In part 5 of our 6 Week eSports Improvement plan we honed in on the concept of outreach. We explained the importance of building relationships with players in your respective scene and games. As well as give you some tips on how to best find players to play with. Even if you were only able to secure one steady person or team to play with for week 5 it can be considered a success. Week 5 by far has to be one of the most ambiguous and uncomfortable weeks for most. However, those connections you build are key to elevating your game. Since the people you are playing with have a similar goal in mind, they will bring a different and more realistic level of competition to your practice. Which cannot be stressed enough. Just going at your practice routine randomly, with random people is a subpar way of reaching your goals. (Although if it’s all you got, it’s all you got.)
As always the 6 week schedule is below.
Once again you will notice that the practice time and schedule is identical to weeks 4 and 5. Just like with week 5, look at it as a fall back if you cannot achieve what we are setting out to do for week 6. The elements that make up week 6 really seal the entire improvement plan. Given the amount of time and intention you have put into developing both your performance skill and background skills, you should have the tools necessary.
Specificity is the word for week 6, let’s break down what that means for your improvement.
Return of The Benchmark
Throughout this journey you have been expected to create an accurate benchmark for yourself. You have done this through self imposed challenges, or tournament results. At this point you should have a very good handle on what your opportunities and strengths are. If you’re not fully sure, then take the time to reflect now. Remember to focus not just on performance but background skills as well.
With all the information that you have accumulated, the hope is that you know exactly what you need to work on. For example, if you play a fighter and need specific match up experience. Or if it’s a FPS and you need better reaction to team calls, or rotations. The goal for week 6 is to continue reaching out to players, but only look for the specific things that you need to push yourself to the next level.
A little Goes a Long Way
Even if you only manage to squeeze in one specific play session, it can cover an entire week of generic practice. By putting in the time to find and secure a play session with the specific aspect you are looking for, you’re effectively putting skin in the game. Meaning you will put more intensity and more focus into that one play session. Allowing your brain to fully absorb any and all of the information presented. Especially if that opportunity you are struggling with has a level of emotion behind it. Like frustration or defeat.
Just like week 5 this will take some effort, and there is no guarantee that you will get exactly what you need. However, the more persistent you are, the more people will at least refer you to others. Expanding that network that you are building. Often times it’s assumed that the only way to get a good network going is to already be a top player. But that’s simply because most people are too afraid to reach out and actually make the connections. You may not get to play with the number 1 of your game, but you can at least get close. Going further, you may even make that a background skill goal. To play with or compete against the number 1 of your game. Adding more motivation to the act as you go.
Here are some extra tips to achieve the practice you’re looking for. (refer to our week 5 post for more)
- Do your research first: Make sure you’re reaching out to the right people, and at the right times. Check to see if they have a stream schedule, or if they attend tournaments on certain dates. By having all this information at hand, you can ensure a window of play time.
- Stay focused while playing: Depending on the person(s) you get to play with, you may become nervous. Remember what you are there to do, you are trying to improve as much as possible.
- Ask a lot of questions: Don’t just play quietly and try to do all the work on your own. People can be highly receptive and eager to help you, especially if you’re the one reaching out to them. Also don’t forget to give feedback as well if you’re asked.
- Be grateful for the time the player(s) is spending: You may only get one chance at the ideal practice session. Make sure you capitalize on the opportunity.
- Make it a two way street: Ask them if there is anything you can do for them in exchange for the practice. Whether that be training with someone lower skilled than them that they are coaching, or promoting their social media.
This is the last piece that you need to further your improvement after this 6 Week eSports Improvement Plan. Being fully aware of your benchmark and seeking out the specific things that will make you succeed will never stop. It’s important that you get comfortable with taking a moment of pause once a week and reassess your needs. As with the other elements of this journey, you will want to continue to be consistent. Reviewing your film, building connections, and putting forth the utmost effort you can in each practice session.
The biggest struggle that most players have with this is accountability and motivation. Often times that’s the coach’s job with the player. If you are interested in hiring your own coach:
A full 6 week wrap up will be coming soon, to summarize everything discussed over all of the blog posts.