The Science of Play
Play is training for the unexpected - Marc Bekof, biologist
Few years ago I started to be highly interested in the value of play. As for many other things, I did not know how deep the rabbit hole was.
Play is usually recognised as fundamental for child development and often gradually forgotten once we grow old. Let’s get a little bit deeper in the concept of play and see how relevant it can be at any stage of life.
As you may imagine, I am an advocate of the role that play has on a healthy lifestyle. Allowing yourself to be involved in purposeless activities can equal to press a refresh button on to your entire organism. Imagine having moments where you can explore freely without having to do anything in particular other than (re)discover and release your inner child.I believe that adult play can nourish our enthusiasm for life.
Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play, wrote an easy to understand and enjoyable book called “Play: how it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul”. He has consulted for Fortune 500 companies on how to integrate it into business. He used play therapies to help clinically depressed people and talked to group of parents about healthy play.
More about the Value of Play.
As you can see, the value of play crosses age barriers and domains and it can be applied in business as much as in medical professions. Dr. Stuart Brown makes also the point that to see the benefits, we just need to spread it through our lives, we don’t need to play all the time to be fulfilled. This suggests that we can carry features contained in playful activities into our everyday life. I think that having a playful mindset can improve the joy and passion for our daily tasks.
The ability to play is critical not only to being happy, but also to sustain social relationships and being a creative, innovative person - Dr. Stuart Brown
So, how do I apply the science of play into my training sessions? I propose movement tasks, there is unpredictable interaction and freedom for exploration, you deal with them exposing yourself. This is your space for play and experience your behavioural adaptability if you choose to.