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esports Inner Voice mindset motivation

Creating your ideal vision

YOUR IDEAL VISION 

Looking to the future gives us something to focus on and work towards.

Imagine a ship with no destination, the crew and captain may be completing tasks and surviving but to what end, for what purpose are they simply sailing around with no destination?

Do you remember learning to fasten your shoe laces?  Probably not, as it’s a skill learned when you were around the ages of 6 or 7 and now you complete that skill without thinking twice, but there was a time when you found the motivation to learn that skill.

But for what purpose? 

Although you can understand the point of learning to fasten your shoe laces, ask yourself this question – For what purpose do I want to improve?

Your answer may surprise you or a least spark some interesting internal dialogue around why you do what you do.

We all have our motivation for wanting to improve and when you really connect with your purpose, you will jump into improving with an almighty splash and begin to feel and see results quickly, but if you’re unsure as to why you want to improve, improving won’t come easily to you.

In The recent docuseries the Last Dance about the Chicago Bulls, NBA team of the 90’s, Michael Jordan, arguably the best player that ever lived, told a story about how a young player had got the better of him in a game, scoring 37 points.  It was said that after the game the player, LeBradford Smith uttered something to Jordan like “good game’, Jordan took this small comment as fuel to motivate him for the next game and said he would score his opponents full game total of 37 by half time next time they met.  Jordan went to score 36 and proved a point.

But here’s where his motivation goes to another level.  The comment Smith made, was never made!  Jordan allegedly made up the story, meaning it wasn’t the verbal comment made by Smith that lit his fire, which in itself would be a good mindset, but it was simply his inner voice, creating a scenario that fuelled the fire.

Can you imagine!  The desire to win and improve so badly was simply created by imagining another player said something disrespectful to him!  Now that’s on another level but it is possible to create motivation from anything and it doesn’t have to come from an external source.

In this instance, Jordan’s vision was to beat the same team that beat them the night before and get revenge on a young player.

He simply needed to tell himself the right words.

When creating your ideal vision, think short term, as in next few days, medium term, next few weeks and long terms, next few months/years and keep it realistic.

You can’t tell yourself you’ll be the best in the world if your diet is poor, you are constantly tired and you aren’t even close to being great.

But it’s important to get into good habits so you can achieve your short term, medium term and long term vision.

It’s habits that will help drive you forward.

So now, with that new perspective, ask yourself, for what purpose do I want to improve?

Categories
esports mindset

Your Values. Are You Aligned?

Your values  form the foundation on which you perform work and conduct yourselves. … The core values are the basic elements of how you go about your work

 but when it comes to sports, you should remind yourself some of your values might be compromised and that’s when problems can occur.  They may present a list of values but are these real values or hollow values?

For example if one of your values is respect, for yourself and others, yet your manager fails to treat you with respect, there will be an internal conflict for you to work out and raises questions like, shall I stay or should I go, Shall I mention it to my manager, shall I keep quiet because If I say something I will be thrown off the team….

Let’s consider a few values that should be included in all sports delivery

Accountability

Consistency

Determined

Disciplined

Growth

Professionalism

Self-worth

Team work

Courage

Understanding

You will interpret each of these values in your own way based on your past experiences and so will everyone else.  It’s unfair to assume your interpretation of professionalism is the same as one of your team mates.  Its unfair to assume your interpretation of growth is the same as your manager’s, which brings us to the importance of communication.

Without conversations and dialogue and specific questions, teams and individuals can quickly lose focus so let’s look at three important questions any player should be encouraged to ask to help them understand the values of themselves and the team:-

1) What can I do differently to help the team?

2) What is the one strength I have that you can count on that helps the team?

3) What works when we are winning?
Consider what your three core values are and ask yourself if you’re aligned with them or does something need to change?

Categories
esports mindset overcoming challenges

Improve your communication with cake recipes

Esports and cake?

There is a link between cakes and esports and not the obvious one you might be thinking. We are talking about recipes and when it comes to improving performance, it’s all about the recipes, so let’s look at what you need to do.

Follow a recipe of course!

You’ve got your ingredients for a cake but now what do you do with them? How do you transform these individual items into something really tasty?

Unless you’re trained and have done it before, the likely hood is you’ll follow a recipe and a method that involves weighing, measuring, mixing and heating and if things go to plan, your cake will be completed, ready to eat (and share if you really want to) in the shape of an X-box or PS or something that you can enjoy

Recipe for your mind

Imagine for a moment the cake represents your ideal outcome. Whether that’s finding confidence, or improving performance or overcoming an issue that’s been bugging you for a while, you want a different outcome than the one you’re currently getting

Just like the recipe for the cake there is a recipe for the mind and the ingredients include how you see, hear and feel and when you learn how to mix them in the right way, your ideal outcome will be achieved quickly

The hard part is convincing yourself, you are ready to try mixing the ingredients up differently and this is hard because to do that, you must first understand how and why you think. Have you got the time and open mind to learn new perspectives?

Changing your recipe

Over your life you’ve created beliefs, values and habits, rightly or wrongly but somewhere down the line, you decided you want to change things; you want things to be better for you. Perhaps you feel tired all the time, perhaps you have had enough of losing or perhaps you want to try something new? whatever different outcome you want, you have to think and act differently.

The thought of changing can be enough to put some people off from trying, but it’s important to know changing takes courage and determination and will lead to different outcomes, and by coming out of your comfort zone for just a few moments, you will begin to feel a change. Then you ride that momentum and embrace what’s happening

New outcomes achieved!

Just like baking that cake of yours, getting the right outcome takes time to perfect. When I was younger, every Christmas I would bake a chocolate log, a Swiss role covered in chocolate. I’d make about five of them for my relatives and I was that skilled, I could do it without a recipe because I got into the zone and just did it. But to get to that level took time. Yes I made mistakes but quickly ate up the evidence before my mum saw

You deserve to find new outcomes if the ones you’re achieving now, aren’t providing you with what you need or desire, so embrace change, embrace your ability to do things differently and start to bake a new cake!

One FIFA pro I was working with talked about letting his team down, being distracted and wanting to finish the game quickly and score quickly which led to hasty decisions.  We talked about his thoughts and broke them down then reframed his thinking to create a new emotion which led to improved outcomes of winning game 1 – 0 or 2 – 0 and getting more wins.  He’s recently beaten two brilliant players, DullenMike the youngest winner of a FUT Champions Cup in the history of EA SPORTS FIFA and The Gorilla, arguably the GOAT of FIFA.

The point is this – When you have a need or desire to improve, you can change your thinking to fast track your way to improvements by changing your recipe, just like you can change a recipe from a chocolate chip cake to a strawberry cake, you make a couple of adjustments and off you go.  You might not get it right first time but you have taken the first steps to improving

Categories
esports overcoming challenges

How to improve performance in esports

Cakes and esports?

Photo by Elli on Pexels.com

Yes there is a link between cakes and esports and not the obvious one you might be thinking. We are talking about recipes and when it comes to improving performance, it’s all about the recipes, so let’s look at what you need to do.

Follow a recipe of course!

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

You’ve got your ingredients for a cake but now what do you do with them? How do you transform these individual items into something really tasty?

Unless you’re trained and have done it before, the likely hood is you’ll follow a recipe and a method that involves weighing, measuring, mixing and heating and if things go to plan, your cake will be completed, ready to eat (and share if you really want to) in the shape of an X-box or PS or something that you can enjoy

Recipe for your mind

Photo by Abbat on Pexels.com

Imagine for a moment the cake represents your ideal outcome. Whether that’s finding confidence, or improving performance or overcoming an issue that’s been bugging you for a while, you want a different outcome than the one you’re currently getting

Just like the recipe for the cake there is a recipe for the mind and the ingredients include how you see, hear and feel and when you learn how to mix them in the right way, your ideal outcome will be achieved quickly

The hard part is convincing yourself, you are ready to try mixing the ingredients up differently and this is hard because to do that, you must first understand how and why you think. Have you got the time and open mind to learn new perspectives?

Changing your recipe

Photo by Peter Laskowski on Pexels.com

Over your life you’ve created beliefs, values and habits, rightly or wrongly but somewhere down the line, you decided you want to change things; you want things to be better for you. Perhaps you feel tired all the time, perhaps you have had enough of losing or perhaps you want to try something new? whatever different outcome you want, you have to think and act differently.

The thought of changing can be enough to put some people off from trying, but it’s important to know changing takes courage and determination and will lead to different outcomes, and by coming out of your comfort zone for just a few moments, you will begin to feel a change. Then you ride that momentum and embrace what’s happening

New outcomes achieved!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Just like baking that cake of yours, getting the right outcome takes time to perfect. When I was younger, every Christmas I would bake a chocolate log, a Swiss role covered in chocolate. I’d make about five of them for my relatives and I was that skilled, I could do it without a recipe because I got into the zone and just did it. But to get to that level took time. Yes I made mistakes but quickly ate up the evidence before my mum saw

You deserve to find new outcomes if the ones you’re achieving now, aren’t providing you with what you need or desire, so embrace change, embrace your ability to do things differently and start to bake a new cake!


Are you an esports pro or CEO of an esports organsation?

Has this post intrigued you?

Please comment and share and make a difference

Categories
esports Inner Voice Tips

Why is that giraffe in the picture?

Knowing your creativity

Photo by David Cassolato on Pexels.com

Improving performance and wellbeing has to be led by you. You have to take the right action and be accountable for your actions as you reflect and adjust and in this blog, I want to share the most powerful aspect of improving performance and wellbeing – your thoughts because it’s your thoughts that drive you to take action/your performance/behaviour

Be aware of your surroundings

Photo by EVG Culture on Pexels.com

Let me take you through a quick fun exercise that helps you understand your thoughts

Take a few seconds to take action on each suggestion:

Look around – what do you see

Listen to the sounds around you what do you hear

Notice your body position and notice the what you’re leaning on, standing on or sitting on

Place your attention to what you can taste

Move your attention to what you can smell

Our five senses help us interpret the world around us but it’s important to understand we can’t process all five at once…Try it.

We are bombarded by about 11 bits of information per second yet we can only process about 50 bits. Think about that for a moment.  That’s a lot of information we are missing or choosing to ignore.

Why do we ignore bits of information?  Because our minds don’t think they have any purpose at that specific moment in time and it’s the exact reason why you haven’t paid attention to your big toe until now.  Spending time thinking about it serves no purpose.

You’ve been successful at connecting with your external methods of communication using your 5 senses so let’s consider your internal communication system

Your internal communication

Again, take a few seconds to take action on each suggestion

Close your eyes and think about your favourite place, a holiday, a sporting event or with friends or family. It’s entirely up to you

What images do you see?

Staying with your favourite place, what sounds can you hear?

Staying in that place, What do you feel?  Warmth, cold, Comfort?

Is there a taste that connects you to that place

Is there a smell that connects you to that place?

Your external and communication systems will form the foundation for your future learning and will help you understand why you think what you think and why you do what you do, which when it comes to improving performance and wellbeing are very relevant

Now imagine a giraffe in your favourite place! Simply pop it in there.

Did you notice the change in your facial expressions, your emotions and your ability to create thoughts?

Change your thought – change your outcome

Photo by Jonas Svidras on Pexels.com

Now you understand your thoughts on a deeper level and how you can change your thoughts, knowing how to improve your performance and wellbeing should become clearer. All you do is change your thoughts. It takes time to learn and just like training physical muscles, it takes time to adjust but with practice, you will find ways to improve quickly

Categories
esports mindset Tips

What to do after a mistake

Mistakes happen!

There is no player in the world that doesn’t make mistakes but many people get upset after a mistake, get angry or even turn off the game! Have you experienced one of those?

There are three things you need to learn which will not only improve your performance but grow your confidence as a person when you need it most

Whatever the mistake is, you quickly accept it happened and immediately bring your thoughts back into the moment. Focus on the present and allow any thoughts about what just happened, to leave your mind quickly

Your inner-voice is powerful and it’s this you need to practice. Tell yourself “I’m doing my best” rather than “WTF happened then!” or “I won’t win now!”

These words will bring a calm to your mind and a calm mind is a focused mind

Tell yourself a mistake is simply a way to learn. You learn by repetition, but also by pushing your boundaries and even when you make a mistake during a simple move, you still tell yourself, you can learn from it.

Some really beat themselves up after a mistake that should never happen but remember we all make mistakes and the key is to refocus quickly

This recipe is one you need to learn in order to improve and stay ahead of the competition and remember, the more you practice, the better you get.

You owe it to yourself to keep improving, to grow and develop as a gamer because there a revery few people out there who will guide you in ways you need to be guided. You have a level of accountability to give yourself the best chance you can

Categories
esports Inner Voice

It’s Christmas

Enjoy

Today is Christmas day and although it’s strange times, know you can appreciate the people around you and the fact you’re alive and gaming has provided you with some ups and down, successes and losses and connected you with people around the world and that in itself is pretty amazing!

What will 2021 bring? Only you know that and allow me to leave you with one little nugget of brilliance

Your thoughts drive you to wherever you focus them as long as those thoughts are realistic.

Your thoughts drive you to behave certain ways but there is a time and place to be conscious of this recipe and today you can give yourself permission to enjoy your family, the food, the company and connect with the people around you

Merry Christmas!

Categories
esports mindset

Death and Performance

Death

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

On Thursday I attended my best friend’s funeral, who had tragically and unfairly died of cancer. Someone I had known for 36 years was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in June and despite all attempts of making it go away, nothing worked.

On Thursday I officially said goodbye to him but a thought kept coming into my head.

Was there anything he could have done differently?

The Pirate Recipe

Photo by Mateusz Dach on Pexels.com

We both played basketball and represented our county (England) at different age groups and as he followed a career in teaching, my interest in performance took me another route, and as I sat in the church listening to the vicar and watching the photos of him scroll through on the screen, amidst the tears I was holding back, I asked if there was anything he could have done differently.

In esports and sports to improve, there is a simple recipe to follow

  • Action – this refers to game time, the playing element of the recipe. This is where you pitch your skills against others
  • Reflect – When the game has ended, you should get in to the habit of reflecting
  • Adjust – When you reflect, you analyse what went well and what you can do differently with the aim to improve with each game by making slight adjustments in training and in games
  • Repeat – When you’ve played and analysed, and adjusted you repeat the process knowing you’ve done what you can to improve and strive towards being the best you can be. This is how you improve

I call this recipe the pirate recipe ARAR!

Reflection

Photo by Ismael Sanchez on Pexels.com

My friend had cancer and when I asked myself the question “what could he have done differently” I wonder about the times he put others before himself, the times he went the extra mile, and the stress that comes with being the head of a prestigious boarding school in Harrogate and I have to remind myself, he chose to be that person he presented to the world. It was how he was, that made him happy and helped him thrive. He couldn’t have done anything differently because he was great at what he did and the love for him proved he was someone that thrived in helping others.

Losing is always a possibility

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In the game of life, my friend did everything he could to try to win, to beat the cancer but still came up short and in sports, sometimes you an do all you can to try to win, but on the day, your competition is just better. Perhaps it’s luck, perhaps it’s skill or a combination of both but when you lose, you have to accept it for what it is and make adjustments – ARAR!

Unfortunately for my friend there was no way back from beating cancer. There was no rematch, there was no foul called, it was what it was.

But in esports and sports you get the chance to regroup and figure out what you can do differently and make adjustments

Play because you enjoy it

Photo by Lucie Liz on Pexels.com

Esports and sports should be enjoyable and draw out the best in you as an individual, and the moment that fun is lost, it’s time to reflect and really consider if what you are doing is the right thing for you. Do not accept you have to continue to play when the fun has been taken away. If your wellbeing is being affected, you have to ask why because the amount of time and energy you spend playing esports and sports has value and if that value isn’t appreciated, it’s time to make changes

And as I sit writing this, I ask myself is there anything in my life I can adjust to bring more joy into my life and I know what I have to do.

Categories
esports motivation Tips

A mistake is a lesson

Unable to handle the pressure!

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Many years ago when I was competing for the England U19 basketball team, I made a horrendous mistake that cost us a game.

The game was close and in the closing minutes they pressed us, forcing pressure on us in the back court. At the time I wasn’t a great ball handler, I was more a scorer and an elite defender.

I remember two players coming at me, forcing me to dribble backwards and in my panic I made a pass.

A poor pass!

The ball was intercepted and they went and scored.

The coach left me on for another play and the same thing happened!

I think we ended up losing by 4 and I remember blaming myself. I was 17 at the time and told myself that would never happen again.

Growing and improving

Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

Putting myself under pressure in training gave me the ability to learn to handle the pressure and act differently. My peripheral vision increased, my ball handling skills had improved dramatically and I looked to put myself in those situations and learned to thrive in those so called pressure situations.

I went on to compete in the second tier of British basketball and was voted an All-Star, one of the 20 best players in the division.

Who helped me?

Photo by Viktoria on Pexels.com

Coaches don’t always know what to do! They don’t always know what you’re thinking or feeling and often have their own agenda and try to fit you into their agenda. But every now and again a coach will share an insight that sparks something inside.

I improved because I found a spark and wanted to improve. My desire to improve was greater than my desire to stay the same or even let pressure swallow me up whole and spit me out. I created a drive to be the best I could be. I just needed a coach to believe in my talent and let me do my thing on the court

The ego is a barrier to improving

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When a player or coach believes it’s their way or the highway, failure is just around the corner but a person willing to put their ego to one side and have an open mind to learning, great things can happen.

My England coach told me, if I was ever to improve I would have to learn how to improve my dribbling and I knew exactly what he was referring to. I didn’t need telling twice

Allow the mistake to drive you

Photo by Jonas Svidras on Pexels.com

We all make mistakes but some people take self-sabotaging actions after a mistake is made. They grab fatty, salty food, go for the high caffeine energy drinks and blame themselves trying to find the ‘why’ and lose sleep.

This leads to burnout and a drop in mental and physical health and ultimately losing the love for the game. Don’t let that happen to you!

Your mind is amazing when you give it a chance and understand you can control it so let me share this simple trick.

After a mistake, refocus your thoughts on what you can immediately do differently. Stay focused on the present. Keep your thoughts on the present and do what you do best. You can’t change the past so there is no real benefit of focusing your attention on it at this time.

If this blog has intrigued you or has raised a question in your mind, please comment and I will get back to you

Play with purpose

Mike

Categories
esports mindset Tips

Mental Improvement Tip

Shoot the ball

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Legs!”

I used to play basketball at a high level and these days as much as I enjoy playing more for fitness these days, I still take pride in being the best I can be

Shooting the ball was something I was great at and can still shoot well these days and have to let you know the little trick I use to keep me focused and on my game and why it’s important for you to use this trick

Things won’t always go your way. You will make mistakes during your competitions and its very important you teach yourself to get back on track quickly to avoid your mind wandering and losing even more ground on your competitors so you need to consciously do something to jerk your mind back into action

Recognise The Fault

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When I miss a shot that’s short, I know it’s because I didn’t have enough power in my shot. When I don’t have enough power in my shot I know I didn’t bend my legs enough. Rather than curse under my breath or look to blame something, I utter the word ‘legs’, out-loud

This verbal cue is a clear signal to my brain to make an adjustment quickly and prepare for next time I shoot

Purposeful Self-Talk

Photo by David Cassolato on Pexels.com

Purposeful self-talk will help you clear your mind and pull you back into the moment where you can continue to compete with a positive adjustment

I was speaking with a FIFA pro earlier and I shared my story with him and after I explained the concept and purpose, he came up with a word and anchored the word to a new positive thought that will give him another tool in his box of tricks when he competes, meaning he’s improved in a subtle way, but nonetheless, improved

Your Reality

What word can you use and what meaning can you attach or anchor to that word so when you make a mistake, you can utter that word quickly and refocus?

I invite you to comment and ask questions as you deserve to improve as a player and stay ahead of the competition