3 tips for effective self-talk in esports – Esports psychology

We all talk to ourselves. It’s as natural as breathing. But a lot of time we fall a victim of this internal dialogue.. Especially in competitive environment such as esports. When things are not going well in-game we tend to be more negative about ourselves and even when we try not to think about negativity, it seems like we lost control even more. Negative thoughts will increase anxiety levels and make you more emotionally unstable during your most important times in-game. Luckily, there is something players could do. In fact, professional players are well aware about this mental skill and are actively using it to overcome their opponents and improve their game. It’s called effective self-talk. Research and practice shows that those who practice positive self-talk are more likely not to suffer from negative thoughts, improve their confidence and motivation. It also helps players to be more relaxed and focused. In this short article I will share with you three simple and effective tips to enhance your internal dialogue. 

Practice self-talk ahead of time

There is no doubt that self-talk during play is the one you should be focused on. However it’s only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. If you actually want to improve it you should practice effective self-talk in advance. This type of thinking is not our natural instinct. It requires a lot of intentional practice mainly outside the server., positive self-talk can take some practice. Give yourself time and keep in mind that progress is very individual. A lot of it depends on your personal qualities. If you are a more optimistic person in general it would be a lot easier. For those who consider themselves more pessimistic and negative would be a bit harder but definitely achievable.

Focus on what should be done, rather than what should be avoided.

A lot of players focus on what they should avoid or fix. Research and practice shows that this practice is not so effective. Instead, try to use more positive instructions focused on what should be done. Examples could be such as “You’ve got a good aim with this weapon”, or “you’ve got this good this time” rather than “Avoid moving here” or “Don’t throw this grenade here” etc. Such positive and focused on productivity self-talk would boost your confidence and motivation in-game without you even realizing it.

Keep an open mind

Even though positive self-talk has a lot of practical value, sometimes different situations might call for different types of self-talk. Research shows that different players are influenced positively by different type of self-talk. This means that for some it’s okay to have a bit more negative or critical self-dialogue while others are influence positively only by positive self-talk. The most important thing is to be a bit more open-minded and do a proper self-analysis which would help you to adapt different types of self-talk in different situations. Always remember to give yourself credit for each successful kill, strategical move or success in-game.

If you want to become the master of your thoughts and emotions during game message me at and get your first session free!

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About George
George Atanasov is a mental performance consultant, currently working in professional esports. He has experience consulting elite athletes and esports players. If you want to improve your mental game sign up for a free initial session with him by messaging at

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