In our previous post ‘The Inner Voice (Managing Self-Talk in eSports) we focused a lot on bringing awareness to your Inner Voice. How it can be affecting your mindset as a whole, and possibly blocking your potential. We introduced ways that you can take control of your Inner Voice and shape the way you approach every game. Having control over your pre game Self-Talk and your post game Self-Talk will keep you motivated and engaged in your performance.
For this post we are going to focus on a type of Self-Talk that is undeniably the most damaging to your performance. Mid game Self-Talk can manifest in many different ways. Each way changing based on the circumstances. For example if you are practicing online, which isn’t always ideal, it can rear it’s ugly face and fill your mind with quotes like “Oh this is so _____. If this was offline, I would be winning right now.” Likewise, “I’m better than this, why am I losing?” I’m sure you can remember many times thoughts like these have crossed your mind. The issue with having that type of Self-Talk is that it shuts out any potential practice you could be getting. Since your mental and emotional attention are focused on how you feel about what’s happening. Then your “practice” session turns into either a waste of time where you’re just playing to play and getting frustrated, or it turns into a session where you seek validation from victories. Either situation makes the time you’re dedicating unfocused and unproductive.
Throughout all of our blog posts we always try to maintain a core theme. That core theme being the act of focusing on what YOU can control. We know all of the variables that come with competition. Your independent learning curve, the wild nature of each game, your opponents, etc. So we write about Goal Setting, Benchmarking, and most recently Ritualization. However, something always occurs when you start to dial in on your own performance. You awaken The Inner Voice.
Everyone’s inner voice may show up differently, but the most common connotation is that of a negative one. Self-Talk is often the product of a reaction. On this journey of progress and improvement, it’s common to do more losing than winning. Which is why having emotional resilience is key. However, losing more so than winning, may always illicit this type of negative self-talk reaction. If left unchecked it can create a cycle of negative reinforcement that can derail progress from players of any skill level.
With these factors in mind, the Inner Voice can be an incredibly destructive presence to your performance. To remedy that let’s dig deep into what Self-Talk is, when it shows up, and how you can gain control over your Inner Voice.Continue Reading–>
I would like to take this moment to be grateful for gaming as a whole. Among it’s many benefits, it is one of the few complex, time consuming activities that can provide you immediate feedback. In the form of tournament losses, game over screens, death timers etc.
Throughout our lives we participate in many activities that we don’t commonly see the result of. We can make what appears to be an inconsequential decision today, and see an explosive result from it a year from now. Alternatively, we can set forth on a triumphant journey and have it fizzle out without us knowing whether or not it impacted us. Either way, it’s hardly a 1:1 ratio, and the results we do obtain are usually ambiguous at best.Continue Reading–>
Before you dive into this blog post, I would like to tell you something, that you may not know or may not have been told. YOU are AMAZING, SKILLED, COURAGEOUS, and VALUED.
Not because of your wins or losses, social stature or your expertise. No, you are all of the above because you choose to compete. You go out and test your resolve; mentally, emotionally, and socially time and time again. Take this moment to reflect on all of your experiences. Think about those hard fought games, the ups and the downs. The way they made you feel during and after. Think about the way people reacted to those games. Really put yourself there again. Now think about the people you’ve met. Your training partners, your teammates, your friends.
All of these experiences shape you, and drive underlying motivations for why you compete. But there was a time before you had all of these motivations. However, you didn’t let that stop you from competing. So what is stopping you now?Continue Reading–>
In this article we are going to change it up and focus on one external factor that requires a lot of resilience, Accepting Feedback.
Feedback is critical to improvement because it illuminates the blind spots that hinder our maximum potential. Outside of incredible internal revelations, there aren’t many cures for blind spots other than feedback. When it comes to self-improvement in anything, blind spots are your worst enemy.
What are blind spots? Psychological blind spots are described as personality traits or behavior traits that we possess, but are unable to see. Similar to a physical blind spot in our vision. In eSports, I’d refer to it as a performance blind spot.Continue Reading–>
We’ve all been there. After hours of playing, grinding, studying we feel ready to go into this next tournament. In fact during warm ups, or the session the night before we can’t be beaten. “This will be the tournament where I get out of pools.” We say to ourselves. But then, after a crushing loss that sends us out of the tournament we are left with a flurry of thoughts and a surging energy. Some of which are hurtful, helpful, and hopeful. This is a devastating moment, but it’s effect’s don’t have to be negative. Let’s take a look at these reactions to better help us identify them in the moment.
Reactions are Relative
Not everyone shares the same reactions after a loss. In fact each variable could probably be broken down into a separate post all together. So for this example let’s make a few assumptions. Continue Reading–>
Micro Visualization is an incredibly powerful tool that you have probably used all your life, but never had a name for it. The effects it can have on your performance, effort, or overall enjoyment are incredible. However, I believe there is something preventing us from fully taking advantage of it. Before we get into that, let’s take a brief look at what Micro Visualization is.
Can I Have a Cookie?
Micro Visualization is Mental Rehearsal in it’s most actionable and basic form. It’s what you do before a job interview. Going over each question you may be asked, each answer you will give in return. How will I sit? Will my hair be okay?Continue Reading–>
In our previous post we provided you with an overview of what Mental Rehearsal is, and some studies to prove it’s validity. This time we will dive into it’s benefits, applications and risks, as well as show you the many different methods of Mental Rehearsal.
You can find many different methods to mentally rehearse spread across the internet. It’s important to know that there isn’t a perfect method and your experiences will be different each time. How specific you decide to be will play a huge role in deciding which method to use.
Macro Visualization (The Theatre in your Mind)
As you continue to improve, you will find yourself in situations that your body can handle, but your mind cannot.Continue Reading–>
Over the course of your career in esports, you’ll face a great many opponents, some good, some bad, some great. You’ll make friends, develop rivalries, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a mentor or two along the way. Players come, and players go, scenes dissolve, but there is one opponent who will never stop coming, never let up. That opponent is you.
We’ve all heard the saying “I’m my own worst enemy”, an expression that holds true in the lab, the court, the locker room, or even the main stage. We all know it, the doubt, the fear, the complacency. That little voice in your head that says “I’ll never be as good as X”, “I’ve practiced enough, I can take a few days off”, or “I’m not good enough”. These kinds of doubts, hesitations, might-be’s, and other negative images will haunt you, seek to drag you down, force you to quit. They will plague you throughout your whole career, but only if you let them.
So how do you avoid these pitfalls, how do you recover from an emotional defeat, or embarrassing upset? How do you bounce back from the worst blows that life can throw at you?
Mental Rehearsal has been credited by some of the most prolific athletes, CEO’s, scientists and successful people of our time. Sometimes referred to as “The Secret Sauce”, it is claimed to be one of the key factors to success. It is defined as “The cognitive rehearsal of a task in the absence of overt physical movement”. It’s primary function is to lay a subconscious foundation for a task prior to action. On the surface this is something that we do in our every day lives. If you have ever prepared for an interview, had to ask someone for permission or forgiveness, or just simply envisioned yourself performing an action before actually performing it, then you have exercised some mental rehearsal.
Research and Studies
Visualization and Mental Rehearsal have a lot of documented research that has produced some surprising results. One of the more wild examplesContinue Reading–>