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Is virtual reality the future of coaching?

Man is experiencing virtual reality

So here I am, strapping a headset to my face and looking like an absolute fool in front of my friends.

Thoughts of kids throwing remotes through tv screens and grannies almost having heart attacks keep running through my head.

I’m not sure what I expected, but it definitely wasn’t this.

As soon as the virtual world loaded up around me, I forgot all about my appearance and became completely immersed in the experience.

This is the metaverse huh?

Pretty cool!

But I wasn’t here to pretend I was on a roller coaster or run around slashing things with a virtual sword. I was here to see if this new technology could be the future of coaching.

Before I go too far, it’s probably a good idea to quickly go over what VR is for anyone who has been living under a rock for the last decade or only knows it from funny videos on youtube (hey, no judgement here.)

In its basic form, VR is a computer-generated simulation of an environment you can interact with in real-time. It’s been around in some form since the 1960s, but in recent years, with cool technological advances, it’s become realistic enough to be useful.

So what has this got to do with becoming a better coach?

The beauty of VR is that it allows you to experience things that would otherwise be impossible or impractical.

By immersing people in realistic simulations of the places and situations they work in daily, VR can provide a safe and controlled environment to test new strategies, hone existing skills, and make mistakes without real-world consequences.

For example, imagine you’re a coach who works with clients with crippling anxiety over public speaking.

In the past, you might have role-played with some friends to simulate common speaking situations, but VR takes this to the next level by putting the person in a realistic simulation of a large crowd, complete with real-life events, sights and sounds.

This allows you to work on specific situations with the client, help them manage their emotional reactions, and develop strategies for dealing with them in a real-world setting.

VR is so powerful that some studies have shown it can reduce PTSD symptoms in war veterans!

But VR isn’t just for your clients.

It can also be used as a valuable tool for your own development.

As much as you might try to empathise and understand your client’s needs and problems, you can’t always know what it’s like to be in their shoes.

This is where VR can help.

By putting yourself in the same simulated situation as your client, you can better understand what they’re going through and how to help them best.

Never had the pleasure of working as a manager in the high-stress hospitality industry?

Just pop on your headset and get first-hand experience of what it’s like having an overworked chef swearing at you and threatening to quit while you’re trying to keep a smile plastered on your face for the customers.

Or maybe you want to understand what it’s like to experience anxiety in a social situation.

You can now put yourself right into the middle of a packed bar or club and have the VR simulate what it feels like to be surrounded by people and have to make small talk while your heart races, your palms sweat, and your vision blurs.

The opportunities are endless, and as VR technology continues to develop, so will the ways it can be used to improve your coaching techniques and clients’ skills.

So if you’re looking for an edge on the competition or want to be a better coach, VR might be the answer.

As I take off my headset and return to the real world, I can’t help but wonder what other ways will this amazing technology change the world in the future.

Sure, there are some drawbacks, but I can’t wait to find out.

What are your thoughts on VR? Have you tried it yet? Do you think that Virtual Reality will make better coaches?

Let me know in the comments below!



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