Mental performance plays an important role in the competitive success and development of esport athletes. Unfortunately, in competitive gaming, maintaining one’s physical and mental health is often overlooked. However, the psychological demands that athletes face are real whether you are a professional player or you want to become one your performance should be at 100%. Therefore, we show you 7 good habits that you must implement to reach the level you want.
Plan your days
The easiest way to let your day drift by without accomplishing your goals is by not being aware of what needs to get done. A good routine to build is to plan your day the night before.
Get a write board and write down the responsibilities you have to get done (finish your homework), about your training goals for the next day (i.e. I need to work on CSing and wave control), and your exercise schedule. If you leave your schedule to the day that it needs to be done, you’re opening yourself to procrastination and low motivation.
Understand your goal
It’s easy to go into autopilot mode when gaming. I do it. You do it. Pro’s do it. And that autopilot mode during training is a perfect way to waste away time that could have been used to improve your game. It happens because it’s easy to create a habit out of mindlessly gaming without a sense of direction.
A great way to fight autopilot mode is to understand what it is that you’re wanting to achieve. Before you start playing for the day, take a few minutes to ask yourself, “what am I needing to work on today?” You’re forcing yourself to dissect your objectives for the day and bring them to the top of your mind. Now, write those objectives and goals down on a piece of paper beside you. After every game, look at them and ask, “did I do _____”.
Identify your tilt points
Every single competitive environment seems to be a breeding ground for tilt. It’s because we’re going into it with high expectations of ourselves and we’re unsatisfied when it goes bad. However, what tilts each of us is slightly different.
I get tilted when teammates flame, but I’m almost completely unaffected by teammates playing poorly. It’s important to understand what your tilt points are so that you can catch yourself early when you see those situations starting to happen. Without identifying them, you’re opening yourself up to the coinflip nature of competitive esports.
Your mind isn’t going to fatigue like your muscles do. It’s not going to simply stop working like your legs do after too many squads. But, what it is going to do is start killing motivation, causing you to make bad decisions, send your emotions up and down in a roller coaster, destroy your focus, and throw your passion for the game out the window.
This is all a desperate attempt by your brain screaming “LET ME STOP PLAYING. I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE”. Lucky for us, if we simply take breaks and hold to a structured training schedule (i.e. no more than 4 or 5 hours a day), we’re helping to fight that brain fatigue.
Cutting the Caffeine
Hate to be the bearer of bad news but energy drinks aren’t going to give you a competitive edge, especially when they’re a constant day-to-day drink.
They aren’t going to be doing any favours to your sleep quality either. If you cut the caffeine to one or two cups of coffee a day, you’re going to start feeling more alert, sleeping better, and upping your performance.
Exercise is the holy grail of performance.
When your brain and body are healthy, your performance goes up. But, what parts of performance are impacted? Well.... body soreness goes down, energy goes up, decision making becomes more accurate, emotions are easier to manage, tilted less, more focused, motivation increases, the brain processes information faster, and you can think clearer.
This isn’t even the full list but I think it’s clear exercise is key. Besides, all the pro’s are doing it so there has to be something to it.
Become a teacher
In-game time, VOD reviews, and mindfully playing the game in practices are going to give you loads of useful information. There’s secret, though. Those who learn how to teach their skill, begin to understand the game on an entirely different level.
The way you think about the game, the way you process game information, and the way you understand the core mechanics of the game begin to shift. If you want to learn the game faster than anyone else, learn to teach it to others.