There’s a secret that few organisations understand, because either their focus is on other things they feel demand more attention or they have yet to understand the value and power of this secret.
I’ve been using this secret for over ten years with outstanding results yet when I presented the idea to other organisations, they either ignored them, believed things should be done as they have always been done or had their eyes on other methods to get the best out of a player.
Let me share the secret with you because whether you believe it or not, or whether you have other methods to help a player, at least I have done my bit in passing it on. With the idea simply sitting in my head, who benefits from that?
There’s a powerful lesson I learned many years ago which forms a huge part of this secret and it’s at this point I have to tell you, you won’t suddenly start winning once you know this secret, but the player will learn to be the best they can be and it’s also important to know, and I’m sure you do, there are various levels of ability and no two players are the same, yet this secret allows any player of any ability to be the best they can be.
Many organisations get the formula wrong. They go for the best players, and when they struggle, they simply replace them. I understand why organisations do this, but there is so much more to winning than getting the best players together and crossing your fingers. Even when you have the best players together, you’re not guaranteed to win but start to use this secret and you’ll feel and see the results.
Our performance is driven by our emotions. Our emotions are driven by our thoughts, therefore our thoughts drive our performance.
No that wasn’t the secret, but it is an inight. The insight isn’t to simply know this, but to learn the details that exist in the thoughts, break them down, and remove any challenge or internal barrier that stops the player from being their best.
I’m trained in identifying these details and breaking them down and recognising the real challenge and barriers that exist. I’m also trained in breaking down those barriers and challenges, and creating new ways of thinking with purpose for improved results.
As a leader in an esports organisation, perhaps you’re a former player that naturally progressed into a leadership role, do you believe you know what it takes to get the best out of a player based on what you’ve read?
It’s OK if you don’t. You’ve spent your life gaming without really thinking about why you think and do what you do. There is no shame in not knowing how to get the best out of a player but there is shame in not doing anything about it. There is shame in not consulting or taking advice from someone who knows. Your players and yourself deserve to know how to be your best because when you’re not at your best, all those around you will suffer.
The secret to getting the best out of a person isn’t to force them to try harder, train more hours, push them to their limits. The secret is to actively listen and teach them how to think with purpose.
Thanks for listening and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat
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
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 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
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
I’ve recently been made aware of a couple of instances that involve poor communication from managers that affect the players and I have to address this, not to call the managers out, but to help the players understand the right way to go about handling these situations, knowing you can’t control what others think or do but you can control what you think or do, and it’s important you deal with poor communication in a way that gives you back some sense of control
We all have different perspectives
Think of your up-bringing, your experiences and your passions, the conversations you have, the people around you and the opportunities that surround you and where you place your values.
These are exclusive to you and help you form your opinions of how the world operates and how you fit in with that perception of the world and just like you, managers have their perception of how the world operates and place value on certain things
In some unfortunate situations, it seems some managers or above don’t place the same value in the importance of communication as you might
And this can lead to frustration, missed opportunity or the idea that they just don’t give a crap about you as a person
But there has to be some reflection – have you been communicating your message as clear as you could have?
What can you do?
Accept it is what it is – there’s nothing you can do about things that have already happened so there’s no point spending energy or time on wondering why it happened but you can spend time and energy on what you can do next
We all have a level of self-respect and a level of how we think we deserve to be treated and when those levels aren’t being met, we create some negativity towards that person and when we do that, our behaviour towards them can change
Rather than let those negative thoughts and feelings ruin your focus and lower your sense of self-respect, tell yourself it is what it is and offer forgiveness in your head (forgiving in your head helps you move on from the negativity and focus on how you can move forward)
Here are three things you can do
Form a plan writing down short term, medium term, long term goals and your vision then create small projects that you can achieve
Use the negativity as fuel to drive you forward
Set up a meeting with the person to air your thoughts, suggesting there was a misunderstanding and what do they suggest you do together to move forward. This builds integrity and trust
Reconnect with your value
You are the one spending time and energy improving your craft, racking up more wins, setting new standards and growing. You have control over your actions and thoughts. Ask yourself one question to draw out your best. Ask yourself ‘for what purpose do I do what I do?”
You know what you need to do and poor communication from above, although annoying at the moment in time, does not reflect the person you are or the dedication you have to your craft. You are the one that can drive your career forward with careful planning and support
The academy is here to support you throughout your career and I want to invite others to subscribe and learn these mental tools so they too can learn how to navigate the life as an epsorts pro. If you know anyone that would benefit please forward the link so they can subscribe
I welcome comments and thoughts as this journey is about your growth
If you don’t think losing sucks then perhaps you’re not as competitive as you thought you were and your mind just isn’t primed for success?
That feeling of losing hits you when you when the clock has run out, the race ends and the result hasn’t gone in your favour.
What was the point!
What a f@cking disappointment!
How did that happen!
That moment of realisation can hit you hard but let me tell you this secret…
That moment of realisation is just one moment in time and is a small piece in the bigger picture
That moment of realisation provides you with valuable feedback
That moment of realisation is a learning experience
You weren’t the first and you won’t be the last to lose and what you do immediately afterwards will affect your future performances which leads me to ask the question – do you want to continue to improve?
One of the first thoughts you should get used to is accepting you lost. Accept on this occasion the chips didn’t fall in your favour, yet you leverage that pain and frustration and use that energy to analyse, break down and practice smarter ready for next time.
Some say you shouldn’t accept losing because losing makes you weak!
Bullsh@t! When you tell yourself not to accept losing, you are only setting unrealistic expectations and setting unrealistic expectations only leads to constant frustration and pressure
Losing is always an option!
The other question I want to ask you is – Did you do everything you could with the information you had to do your best?
Questions to help you grow
Common questions to ask yourself include:
Did I get enough sleep?
Was anything distracting me (phone, other person, a challenging life event)?
Was I relying too much on my reputation?
Was my training purposeful and smart?
When you ask yourself these questions and find the truth, there is one other question you must ask which is – What can I do differently next time?
Being part of this academy allows you to explore your thoughts, ideas and concerns in a safe place without the fear of being criticised or judged. The academy invites you to engage and ask questions and share your frustrations so solutions can be found fast.
Your mind is much more powerful than you give it credit for and as the academy shares more insights with you, you’ll see the bigger picture forming and with that in mind, ask yourself one final question and let me know the answer – What do you do when you lose and what can you do differently?
Winning is to be celebrated because you did a lot of things right to reach this outcome and you may have experienced some luck along we way (we all enjoy luck at some point in our lives), but it’s the realisation that all the training, smart work, rested nights and eating habits all played a part in achieving a win
Let me ask you this – Are you aware of what you did to win or is is coincidental?
The recipe for success
Some of you will know how a cake is made, but for the uninitiated let me tell you there’s ingredients, a recipe and a method
You take the ingredients, follow the recipe and method and if you do everything right, you end with an amazing cake!
You still with me? Good!
Just as the cake is the outcome, winning is the outcome when you work with the right ingredients and follow the recipe and method but in the recipe for success, your ingredients include how you think, the emotions you feel and what you do
These recipes are used within 7 areas of your being that include:
Stay ahead of the competition
When you’re winning, there is alignment and your recipe is pretty much spot on, and although you have an advantage over your opponents, when you’re winning you still need to tweak a few of the ingredients because there are others trying to steal those wins away from you.
When you’re at the top of your game, others will be doing all they can to bring you down and gain an advantage so it’s important to know what to do to stay ahead.
Winning consistently for a long period of time is difficult and very few people can accomplish great things consistently.
Think traditional sports men and women like Ronaldo, LeBron James, Messi, Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton.
What is it they do that you can learn from?
They are consistently taking care of their minds and bodies
The world of esports is different in the sense there is less physical training needed, but don’t let that fact lead you down a path of false sense of security.
Continue to grow
Your mind and body still need to grow and adjust to avoid burnout, anxiety and poor performance and to attract positivity, resilience and purpose
To continue to win, you must consciously embrace what’s working for you and continue to do it. Be conscious of your sleeping patterns, what you eat, drink and how you stay healthy.
Being part of this academy allows you to explore your thoughts, ideas and concerns in a safe place without the fear of being criticised or judged. The academy invites you to engage and ask questions and share your stories and frustrations so growth can be achieved easily together.
Your mind is much more powerful than you give it credit for and as the academy shares more insights with you, you’ll see the bigger picture forming and with that in mind, let me ask you these questions– What does winning mean to you? What does winning provide for you? What does winning bring to your life?
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!
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?