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Design journey of Animal MatchPlay Cards

"When are you going to release new decks of MatchPlay Cards?" Well... we heard you and now they're here! Founder of The Coaching Lab, Jack Rolfe takes us behind the scenes of how Animal MatchPlay Cards were designed...


We are strong believers that the game shouldn't be a reward for good behaviour nor should it be a bonus if there is time left at the end of the session, the game should sit at the centre.


Built on the same four principles that every other deck in the MatchPlay Card series has been, Animal MatchPlay Cards are shaped by 1) Transfer responsibility 2) Ever-changing environment 3) Train above the game 4) Be reflective. Principles that support us as coaches and teachers to create environments that look and feel like the game, allowing players to experience their game on a new level.


There were a lot of post-it notes on big whiteboards, getting feedback from kids, trips to the zoo and non-stop ZOOM calls, asking coaches and teachers these questions to help us drive the direction of adventure; Who are we designing them for? What are the challenges facing coaches? How can we deliver an amazing experience every time and not just as one-offs? How do we create opportunities for players to explore and experiment with freedom?