Improving Consistency, Pre-Performance Routines

The Frozen Sea


Recently I found myself in Vaasa, Finland, and for the first time in my life I have encountered the frozen sea. Of course, I know that the sea does freeze, but somehow I always imagined it as the far North, where the seals and an occasional polar bear milled about. Here is a bustling city filled with humans, some of whom walk out on the frozen sea and fish off the edge. Being from Minnesota I’m familiar with ice fishing the lakes through holes. Why drill a hole when there is a large expanse available? Still I feel as though it should be classified as risky behavior.

Cold Competition

All of the cold has had me reflecting on some recent memories. The first came from when I was listening to interviews players gave after IEM Guangzhou, and the overriding theme was about the cold and generally inhospitable climate in the convention center. More recently at IEM Kiev, Riot Gaming’s Phreak commented that most successful ladder players do not do well at their first LAN event simply because they aren’t accustomed to the environmental side affects, such as cold hands, bright lights, and loud sounds.

I believe this comment came to light a bit when I was watching the Feast vs MMA match that I wrote my previous article about. After the first game MMA put on a down-filled jacket. Because of the adrenaline of that game, he was most likely actually sweating. However, adrenaline is also vasoconstrictive and causes your extremities to become cold. MMA is aware that being overly sweaty does not affect performance, but having cold hands does. And living in Finland I can testify that the fastest and most effective way to warm your feet or hands is to cover your legs or arms and torso.

Pre-performance’s Role in Success

Most athletes end up with pre-performance routines because they want to increase their consistency. What if you could play every game like your best game? A lot of the factors that go into creating that “in the zone” feeling are mental or emotional. So discovering the routine that gets you in the best shape mentally or emotionally before you play gives you an edge. Federer is a famous tennis player because of his consistency; he wins on his good days and his bad days. When he was still young he took an anger management course, which he credits for helping him start developing the mental skills he uses to cope with his game. Tennis is a game filled with pre-performance routines. Aside from the obvious pre-competition time, there are breaks in play that allow for mini-routines between games and even between serves. Tennis is a game that truly represents mental toughness.

Of course, I’m not encouraging you to go out and enroll today in an anger management course, although if you play League of Legends regularly like I do then you know that it certainly couldn’t hurt. 🙂 However, there are some steps you can take right now to strengthen your own pre-performance preparation. Even though most eSports have continuous play during games, there are still pauses between matches and the all-important pre-competition period.

Physical Preparation

Although I may have harped on the mental prep just above, the best place to start with pre-performance is actually not mental, but physical. This is because the huge affect that physical preparation can have on ones emotional and mental readiness in a tournament.

Step one is the incidental things like down coats, snacks, appropriate clothing, and backup gear. If you are on a team with a manger then you already have a huge advantage, because he can take care of lots of little details and free you to focus on the big picture. If not then lists are your best friend! Having everything you may need is a simple first step to avoiding distractions during an important match.

After the ‘things’ are taken care of the next step is the body. For your body take focus on the ‘big three’, that is nutrition, sleep, and arousal state. Nutrition and sleep are fairly self-explanatory. Sleep has a large impact on, well, everything: mood, reactions, blood flow, hormone levels, concentration, etc. Nutrition is important, although not as important as in more physical sports. I don’t recommend trying to excessively over-hydrate. For one, eSports athletes don’t need as much water, and secondly the symptoms of dehydration manifest themselves long after the desire of thirst arises, so if one just drinks or eats a little when they are thirsty then it should be fine. Also having to use the bathroom badly during a match is quite detrimental to concentration.

Arousal State

Arousal is probably the best way to instantly improve your mental and emotional capacity. A simple 15-20 minute yoga routine can massively increase blood flow to the brain, divert blood to the extremity muscles which leads to faster responses and warmer hands and feet, as well as loosen up the shoulders and upper back which, believe it are not, are largely tied up with the lower back and lumbaric system. There are a lot of other good options like walking, stretching, pilates, etc. As long as it lasts longer than 10 minutes and is at least low-moderate intensity then it will be beneficial.

The benefits of a good arousal routine can be emotional, physical, and mental. Studies have shown increases in confidence, concentration, social cohesion with teamates, and reflexes as well as decreases in negative anxiety, willingness to quit in a losing situation, and detrimental emotions (like overconfidence and frustration).

The Next Step

After tackling the pre-game time slot, physical preparation can be extended up to a week before any important competition. However, the most important times are directly prior, the morning-of, and the day before a match.

I think the biggest difference between a good player and a great player is not whether or not they can win one tournament, but whether they can win consistently. Pre-performance preparation is a big step on the way to bringing an A game to every competition. Next week I’ll move on from the physical side of prep to the mental side and share some common practices that have developed in sport psychology.

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31 thoughts on “Improving Consistency, Pre-Performance Routines”

  1. Consistency… My biggest enemy..

    Once more, really nice writeup, I’ll keep coming back for more and make sure to spread the word a little 🙂

  2. Oooh, this looks promising. As someone who frequently shakes, shivers and sweats before a LoL game, this might just help me 😀

    No seriously. I do those things :O It’s like my body is allergic to the PLAY button.

    1. Hey Kale, yeah that sounds like the same allergy I have to the Starcraft 2 play button. Ugh. There’s a reason I spectate it more than I play now! Don’t like dealing with the stress when it’s supposed to be fun.

      Physical activity before hand might help your body relax, and it might also help your mind relax too. LoL can seem less important after one does an invigorating short walk, and so then it might not be as nerve-wracking. I’ll try to think of something to add in next weeks article that might help too.

      Also you could think about using goal setting. First think about what it is that is causing most of your anxiety. Is it excitement to play well? Nervous about getting ganked or dying in lane? Losing hard-fought ELO? Letting down your team or your team letting down you? If you identify the cause then you can start to paint a more realistic expectation in your mind before the game of what is about to happen, and help ease the anxiety. Then the goal setting comes in, and you can make a goal to improve on that thing which is important to you. If you keep track of it and see progress in the long run (over several games/weeks), then it becomes less important to be perfect in the short run (during the game you are playing now). In other words, it gives perspective and you can say things like “Oh I’m doing worse at X, but the last two games I improved on my previous attempts so I’m happy with that. Lets see what’s going wrong this game that causing me to do worse, no big deal I can improve again next game.” etc

      Hoping ladder can be relaxing again,
      Weldon

      1. Thanks for responding.

        I already, in lieu of the post, decided to take a 30 minute walk before my daily games from now on. I hope it will help me relax a bit… only time will time tell.

        My biggest issue is that I am too nice, people claim I MUST be on drugs because there is no way somebody can be that happy and put that much effort into trying to get along. It’s my biggest weapon, and also my greatest enemy. Being as nice as I am, I don’t care about MY fun. I care about the fun of those I’m playing with. (Hence why I play less desireable roles, such as support and jungler) But that also means that when I fail my team it hits me like a truck.

        That’s how I’ve always been throughout my life, so I doubt that’s going to change any time soon; even if I try.

        What keeps me sane throughout it all is my friend. He’s a bit of a hard egg but he’s a cool guy and a good player. Without him I probably wouldn’t even bother with LoL.

        Fun thing, by the way: I’m not even in the ELO’s yet 🙂 I’m Summoner level 21(.3)ish I think. It’s going to be a killer when I do get to the ELO levels, my body will probably try to self destruct 😀

      2. Kaleopolitus,

        Hey, sorry it took so long to respond. I actually wrote this up a few days ago, but haven’t been able to post it because I was on a bus or in a place without internet. So frustrating. Anyway I’m home now, yay broadband!

        Exciting that you are trying it out! If the physical activity doesn’t work completely for handling your anxiety then you can at least be happy that you are healthy. HEPA (health enhancing physical activity) is defined currently as “at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days a week.” The nice thing is that brisk walking fits that category and the 30 minutes can technically be broken down into as small as 10 minute sections and still have the same affect. Coronary heart disease’s biggest risk factor is inactivity, and HEPA also has quite a strong protective effect against type 2 diabetes, back pain, osteoporosis, and any cardiovascular disease. HEPA-level active people visit doctors less, have improved moods and outlooks, live longer, are more mobile in old age, and have greater psychological control over other healthy behaviors like stopping smoking and healthier eating. Additionally nearly half of all cases of depression can be relieved solely through HEPA because it has a mild affect on the symptoms (not cause) of depression and can increase self-esteem and tolerance to stress. Yes, I sound like an advert, but it’s not like I’m advertising something that costs money here… 😛

        Phew, got that out of my system, back to the game 🙂 It’s nice you have a pal, I also pretty much don’t even queue for ELO games without my friend on the team to keep me ‘balanced.’ That’s a really good support. I feel like I cope ok with ELO because I keep telling myself (and therefore I believe it) that the number represents exactly how good I am, so however I play in a game is however I play! If I’m bad then the number shows that and no skin off my back. The problem of course is that other people don’t believe the number represents their skill and then they blame me or you for ‘keeping them down.’ Also the struggle I have with ELO games is that if the system works perfectly you lose 50% of your games (and win 50%), and that’s a lot of sour losers to try to handle >.<

        In my opinion you should stick more to support if you ever have the chance. For one thing, it's way easier to mess up as jungler, and they have a much bigger impact on the game, they pretty much control the early game pace in all the lanes (or fail to). So it's a pretty high stress role compared to support, which is basically just reliant on whether your partner is laid back and fun or not. But you know your abilities and what you enjoy playing far better than I, so my strategy advice might be opposite of what you need, sorry about that 😉 Talk it over with your friend. Maybe you can pick more PvE junglers like nocturne and skarner that have an excuse to level up real fast to six and then whose job is to basically target the AD Carry and die initiating 😀 Then you can do your job and stare at the fountain for the rest of the fight haha.

        Let me know how it goes and if you come up with any other ideas that seem to work well for you. I'll link back here if I happen to mention anything in the future that I think relates well to this situation.

        Weldon

      3. Well, the reply button doesn’t seem willing to go beyond your second reply, so I’ll have to restart it like this ^_^

        First of all, don’t worry about taking a bit of time. I put this reply off by a day myself and not for a good reason xD

        Secondly, I tried to take you seriously throughout the second paragraph, but every second of reading that my brain was screaming ‘Doctor Father explaining to his kid why he has to play outside!’

        Now that that’s out of the way: there’s been a very interesting development. Flow and I (Flow being my gaming buddy) met another 2 man premade of roughly equal to better skill, and we /dominated/ the two games we played together.
        I really enjoyed playing those, contrary to how I normally only marginally enjoy LoL. Both games were 20 minute surrenders by the other team because we invaded and got every dragon. We even got a baron at 22:00 in the last game I think. Well, I KNOW we got a baron, but the longest game took 23:09 xD

        Anyway! Back on topic! Putting aside the obviously positive effects of walking beforehand, it’s clear that the more people I play with that I KNOW, the easier it is for me 😀 I’ve always been a team player. The coöperative type. But I didn’t think the difference between calmly having trust in the others and stressing over the bottom lane failing and having to baby sit it to be this spectacular.

        I really enjoy playing support due to how lax I can be about it. But if I’m playing with those guys I’ll gladly grab the jungle. Even when I screwed up my route I was still confident that I’d pull off my role.

        TL;DR Play with people you know and trust. Much more fun. Oh, and Doctor Father.

      4. I know I know, but I had to say it just to get it out there. 😀 I Never know who is going to come upon these comments some day and since my biggest passion is “saving America from obesity” I want to at least have it out there for people to run into. So in a way I was replying to the internet as much as to you, and I am really really beholden to you that you started this conversation, because that’s not something I could have easily included in the blog post above.

        Your story makes me think a lot about social cohesion and social support. I mean, the biggest factor for a lot of people’s success in life (business, school, not-doing-drugs, exercise, etc) is social support and peer group. So it makes sense then that in game is no different! I wonder if that means that the people who play with the best peer group also have the same benefits as with those things I listed above. For example, maybe people who have a group and can play more calmly progress faster, take losses better, fix mistakes more quickly, etc. I’ll have to look into it on the sport research side for anything that might carry over. I know they specifically train teams like basketball, football, and hockey for social cohesion because of it’s positive affect on practice time (and therefore competitions).

        By the way when I read your sentence “…guys I’ll gladly grab the jungle. Even when I…” I totally read it “…grab the jungle Eve when I…” haha.

        Thanks for all the amazing input.

        sincerely,
        walking-is-my-BFF

      5. That’s a very good mind set and a noble goal to boot. I don’t think you’ll manage, nobody can, but it’s better to try and fail than- Yeah, you should know that cliché.
        Heh.

        The people around me are very important to me. I don’t know if it would help you get perspective or not, but I figure it’s harmless either way. I’m autistic, Asperge syndrom. That definetly factors into my reactions and behaviour to the game. Probably even more so to the support of others. Traditional autists also carry the burden of not wanting social interaction, but Asperge is different in not having that. We DO want social interaction. It’s just a lot harder. I couldn’t imagine living without though.
        It’s funny how I had this kind of a conversation with a friend some time ago. About living in complete solitude from the rest of the world. It sounded like such a good idea, but we both agreed that the lack of interaction would kill us.

        Lastly… Jungle Eve, I will destroy anyone who dares! DESTROY I TELL YOU!! My bear fists will leave nothing behind! xD

      6. And I once again “randomly” bump into people with similar “issues” in social interaction. (as in: I have symptoms of authism/asperger myself) It probably isn’t that random after all ^^..

        My question to you – How do you “get up” to actually do the walking? More often than not it seems to me that I have to overcome myself doing such stuff. Is that naturally easy for you or do you have certain tricks? 🙂

      7. It isn’t. It’s like trying to carry your car to work instead of driving it.

        What I did was:
        1. I spent 18 years of my life not giving a crap.

        2. I realized that I wasn’t taking care of myself. This realization was mostly possible due to the fact that I’m not going to school right now (dropped out, changing major next year). That gave me a LOT of retrospective thinking time. I’m not sure if you can achieve the same results whilst still having a lot of other concerns.

        3. I made up a ‘routine’ plan. I started with the basic meals of the day. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner. I made sure to ALWAYS have these meals, regardless of circumstances. (This also helped me to eat less candy and junk food.)

        4.Then I stepped it up a bit. Brushing my teeth was a habit that had fallen away as well. Now I brush my teeth at least every day. I try to get it to both the morning and the evening, but the morning is a hard nugget to crack considering my wildly varying mornings.

        5. Then I decided to follow an old teacher’s advice and go walking. My mindset when I did that was nothing more than ‘I will enjoy this after a few times’. I went out, walked for 30 minutes, hated it, and then went walking again the next day. I’ll admit, I skipped two days so far. One because I couldn’t go walking, I didn’t have the time (was travelling), and the other for sheer laziness. But it’s okay to skip out sometimes. AS LONG as you get back into it. Never stop trying.

        My advice regarding the walking is to do it at a set time a day. I used to do it in the morning before ever turning on my oh-so-beloved pc. That’s my zen moment of self control, when I can pull myself away without a hitch. Now I’m doing it in the evenings 30 minutes before I play games of LoL, which happen at a set time.
        It is also important to have a goal. With my walking speed (long legs) it takes me 15 minutes of brisk walking to reach my father’s company. A walk to and fro works perfectly. If I walk faster then that is okay, because the effort will still have been there.

        Also an idea, one that didn’t work out for me, might be to ‘reward’ yourself afterward. Like, buy an apple after every walk. It feels great to eat something after walking for 30 minutes. I did it only once but it damn sure had it’s effect. I ended up not doing that, though, because the nearest supermarket was another 10 minutes of walking out of the way. And now that I walk in the evenings I have even less of a reason to.

        Oh yeah, most important of all: Don’t let yourself make excuses. I literally tell myself to f*ck off with those excuses. ‘I can’t go walking because my mother will be concerned again for me in the evening’ ‘F*ck off. I’m going walking.’
        It literally goes like that.
        No excuses, no exceptions.

        Hope that helped.

      8. Kaleopolitus gave really sound advice! I can’t really add anything to that since I’m not in the same situation, but generally it helps to focus on your barriers to your goal even more than your motivations. Generally we have strong motivations to do things, right? But the barriers are what stop us.

        I liked the idea about walking to his dad’s company and back. That takes care of things like “no route” and “cutting out early”. Simple things like I had to do were “wear sports clothes around in the afternoon” so that I didn’t have to change, “keep slip on shoes by the door” so I could just throw them on and rush out when the time came. Those target barriers more than my motivation.

        I also liked his idea of going at a certain time. That’s something I did too. Although I do it after I eat, since it’s supposed to help digestion a lot (according to all my Chinese friends 😀 )

      9. Hey, I can be smart too! (Joking)

        I couldn’t quite put my finger on it back there, but you seem to have done so perfectly. What stopped me most of all were the barriers. The efforts to take even before starting. Those were my greatest hurdle. Once I get started with something I can easily finish it, but starting it? Now that’s TOUGH.

      10. Wow.. Reading this, is like looking into the mirror.. Every, single, advice. every, single statement.. With the difference, that in theory I already realized, but didn’t start yet..

        Starting today.. No excuses, I walk the distance from home to the train station from now on, no bus (~30min per way). It’s a start..
        Next step will be waking up at 7:00 AM on all 5 workdays (i have flexible work times, so in theory I simply have to work my hours, doesn’t matter when I start.. and I abuse that too often imo, sleeping too long)

        I realize I don’t have to write that here, but maybe it will give me the edge, if I tell this to others instead of simply promising it to myself ^^

        Thank you for reminding me, it certainly helped.. Maybe – I found my motivation in you, you seem to understand my situation (well, apparently yours too) perfectly.. You walked the way, I want to walk the same path

        @Weldon: I really like the idea of making the barrier “thinner” by already being fully equipped so I could simply stand up and walk straight out. I can certainly use that

      11. I’m glad I could help 🙂

        But you probably shouldn’t push yourself with the 7 am wake up times. I tried that myself, before. But it didn’t work unless I went to sleep at 23:00-23:15. 8 AM is a perfectly early time. At least it’s not 11 AM.

        In the end, it’s your choice. But it didn’t work out for me, so don’t feel dissappointed if you can’t keep it up. (I ended up becoming increasingly fatigued, to the point of afternoon naps.)

      12. Interesting. I coach the special needs group for my swim club, we have a swimmer with Asperge. He recently just placed 3rd at the Finnish champs in 100m breaststroke and got the Finnish special olympics training award for the year. I’ve also heard that Michael Phelps is on the spectrum, although as far as I know he is only diagnosed with ADHD.

        I hope you can keep sharing your gaming stories and coping mechanisms; I think a lot of people will be interested in them.

  3. Shakes and shivers.. I have that too. Notably, when I tell myself, that I HAVE TO perform well and that the enemy is AT LEAST on equal terms – usually that’s in ranked games. This really is annoying for the most part. I identify this as:
    – Stress
    – Pressuring myself to perform well
    – Not wanting to let my team mates down
    – I hate losing
    – I hate making mistakes

    I think, especially “Not wanting to let my team mates down” is fairly interesting.. I guess it’s something similar to Kaleopolitus’ “I’m too nice”.
    Also, the shiver/nervousity is multiplied when I run into a famous streamer such as Guardsman Bob.. Luckily I was always playing support in these games so far..

    My attempt to handle too much stress so far, was to simply create another account and play with it. On this account I don’t really feel any pressure when participating in ranked games. I could always tell myself, that I’m supposed to be much better than my opponent and simply destroy him – and that’s how it usually works out. By now, my smurf account is around 100 Elo behind my main, and it’s simply much more relaxed for some reason.

    Through playing on my smurf, I’m fairly sure I could be easily 2k+ in general, if I could handle the stress better… I have a small story for that:

    Recently, I was once again playing some games as my smurf, practicing Kayle in ranked games against at least decent opponents. I realized, that my runes were not too good and changed them. Logged into my main account and also changed the Kayle runes there.
    Not thinking about it, I queued about another ranked game. I was first pick and someone wanted to go toplane, so I decided to get LeBlanc for mid. In summary, we lost that game in the end due to enemy jungle + toplane playing well. However I could easily outlane the enemy Morgana and go for multiple successful ganks. It wasn’t much harder than in my smurf games – fairly easy. I was focused, I was self confident, I was motivated and positive – and most of all, I didn’t mind if I was losing (it was around 1.8k Elo).

    Now… Where to start working on getting such a mindset?

    1. Hey Yagamoth, thanks for the reply. It’s a really interesting scenario that you created accidentally, and I think it is showing you a lot about how you compete. It’s fascinating because I think this kind of thing is really only possible in eSports, not in real sports. I guess we could equate it to playing neighborhood football for fun vs. going to practice with your club team? The difference is a palpable level or relaxation and performance anxiety.

      For you question, “Where to start working on getting such a mindset?” You are working on answering the hardest part, which is the optimal mindset to aim for. Focused, self-confident, motivated, and positive and not minding losing. You picked those out, which means they were probably the most important to your playing. There are various tools you can use to kind of twist your identified “weak points” and turn them into your strengths.

      For example, among other things, self-talk is a great tool to use to address “I hate losing” and “I hate making mistakes” to change them into “Not minding losing” and “positive”. In the second article on self-talk I talk about things that typically distract for your focus during practice or competition; one of the bigger ones is “being perfect.” You are probably aware while watching Guardsman Bob’s stream that he makes plenty of mistakes; in fact in the IEM championships in Hanover the winning teams will make loads of mistakes during their tournament. Mistakes are a part of playing any competitive sport, the difference between players is how they handle them.

      Situation Reaction
      Professional Bad backhand in tennis “Mistakes happen. Breathe and let it go. Step in, eye on the ball, follow through.”
      Normal Bad backhand in tennis “I missed my backhand. Dang it, I know I can do this. Get serious.”

      The professional player is doing a simple pattern called the Three R’s. They stand for Respond, Relax, and Refocus. The gist of it is 1) an immediate positive response, 2) a mini relaxation step (breathe, close eyes, stretch, etc.), and 3) refocusing ones energy on the game. If you look at the normal response, you see that the immediate reaction is 1) recognition of the mistake, then 2) accusing oneself of somehow letting ‘you’ down, and then 3) another accusation of not paying enough attention. These are not helpful responses to a mistake. They don’t decrease the chance of making another mistake; in fact they can actually increase the chance of making another mistake because they don’t give the player a clear path to follow for success. The pro knows what he has to do, when another backhand comes, he will step in, eye on the ball, and follow through. Fundamentals. The normal player will instead be nervous and tense and worried about the outcome when his next backhand comes.

      In LoL you can generally do the first two R’s fairly easily. Just pay attention to what you say when you make mistakes or are losing during your smurf games, and then come up with some simple things to relax a bit. The last R depends on the situation, but the more you know about the fundamentals and why you made the mistake the easier it is. Since your ELO is so high you must have an solid grasp of the fundamentals for all aspects of play, whether or not you are aware of it. So the Refocus step (3rd R) can be a reminder of what fundamentals you need to follow to not make the same mistake again. They should follow be very specific, simple and proactive things, just like our tennis player. Things like, “don’t do that again” or “focus” aren’t really that helpful, it’s better to say “face-check next to wall for flash” or “save pool for escaping”, things that are very relevant to that game and specific to the action you want to do right.

      I hope that was helpful and not too much off-topic. Maybe it should actually just be the next article instead 😀 but I’ll figure something out. Hope you have a good evening of LoL, I’ll look for you on Guardsman Bob’s stream 😉

      Weldon

      1. Self-Talk would be good… And I think, a good portion of self-discipline is needed for me as well, since I actually did read your articles and I did think , that this is a good place to improve upon, yet I didn’t do really anything towards that..

        Thanks for reminding me and the detailed response, I’ll try to keep your advices in mind 🙂

  4. Redditistiä tänne eksyin ja oli kyllä mukava lukea, sekä itse blogiteksti että kaikki tuo kommenteissa käyty keskustelu. Pisti miettimään että miten pienellä vaivalla sitä saisikaan parannettua tuota omaa olotilaa ja samalla pelituloksiakin. 🙂

    Itsellä menossa elämässä aika tapahtumarikas siirtymävaihe joten juuri nyt ei pysty keskittymään kaikkeen niin hyvin, mutta kunhan tästä pääsee vielä hiukan eteenpäin niin voisin hyvinkin kuvitella parantavani elämäntapoja huomattavasti. Itselläni tuo motivaation puute lähinnä ollut ongelmana, etenkin kun täällä pienellä paikkakunnalla ei ole mitään aktiviteettia.

    Pelaamista, sitä tämänhetkistä ainoaa kunnon harrastusta, pohjana käyttäen voisin hyvinkin saada laiskan itseni motivoitua tekemään jotain asioiden eteen. 😀

    1. And in English, for whoever doesn’t speak Finnish :P:

      Found my way here through Reddit, and definitely think it was a nice read – both the comments and the entry itself. Made me think about how little it would actually take to improve the way I feel about thing and, in the meantime, it could help some of my gaming scores as well. 😛

      Right now it’s a pretty event rich time going on in my life and I don’t necessarily feel like I can concentrate on a lot of things that well, but as soon as I’m over with that I could easily see myself going for a much improved lifestyle.
      For me, the biggest issue has always been the lack of proper motivation, especially with nothing to do here where I live.

      Using my one main pastime activity, gaming, as a base to motivate my lazy self to do something might actually work. 😀

      1. Dracoaeon,
        I always think we should use our passions to ignite and motivate ourselves! Everybody struggles with motivation to do things that are not connected emotionally to things they care about. Just a small personal example, I was always fairly lax and low key about finding work and after that, finding better work or a career. However, after I married all of a sudden my work was connected with something very very important to me emotionally (supporting my family) and because of that direct link it became a lot easier to motivate myself to do it. I think that is one of the reason sometimes our parents seem like task-accomplishing super-stars compared to our lazy selves, they have not only spousal commitments but also their children to use as motivational tools.

        As for gaming, I’d love to hear how it goes! Whether you decide to incorporate some sort of physical activity into your daily life, or even if you just ‘think’ about things and a touch and breath deeply before a game.

        Thanks also for replying in Finnish, it is helping me study the language (something I procrastinate on tied to something I care about now, thanks to you! hah).

        Weldon

  5. I can already tell that this is gonna be one of my favorite blogs. I’m both interested in Psychology and Gaming, and was thinking about writing an essay about the connection between them.
    About the consistency, I have some issues myself. I have occasional bad “periods” where I just do so horribly in gameplays EVEN when I know that I’m doing it wrong. I still do it. And then few days later, I would get back to my old self and play normally. I realized that my consistency is a big obstacle in my gameplay, and have been trying to fix it. I know that I’m suppose to do exercises and stuff to get my head going but everything else is just too sophisticated for me to follow. Anyways, I hope to see more from you, would it be okay for me to contact you personally concerning these topics? Thanks ;D Keep it up!

    1. Hey Sir Maximin,

      Thanks a lot for the comments! It’s always good to hear peoples stories about their personal gaming experiences and more importantly how they think about their gaming. Feel free to contact me any time personally; you can use the contact form on this site or sent me an email, etc. (If it doesn’t get through from your personal email it might have got caught in the spam, just post here to let me know so I check)

      Yeah there are activities and exercises, but overall it’s more about holistic growth than targeted exercise “just for consistency” or something like that. If you improve one area of your play it spills over into others. I think one of the easiest and best ways to improve overall more rapidly is to use a training journal. I talk about it a little bit in one of my articles, I’ll find the one and post here. It does a couple important things: 1) makes you take a break after a game to process things, which 2) helps you reset for the next game and focus on improvement, 3) even if you don’t set overt goals it helps you with embedded, subconscious goals, 4) reflection is a key skill for improvement in anything (sports, life, esports, relationships, etc) and a training journal improves reflective ability.

      Looking forward to hearing more about how you play and where you find it intersecting with Psychology 🙂

      Weldon

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