose and you have a coach, you become a fast learner. BIG DIFFERENCE.

The method has a natural flow, but is not always linear. A method is a predictable process designed to produce consistent results. While there is a natural flow to the nine distinct steps in the process they are not necessarily linear. Typically you will use the nine steps in order when first working with a new player; Defining the game comes first and designing the game comes next and so on. But once you are really working with someone the steps can be used in any order depending on the situation.

Once the winnable game is designed, the coach and player / client delve into playing better every day. A coach has four fundamental steps to help players play better and win on their own terms:
6) Practice the skills of the game
7) Game Planning
8) Inner Awareness
9) Design a Winning Environment

Step #6: Personalized Learning
Teach the skills and practices of the game

EVERY game has specific skills or techniques associated with the activities of the game. In the game of soccer one skill is kicking the ball in the direction you want it to go. With business a key skill connecting with potential customers. The coach must use their experience to design a practice plan that matches the current ability of your player / client. The purpose is to teach your player the skills of the game in a way that is appropriate to their current level of play.

Through constant practice you help your players improve their abilities and expand their capability to figure out for themselves what to do and how to do it when the game is on.

Step #7: Game Planning
Teach the strategies of the game

Here the coach uses experience of similar situations and their ability use strategy to craft just the right action plan with the player. A strategy is a WAY of playing that uses your skills to get the best possible result. It is your approach to the game.

To create a game plan, the coach and player(s) look at the upcoming game together and collaborate to decide on the best approach.

What is the desired outcome?
How do we make best use of your current skills?
What assets and resources can we utilize?
What challenges are we likely to face and how will we respond to them?

The player now has a clear action plan with a strategic foundation which is a real gift in the age of infinite (overwhelming) possibility and endless (overwhelming) information. The player also develops an expanded capacity to think strategically for themselves.

Step #8: Inner Awareness
Inner Awareness IS the game

It effects every decision the player makes and nearly every action the player takes. Decisions and actions are what creates winning and losing in every game. The key to inner awareness coaching is to understand the fundamental influence of values, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, emotions and motivations to help your player achieve peak performance.

A typical way of thinking about this is to use the term blind spots. It is the nature of patterns that they become invisible to us. As a coach you are a highly informed outside observer that can see the patterns that the player has become blind too and then expand the self-awareness of the player.

The end result of all of this is a state of flow; ease and grace while playing the game. This is sort of deep and lasting growth that people play games for in the first place.

Step #9: Design a Winning Environment
Because the environment (almost) always wins

It does not matter how inspired or motivated or skillful you are if the world around you is full of obstacles, you can not win. If your team mates are not on the same page, your best effort will not make a difference. The master coach helps the player design the world around them to inspire ongoing excellence.

The essential ingredient here is to realize that environmental design is the key to sustainable success in life and in coaching! The environment must be redesigned for the game the player is playing now. For most people the environment is a reflection of the games they used to play. Why is this? People have a two-way relationship with the world around them: they are adapting to what is there while at the same time the world around them is becoming a reflection of who they are. BIG INSIGHT: The adaptive process is fast and somewhat transient while the reflective process is slow but more substantive.

In other words, over time, the world around you becomes an accurate reflection of who you WERE are on the inside; This may or may not be good news! While in a new environment, quick change may occur, typically people return to the way they were before if they leave that new environment.

So in order to create sustainable change, the coach must use their creativity, design sense and awareness of workability to help the player make immediate changes to the outside world that reflect the changes made on the inside. Then the adaptive process works FOR positive change rather than against it! The player becomes more aware of the world around them and more connected to it. This leads to sustainable results.

The method is a framework
Use everything YOU have to help your players win

Final Thoughts

This course is the starting point for the Center for Coaching Mastery Level 1 Curriculum. If you want to get an experience of our program - including our theories and program format - this is an excellent place to start.

REMEMBER: if you decide to do the complete CfCM Level 1, you will receive a credit toward your tuition based on what you paid for this course!


Section CTW: The PLAY Better Method-090109-7P
Sep 1,8,15,22,29, Oct 6; 2009 7:00-9:30 PM ET
Instructor: Terri Zelenak, PCC
register-button-v1-gif Invest: $495 | register-button-v1-gif 2 Payments of $249

Section CTW: The PLAY Better Method-090109-10P
Sep 1,8,15,22,29, Oct 6; 2009 10:00PM-12:30 AM ET
Instructor: Terri Zelenak, PCC
register-button-v1-gif Invest: $495 | register-button-v1-gif 2 Payments of $249


Self-study program $195 register-button-v1-gif


(C) CoachVille LLC 2009 All rights reserved | Duplication only with attribution



Additional Course Information

ICF CCEU - This course qualifies for Continuing Coach Training with the International Coach Federation

DTMOPP - This program is delivered using our super learning method

Course Hours: 15; 6 weekly 2.5 Hour sessions

Additional study and practice time recommended: 3-5 hours / week




The Coach-Two-Win course made me grow as a coach, and it also taught me how to provide awesome value to my clients. The Coach-Two-Win method has provided me with a fantastic road map to help my clients have a path to personal success.”
- David Hale
Executive Coach and
Trainer for the U.S. Army