Coaching with Sid

The 6 Kinds of Games High Achievers Play (And How to Coach Them to Play a Bigger Game)

sent by Siddharth Anantharam    |   April 13th, 2023

sent by Siddharth Anantharam
April 13th, 2023

There is nothing that brings out the child in me more than a good game – especially football.

If you ever watched me supporting Manchester United as they play, you might think I am crazy.

From stomping my feet to pounding my fists, from shaking my head in anger to celebrating in joy – the full array of human emotions will be displayed for you.

One of the reasons I love games is because I love a good challenge. This is my primary motivation.

Over the last decade of coaching high achievers and gamechangers, I started observing the different games we play and our hidden motivations to play these games.

In this newsletter, I am going to share the 6 different kinds of games high achievers play and how to coach them to play a bigger and better game.

Almost all games involve at least one player, an obstacle, and a motive for playing.

Some care about winning. Others are careful not to lose. Some care about looking good. Others really don’t care at all. Some cheat their opponents, others cheat themselves.

A small group of people play the game simply to have fun in the process.

Games, for me, are a fantastic lens to study the attitudes we bring to doing anything.

Understanding which game your clients are playing helps you become more aware of their hidden motivations and the biggest obstacles that might get in their way.

Here are the 6 kind of games I’ve seen high achievers play:


Game 1 - The PERFECTION Game

 Coaching to change their game:

– What is it costing you to keep striving for perfection?

– What new possibilities would open up for you if you let go of your need to get it perfect?

– Which areas of your life can you prioritize progress over perfection?

Game 2 - The COMPETITION Game

 Coaching questions that change their game:

– What is it costing you to keep competing with others?

– What would it look like if you continue to compete – just not with others but with yourself?

– Where in your life can you win by collaborating instead of competing? 

Game 3 - The MONEY Game

 Coaching questions that change their game:

– What are you really chasing – is it more money or more freedom?

– How much money would really be enough for you to feel fulfilled?

– What would money enable you to get freedom from? What would you like to have the freedom to do?

Game 4 - The IMAGE Game

 Coaching questions that change their game:

– Who are you when nobody is watching? What does that tell you about yourself?

– Whose validation are you really seeking?

– What would it look like for you to show up as your most authentic self?

Game 5 - The FRIENDSHIP Game

 Coaching questions that change their game:

– Where do you feel truly accepted? Where do you like you truly belong?

– What personal needs are you deprioritizing over other people’s needs?

– What would it look like for you to stand out instead of fitting in?

Game 6 - The LEARNING Game

Coaching questions that change their game:

– What would make your learning more aligned with your long term vision?

– What would make your learning more proactive instead of reactive?

– What can you do to actively apply what you are learning?

As a coach to high achievers and game changers, here’s something I share with some of my top clients:

It’s not just enough to play a game well. But to also make sure you are playing the right game – a game worth playing.

The right game for me is something that keeps you interested enough to continue playing for the rest of your life.

And when you’re not playing a game worth playing, don’t just change the rules of the game. Go ahead and change the game!


What about you? What game are you currently playing? What’s a game worth playing for you?

Sit down to reflect on the following questions and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Leave a Comment

18 thoughts on “The 6 Kinds of Games High Achievers Play (And How to Coach Them to Play a Bigger Game)”

  1. I spent my 20s and 30s wasting my time in games 1-4. I now invest my time & energy far more wisely in game 6.

    Questions to reflect on:
    1. Game six
    2. Biggest motivations positive impact in the greater good. Biggest obstacle me / getting distracted.
    3. I am playing with me, the Universe and every cooperative component that comes my way.
    4. The game of life, freedom, happiness, abundance, peace, joy, unconditional love, health and contribution.
    5. Positive impact in the world.

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