The Challenge Circle

The Challenge Circle is used on all sorts of times and for different reasons

This activity promotes:


Time: 20 – 30 min

Participants: 5 or more

inside as well as outside possible


Required materials

Two big ropes in a circle. By which the smallest rope a circle forms inside the circle from the longer rope.


Arrange all the participants to stand on the outside of the outer rope.


If your goal is to challenge your participants more you can do this after a break. This way you give them the opportunity to stretch themselves further in the remaining time.

When your goal is getting to know eachother better, you can do this at any moment.

When evaluating is your goal you almost always do this at the end.

How it works

The three circles stand for:

  1. comfortzone (inner circle)
  2. stretch zone (middle circle)
  3. panic zone ( outside the circles)

The activity goes as followed:

  • Someone says an activity (such as bungee jumping) and everyone goes standing in the zone that fits their perception.
  • Everyone takes turns in naming an activity. So, as coach you don’t have to do anything, but you can always join…


  • As trainer you can suggest activities that people in the group avoid or don’t think of. For example “giving feedback to your colleagues”.
  • You can say “You are standing over there, can you explain why…”
  • If you use this activity as evaluation you can ask: “When you look back on this day: Where are you then? Did you challenge yourself? Can you explain why your standing there?”
  • A good question to ask is “In which zone do you grow/learn the most?”(the stretch zone). What did you show today? And If you want to learn more what could you do? You can use these questions to challenge your participants.

Safety check

This is an emotional exercise, inquire how far you can go.