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esports mindset motivation

Esports FIFA pro journey of improvement

What’s it like to compare yourself to brilliance?

One of my first questions with a client is ‘what’s really holding you back?’  We have to cut through the bullshit and get to the nitty-gritty of what the real issue is so we can begin to find solutions quickly.

Back in February 2020, comparing himself to brilliance was one of the situations one of my clients experienced as a member of a pro FIFA team with the number 4 player in the world as a teammate.  He felt he wasn’t good enough.  He felt under-prepared and under pressure.  He felt he was letting the team down.

After a few coaching sessions exploring limiting beliefs and internal communication (self-talk) we removed the sense of comparison and replaced it with ownership of his own ability for when you learn to focus on developing self to be the best you can be as opposed to trying to catch up to those better than you, great things will happen.  

Does this sound familiar?  Do you compare yourself to your better team-mates?

Stop it now!  They had a different journey and life experiences than you and to compare yourself to them is like comparing the capabilities of a PS4 with a PS1, it’s just not fair.  Learn and appreciate and accept your own journey without comparing yourself to others and great things will happen for you and your team.

New perspectives lead to improved results

You can choose to follow the crowd or walk your own path.  How easy is it to follow the crowd?  Just ask a sheep.  This is what they do best!  Following the crowd creates a sense of belonging, acceptance and common ground in which to connect with your fellow humans so why should anyone dare to walk in the other direction?  

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant (RIP), Messi.  Do you think they followed the crowd?  

To improve ahead of the natural curve you must do things differently, not necessarily more, but differently.  

My client learned to do things differently, which led to multiple top 100 results weekly and monthly meaning he became one of the top 100 players in the world whereas prior to working with me, he never made the top 100.  

UPDATE ALERT – “I played the pro for Hamburg at 27-1 who beat me a few days back. I beat him 2-0. I controlled the tempo and the whole game.  I’m in the top 20 in the world for the month!” 

Don’t be a sheep, be bold and grow in a different direction than the crowd.

Growth and sustained performance

Small increments of improvement add up to huge rewards and benefits and It’s only in the end result you can truly appreciate the smart work you’ve done has paid off.  

This message from my client showed me the growth of his performance in just a short space of time, ahead of the natural curve.  “The weekend league I finished 29-1. A handful of games finished 1-0 to me, which I now realise, is still a WIN! 1-0 or 10-0 same result!  Don’t celebrate till the final whistle.  My stream hit an all time high!  I usually hit maximum 20 views if I’m lucky, I got tup to 7.6k at one point!!   Sorry for this late message but check this 30-0 A first 30 win weekend!  The amount I’ve improved this last month is crazy, your help is honestly incredible”  

Coaching gives me moments like this that I cherish and value because improving takes guts.  It takes a bold move to come out of your comfort zone and learn how to do things differently.  But not everything will go your way and what happens when the unexpected happens?  What can you do when events out of your control hit you hard?  Find out next time to discover how my client dealt with Covid.

The Covid-19 Factor

Just as my client was getting ready to kick ass in competitions, a virus put everything on hold for FIFA, meaning the momentum we were building could have been lost.  Some would throw in the towel; see it as a way of relaxing and use Covid as an excuse as to why their performance has dropped.  What choice did my client take?  Did he throw the towel in and make excuses?  Here’s what he told me 

“The best in the world isn’t grinding as much, it’s almost as though he’s happy with his position at the top, but it won’t last forever and that’s why I’m not sitting back while it’s off season and accepting the competitive season is on hold, since we’ve been working together I’ve developed an obsession with being the absolute best and I’m not going to stop.  I feel like we’ve made incredible progress but there’s obviously always improvements to be made.  So happy about this Mike.  Mind-set is everything!  You motivate me, knowing every Monday I receive a message from you with an update and I enjoy knowing there’s a little pressure from you.  Even Covid, such a negative effect on the world but I believe I’ve used it as a positive to better myself”  

Boom!  The mind-set of a champion in the making right there!

New beginnings

There’s light at the end of this tunnel and with the momentum on his side; his mind-set has been honed and adjusted and ready for the new season. 

He knows he’s been working smart and doing everything in his power to make an immediate impact.  

Have others been doing the same?  It doesn’t matter.  Have others been slacking off?  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is my client has been preparing in a way that has allowed him to unlock his potential in ways he wouldn’t have known.  

With a new mind-set comes a new perspective of the world and not only in Esports but in life.  The tools we explore go much deeper than sports and this quote from him demonstrates why 

“The game (FIFA 21) has just dropped for 10 hours early access so I’ve been just grinding it non stop.  I’m learning constantly to better myself on and off the pitch.  I’m excited for the year ahead!”

The first week of competition and this happened!

It came to the first weekend league, the first test & im instantly in the top 100 finishing 29 wins & 1 loss, making me verified first week! I’m happy with this but the 1 loss on penalties is in the back of my mind because I know I’m even better and capable of even more!

His thoughts on the coaching journey

This player is eager, he’s hungry to grow but not all players have this mindset and for me, as a coach I have to know if potential clients have the right mind set and ask three simple questions

  • Do you have a need or desire to improve
  • Have you an open mind to learning new techniques and strategy
  • With my support are you prepared to take new action for improved results

Mike, it’s amazing it’s such a great journey what we’ve been through! Good times and bad times!
I’m a lot more patient, stuff isn’t going to happen overnight and the little details are so so affective! I’m using so much as motivation in everything

Are you a gamer, A performance director or CEO wanting to know how to improve performance?

Have you found this blog interesting and useful?

Let me know and let’s connect

Mike

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#mental health esports mindset

Esports – Not just bright lights and amazing content

Burnout at 23!!!

https://esportscontinental.com/uzi-officially-retires-from-league-of-legends/

China’s most famous e-sports player, Jian Zihao, has officially retired from gaming aged 23, citing ill-health reported the BBC in June 2020 (See the full article here)

He had been a professional gamer since 2012, playing League of Legends under the name of “Uzi”.

THE IMPACT

“As a result of staying up late for years, a fatty diet and being under insurmountable stress, last year I found out that I was type-2 diabetic.”

He went on to say that he had changed his work schedule, exercised and “taken medicine”, but that his situation had not changed.

“My mental state is not as good as it was before,” he said.

This is very telling of his lifestyle and the pitfalls of being a pro gamer.

THE GROWTH

https://fnatic.com

In my 8 months of being involved in Esports as a coach, I’ve come to realise gaming as a profession is relatively new, yet esports is growing at a considerable rate. The (former) CEO of Fnatic, Sam Matthews one of the leading Esports organisations with its headquarters in the UK, has this to say about growth.

“While the esports model has always had the keys to success with a continued rise in prominence with a larger global audience, the pandemic accelerated the awareness of the phenomenon. The pandemic highlighted the importance of digital streaming platforms and traditional broadcasters followed suit, reproducing the successful esports model. With broadcasters on board, we anticipate seeing the line of distinction between traditional sports, entertainment and esports continue to blur.” (Read the full article in Forbes here)

THE DILEMMA

Balance

With growth at such a fast pace, the pressures and expectations to succeed suddenly become a lot more real and here’s the dilemma. Young adults who dominate the demographic of gamers need to be resilient and understand there is more to winning than practicing up to 14 hours a day.

They have to consider downtime, diet, physical activity, spending time with family and friends and creating a schedule that allows the person to thrive and find a balance

When the person thrives, the professional gamer thrives

Uzi, the example above, didn’t know or understand the value and importance of finding that balance and personally I believe he can make a comeback with a few mental adjustments and changes to his lifestyle.

The question is does he want to get involved again?

THE POTENTIAL CHALLENGES

If you follow traditional sports like football (soccer) basketball and cricket for example, you can google many examples of players struggling under the pressure, suffering from anxiety and falling out of the game they once loved.

Do we want the same to happen to the young esports players? Let me remind you of the words of Sam Matthews “we anticipate seeing the line of distinction between traditional sports, entertainment and esports continue to blur.” Already we know the lines are already blurred from a mental wellbeing perspective.

For 7 years as a mental performance coach, I’ve coached footballers and basketball players and spoken to many former players about their issues and anxieties including how they were treated by their managers, their agents and others who wanted to exploit the players only for their own financial gain and I’d like to think a governing body to support the wellbeing of esports athletes is at least being considered. If not, I’m ready to lead on creating that project.

THE BRILLIANCE OF ESPORTS

League Of Legends Final 2019

If I were to join a team or even start a team, I’d place the wellbeing of the player at the centre of the organisation because I know if the players aren’t thriving the organisation will fail. Yes I’m aware there will be others waiting in the wings, but is that the message I’d want to send? If you can’t handle the pressure we will simply replace you? Definitely not!

Technology, content, apparel, hardware, software, events etc all play a huge part in the promotion and delivery of esports which is brilliant but sometimes, lost beneath all this excitement, social media presence, bright lights and amazing content is the fact that the players and indeed content creators need to understand how to navigate this world without experiencing burnout, anxiety or pressures because when they do, the love and passion for what they do will fade and losing a passion through burnout can be devastating. Just ask Uzi

If you’ve found this blog interesting, misinformed or intriguing, please let me know and comment. I’m open to feedback, questions and celebrations.

Live with purpose

Mike