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Top 6 Mental Habits to Dominate Solo Queue

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Getting into a habit can take time, and changing habits that we find to be ineffective can be even more troublesome. When setting a goal for solo queue in League of Legends consider these habits that will help provide opportunities for sustained success if you desire to grind out many games a day and for building longevity in productive gameplay.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

When I provide therapy as a master’s level psychologist goal setting is a topic that often occurs in a therapy session as it allows a person to determine where they want to go and how they will get there. Too often the focus is on destination without having a plan for the journey and having healthy habits for situations that are often encountered increase the chances for a successful outcome.

When choosing the target of climbing the solo queue ladder in League developing these six habits will assist in productive movement towards that goal.


#1: Before the game – “Do NOT begin with a wish

When you sit down to your first game just having the desire to win that match is not good enough. I often will tell my clients that “a plan without a goal is just a wish” and that is all that you will have if you do not focus on setting a plan for your goal of winning before you even enter the game.

So remind yourself what your plan is before you enter your first game, such as: how many cs you want, the objectives you are planning on completing, the type of champion that you want to try and play etc. Then when in the game take snapshots of where the game is at in the present and determine where your progress is in comparison to your goal. With that information consider if you can work towards getting closer to your original goal, moving on to a new one if it has already been completed, or if unforeseen circumstances have nullified your initial goal and it is time to reassess the direction your own play needs to take.

If you are still unsure where to begin with goal setting take this FREE 3-part goal-setting course.


#2: In Champion Select – “You are one of five”

If you try to win the game on your own you will limit the ceiling of your potential. Remember to play within your limits, and a good frame of reference for this is to be cognizant of what your champion or role is best at rather than what you want to do with your own gameplay. It can be effective at times to play a champion outside of their meta role, but if you are looking for consistency you will find better results by choosing a champion that fits your playstyle rather than attempting to impose your will on a champion that is not ideally played in that fashion.


#3: In-Game – “Stay centered: Don’t lose control”

You will lose more often if you allow others to dictate how you think and feel. That is why it is imperative to stay centered and focus on what you can control and not what others are doing.

When people feed intentionally or will not listen to the team do not allow their behavior to tilt you and cause your play to suffer. Instead take what could have been negative energy and apply it to what you are wanting yourself to improve on so that it becomes a healthy allocation of what could have been negative energy.

Sure maybe that game is lost, but it does not mean you have lost all opportunities to get better, and in turn you will be able to apply the practice from this game to the next. If you continue to find yourself ruminating on what someone else said, remind yourself to not allow others to rent out space in your mind that they have no business occupying.

Staying centered is a pretty complex skill; each person’s situation is so different. Share your situation and the problems you face when trying to stay centered! (Just reply to the email, it goes to Weldon’s personal inbox.)


#4: Post-game – “Rinse your mind after each match”

Remove the emotions that can influence reflection.

Reset your mind after each match whether it be a win or a loss. Too often memories and emotions from the last game can linger and in doing so affect the current game by either playing too aggressively if you were fed last game, or too passively if you were weak. This is a new game and it is important to have a good balance between emotionality and rationality so that consistency is available in your gameplay.

This is why it is helpful to wash away how you think and feel so that you do not go into the next game with the same framework of habits but instead apply new outlooks on your own game play as you may shift roles from mid lane to support.


#5: Post-op – “Learn from your excellent play: Learn also from your blunders”

rationally reflect on the last game before repeating the process.

After step #4, when you remove as much negative thinking as you can, then begin to rationally reflect on every game you play to consider what you could have done differently. Immediacy in this habit is vitally important as it is too easy for games to run together and the accuracy of your reflection will suffer.

Once you have found at least one improvement take this a step even further by recording it so you have the opportunity to discover if there are specific types of mistakes that you often make. This information if often only remembered directly after a game, which is why developing a habit of applying this technique immediately after a game is needed so that it can be used to its full potential.

If you are able to develop this into a habit you may begin to grow your own self-awareness in-game and potentially give yourself more opportunities to change your own poor gameplay in the moment and turn a loss into a win.


#6: Rest & Recovery – “Know thy limits: Live within them”

After the toil of many difficult game in a row

As the solo queue grind is happening you may find yourself in a losing streak, and to handle this taking a break is a great habit to form.

To develop this be willing to learn the amount of losses that you recognize is likely to place you on tilt, and stop playing once you reach that number. Decide how long is needed before you return to play if you have not already found a time frame that works, and stick to that time once you recognize what it is.

If time alone is not providing the result you desire consider other alternatives such as going to the gym, completing some errands, or using a different form of media than League. Remember that your own self-care is imperative in allowing yourself to unleash your own greatness!


On the path to greatness

By developing habits you will allow for an increase in the probability of excellence developing in that area of your life as over time those actions will no longer be something that requires conscious thought but instead will become subconscious.

When developing a mindset to allow for greatness in solo queue remember to choose behaviors that you want to develop into habits as they will  aid in your quest for victory. So begin developing these and other habits that you may have identified for yourself and instead of wishing for the results you want take action and make excellence your reality.