The impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak is so massive and unpredictable that it literally threw our lives in chaos in all aspects. Small businesses collapsed in just a few days, major events in all industries were canceled without a warning and all of a sudden, we had to adapt to a completely different way of living. Even though esports were not affected as much as traditional sports, the social isolation took its toll on professional players mental health. Having this in mind, it’s not a surprise that in the past two months the most common reason why players contacted me was how to be less stressed and anxious during these hard times while at the same time deliver the best possible results in competition.
So here are a few tips, which helped players remain on top of their game during this crisis.
Focus on your present moment
Focusing on your present moment now is more crucial than ever. If you are truly focused on your present it’s a lot easier not to be stressed and anxious about the future. Always remember that as in life so in-game you can’t change what already happened and sometimes it is really hard to be certain about specific outcomes ahead in time. Yet most players are caught in this ‘anxious loop’ of regretting their past (often related to mistakes or bad decisions) and stressing about their future (next round or game). Such behavior, especially when often repeated, would only make you more stressed and would rob you from success.
Set small goals everyday
In dynamic and unpredictable scenarios such as the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak having a structured and well-defined long-term goals could be a challenge. Yet long-term goals are essential for being consistent and successful. A very useful thing you could do is to break-down your long-term goals to small specific daily or weekly bits and reward yourself every time you progress. This way you would stick to your long-term goals without being overwhelmed by them and you would also get instant rewards instead of waiting for the grand prize delayed in time.
Track your progress daily and adjust to changes
We all want to have a perfectly scheduled day but that’s often not the case. Instead of aiming towards such an idealistic scenario we can accept changes as they are and adapt to them. Having well-defined short-term goals in only half the work done. Tracking your progress is as much important, especially in unpredictable dynamic scenarios. Being on track with your goals would allow you to make better decisions on when to take breaks and when to push harder. It would also provide you with the opportunity to make changes and adjust healthy to dynamic situations in-game and in real life.
Give and require feedback
Often our own perception of our performance is distorted by various factors even though to us it seems like it is objective. Giving and receiving feedback is probably one of the most valuable actions every professional esports player must do on a regular basis. Timely and regular feedback is the best ‘real time performance tracking tool’. You simply can’t be objective about yourself, your performance and your goals if the only source of information is yourself alone. Sadly, a lot of players underestimate the benefits of this communication process and receive or give feedback only when things went from bad to worse.
Seek further help from others if needed
Remember that everyone has struggled with their performance at some point in their career. You are never alone in your difficulties even if at first it seems like it. The truth is that today more than ever you have a lot of ‘human resources’ at your disposal which you could use to improve your current situation. It could be your teammates, coach or other players from the same or different esport. The most important thing is not to be afraid to ask for help. You will be surprised how effective that is!
Have you struggled with your performance recently? How do you cope? If you are struggling with these or other mental barriers that cripple your performance, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will figure out a solution designed for you.