Previous studies have sought to ascertain Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) conception in pre-service teachers. This exploratory study investigated the problems outlined in the literature surrounding the development of TGfU understanding among pre-service teachers (n = 44) of the curriculum instruction model. Blog postings were analysed over an eight-week period to identify the varying levels of student conception of TGfU using the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy in order to ascertain whether there are specific aspects of TGfU conception that prevent learning of deeper concepts. The study found that students move through at least two SOLO levels of metacognitive development. For pre-service teachers, TGfU represents a challenge to their pedagogical paradigm. This may limit their understanding of TGfU when they perceive that it is not antithetical to their existing paradigm but rather it represents a balanced approach to achieving the goals of skill-based instruction.