Sharpening Your Competitive Edge as an Esports Athlete: Part 3 of 3

Day 1 of EVO 2019 is upon us and the heat of competition is well and truly underway. With that, the third and final chapter of Sharpening Your Competitive Edge is here. Mental Performance Coach, Justine Jones, provides us with her final piece of advice to take your mental game to new heights.


3. Competence Over Confidence

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” --T. Harv Eker

Confidence is overrated. Yup, you read that right. I’m here to tell you confidence is not nearly as important as we tend to think it is. As competitors, we idealize confidence. We think we NEED it in order to perform and because of this, we tend to sit around waiting for it before we make a move. We often think, “I’ll act when I’m more confident, now isn’t the right time, or I’ll do it when I’m a little more certain.” We often forget that doubt, worry, and fear are part of the human experience. However, if you are always waiting for that PERFECT moment you WILL miss your window of opportunity. 

Moving forward, the important word is competency. You CAN be successful WITHOUT confidence. You CAN be successful BECAUSE you are competent. When fear paralyzes you, ask yourself these questions... Have I put in the necessary work to be successful? Do I want this for myself? How will my life benefit from this change? Am I afraid because I think I might fail? 

If you answered yes to one of the four previous questions it’s time to try something out. You must learn to lean in and trust your abilities. You will never spontaneously just “arrive”, no one will without putting in the appropriate effort. Be it competition in esports or life, there is constant change in everything. You must have enough self-belief to take a leap of faith and trust that you are more prepared than you realize. 

Leaps of faith are scary and that’s why we tend to avoid making them. It takes courage to face your fears. However, in order to progress forward in competition eventually you must do this. If you find yourself ready for a positive change in your gaming performance then here is some advice. Apply the following 3 steps in order to improve your confidence and more importantly learn to trust your competency.

1. Question your inner critic:

a. Question the doubts. What’s the worst that can happen? Are these thoughts actually true? What can I gain from this? Then, find ways to reward yourself for even the smallest victories.

2. Affirm yourself:

b. Having trouble finding phrases that don’t make you cringe when you say them? Try asking yourself a question instead. Rather than, “I deserve to be in the Top 8.” Ask yourself “Why am I in the Top 8?”. Your brain is wired to seek answers without inquiring validity from the question.

3. Jump:

c. Accept and face the fact that you’re scared. Being scared gives you the opportunity to be courageous. Be your own hero. The only way to truly know if you can or can’t is to act. So take the leap.


Justine Jones M.S.

Sport Psychology Consultant

Mental Performance Coach