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overcoming challenges esports

How to improve performance in esports

Cakes and esports?

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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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?

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Categories
esports mindset

Death and Performance

Death

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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Uncategorized

Have Fun!

Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?

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Gaming is amazing! Playing for fun and enjoyment connects you with people all around the world and helps build confidence and social skills and there has been some positive things written about gaming and you deserve to enjoy what you do. remember you started to game for fun and it’s important to remember that

When Things Get Competitive

Perhaps casual gaming turned into something more serious when you started to win. Others began to pay attention to you and offer you opportunities that excited you and raised your curiosity

When the competitive element is added, others can bring a sense of seriousness into the mix as their expectations to win, can sometimes affect your perspective because once winning and money are added to the equation, the purpose of gaming changes

Getting Real

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There is a mental shift when gaming shifts from ‘just for fun’, to ‘competing for prizes’ and some people can’t handle that shift and I wonder how these young teenagers do cope with the changes because it’s hard enough as a young teenager dealing with life changes without the added pressure of trying to live up to the expectations of others and unless you have a natural ability to stay grounded or receive training, when things get real, some can be overwhelmed and begin to fall apart

Is Being A Pro For You?

Being a pro isn’t for everyone and there’s no shame in admitting or accepting you’ve gone as far as you choose to go, yet the prizes, rewards and association with others can drive you to learn new strategy and perspectives, have an open mind to learning and improve quickly to stay ahead of the competition

I was speaking with someone in the British Esports Association earlier and he was telling me the bright lights and dreams of becoming a pro and earning millions, suck young gamers in, but there is little to help them manage the expectation so many are left very disappointed, overwhelmed and flapping around spending hours trying to make it when they don’t have a chance, but they cling to a dream

Have Fun

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Gaming is fun! Having a strategy is very important for your wellbeing and you need to be able to reflect and take stock of where you are and consider if you’re having fun as a professional gamer. If you’re not having fun you really need to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing

There will be challenging times, there will be times when you lose, there will be times when you’re distracted, there will be times of success, there will be times of celebration and the roller coaster of ups and downs are part of being a professional gamer and if you can accept this and look after yourself, then you’re on the right path to success


Elite Sports Minds 23 offers insights such as this one but we also deliver services to help the esports industry focus on delivering a player centric approach to improve performance and value by recognising winning is simply an outcome of lots of things falling right and we know what needs to happen to win and want to share those insights with you

Please comment, share and like and remember…have fun!