In our previous post about Setting Your Benchmark, we outlined the three primary categories that must be reviewed to set a proper benchmark. Those three categories were; Time, Motivation and Ability.
That is a great place for you to start. However it is also a little broad. So in this post we are going to show you an incredible tool that you can use to assist you with your benchmark setting.
S.W.O.T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. A S.W.O.T analysis is a tool typically used for businesses, and management. However, I believe that it’s usefulness can apply to not only personal development, but eSports as well. The primary focus of the tool is to help you strategically plan an objective or a goal. Creating that goal may be easy but planning out the steps you need to take in order to reach it can be the difficult part. This tool helps you do that by incorporating the elements you may overlook when acting towards your goal.
Another incredible benefit you get from doing this exercise is that you’re able to break things down into specifics. Often times you can get stuck on your journey by drawing a mental blank when searching for what you need for improvement. At the very least, just dedicating a few minutes to this exercise will actively charge your brain. Which is a huge leap from just relying on an emotional feeling or urge.
Not only do you remove ambiguity and the sense of chance or luck, but you also remove some of the more emotional portions of your journey. The goal is to become systematic about your improvement. Effectively knowing exactly what you need to work on, and seeing the results from it. As opposed to either gradually getting better, or not.
Taking the time to write it down lets you see exactly what you need to work on. For a moment you’re able to quiet everything down and truly connect with yourself. This also invokes the power of writing, which has been known to increase motivation and commitment to your goal. Once you navigate what can feel like an emotional mine field, you will come out on the other side knowing that you CAN accomplish your goal.
Creating the Analysis
As you can see in the diagram above, the S.W.O.T analysis is broken down into 4 different sub categories. Helpful , Harmful, and Internal, External. These sub categories are the key to the analysis. You’re able to clearly identify positives and negatives, while also getting a full picture of your objective.
Let’s look at each category and build a S.W.O.T analysis together. In this example I am going to try to include multiple gaming genres, but I may miss a few.
In the internal blocks, I like to focus on specific aspects of the game. However, it can also extend to things like, mentality, confidence, or clutch factor.
One of the best features of the S.W.O.T analysis is that it encourages you to focus on your strengths. Maintaining what you already do well, and building upon it can be just as crucial as improving weaknesses. Often times you can find yourself tunnel visioning on your weaknesses during practice, and that can have some negative effects on your motivation. It can also make it harder to maintain the skills that you already have, depending on the impact gap between your strengths and weaknesses.
When listing your weaknesses, you want to make sure you’re being as accurate and transparent as you can be. It’s a great opportunity to really look at your current ability.
If you’re unsure of what to write in these blocks, you may need to seek feedback from people who play with or against you. I recommend seeking that type of feedback regardless of what you write. Knowing what others see can help clear up some blind spots.
This is where we start to get into the external factors. External factors can both be related to the specific game, or the overall environment. For example, let’s say you are trying to play a higher tier character. An opportunity may be that there is a lot of well documented footage or information on this character to learn from. However, this can also be a threat because your opponents also have access to the same information.
When you write your first S.W.O.T you will be inclined to look at your weaknesses, and fill out your opportunities block with solutions. However, they don’t always have a direct correlation with each other, and I encourage a broader thought exercise.
In this example, the opportunities block is primarily filled with tools. They aren’t exact solutions to the weaknesses, but they are tools that you can use to both support your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Your threats will vary largely depending on the goal of your S.W.O.T. It’s common for threats to look similar to excuses. Whether they are excuses made by you, or by people around you. I encourage you to take this opportunity to look at these threats as obstacles, instead of excuses.
The threats portion of the S.W.O.T ties heavily into your goal setting and benchmark. Having them listed really helps you set a path forward. Some threats are much harder to move passed. For instance, if you are in a location where there is no training, no weeklies, no internet. Then your goal may change from being the best in the world to just simply finding a way to practice.
The S.W.O.T analysis that we created today is a broad example. Your’s will be far more specific to you, and your ability. This tool is intended to get you started on your goal setting, and shouldn’t be looked at as a permanent solution. You may have to do this exercise multiple times as you reach each of your ceilings. It’s incredibly important to be transparent with yourself, and not shy away from your own feedback.
Some things to consider when writing your own.
- Rank the quadrants for importance. (Helps you focus your goal)
- Seek feedback (Helps you fill the blocks)
- May have the same entries in the fields. (Some things just happen to repeat themselves.)
- Brief (It’s an overview. You can become more detailed when you actually start setting goals.)
- Reference when setting goals (You should have your analysis with you and reference it during goal setting. This ensures that you stay on track.)