EVO 2019 is right around the corner and whether you're attending and competing or just playing casuals, the following infomation will give you the edge in your game you've been seeking. We decided to team up with Sports Psychologist Justine Jones, M.S. to put together a 3 part series that includes insight into some helpful tips that can take your game to the next level just in time for "the biggest, hypest, and most prestigious fighting game tournament in the world!"
1. Control the Controllables
Do you want to win? Be the best? Or even just improve from your current state? Most people will tell you that hard work, intentional effort, and consistency will get you there BUT there is a game changer that often gets overlooked, your mindset. Recent research shows that success is more of a mindset than pure physical talent.
For the esport athlete, winning is more than just mastering the specific demands of your sport. Your ability to focus your effort and energy into the right tasks is the secret to take you to the top. It’s a pretty simple idea, control your controllables in order to get the results you crave. In theory easy, in practice, not so much. Your energy is limited and if you choose to use it on things you can’t change, it often leads to frustration and your performance suffers. Think of it as continually walking into a cement wall... The wall’s not moving, so YOU should make an adjustment.
During your performance there will be things you cannot control like the crowd, the atmosphere and your opponent. These examples are your competition wall. Your real power lies in your ability to know what you can control.
Your focus, your attitude, your preparation and your emotions all fall within things you can control. When you focus on these elements, you will think more effectively and perform more consistently. No more wasting energy trying to change what you cannot. Take charge and control what you can.
Competition begins with your mindset. When you make it to the top, when you have achieved comparable physical skills of your opponents, the only thing that separates the winner from the loser is the mind. Train your mind to know what is under your control and then make the necessary adaptations. If you want to lead the pack, then let your mind adapt and win.
Remember mental skills are just like physical skills. It will take time and effort to change current behaviors and patterns! PRACTICE and repeat. If our mind wanders 100 times the important thing is to be able to bring it back to the present 101 times.
Feeling anxious? Having trouble deciphering what you can and can’t control? Use the guide below. Draw 2 circles. On the inside circle write everything that you have immediate control over. Examples: Your focus, your attitude, your breathing, and your emotions. Now on the outer circle write everything that you have no control over. Examples: the crowd, the atmosphere and your opponent. In moments of stress or anxiety refer back to your circle of control. If it falls outside your circle of control, breathe and let it go. The next step is to figure out what is in your control and redirect your attention towards that.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Sharpening Your Competitive Edge as an Esports Athlete, "Be Where Your Feet Are".
Justine Jones M.S.
Sport Psychology Consultant
Mental Performance Coach