With the ranked season ended in League of Legends, many players are taking stock of where they finished the season and if they are satisfied with their rank or if they would like to increase it in the upcoming season. An example of this would be a person obtaining a rank of Silver in this past season and setting as their goal the rank of Platinum in the upcoming season. Having this as a goal is great and that person may have the ability to easily accomplish this goal based upon their talent alone. However if they do not consider how their actions are matching up with their goal they could be wasting valuable resources such as their time and the knowledge they could gain from each game.
Failures do what is tension relieving, while winners do what is goal achieving. ~Dennis Waitley
Mental techniques from the psych world
As a Master’s level psychologist I employ the use of goal setting with my clients in almost every therapy session and the style I use to assist them is dependent upon their stage of change (stages of change will be addressed shortly) . The knowledge I use does not need to only apply in a session while on a therapist’s couch and instead can be useful if you have a desire to increase your own league play and the following paragraphs will be some of the ways this can occur.
Actions are evidence
When trying to accomplish greatness having a direction is a must. The problem can be knowing how to move from ideas to action. Often the reason challenges happen is when our actions do not back up what we say we value. Having consistency in our behavior when compared to what we say we value can lead to success as we are backing up our values with actions.
The times when our behaviors do not match up with what we say we value can lead to feelings of inner turmoil without even understanding why. This is something I present weekly in group therapy as it is powerful to understand when one is considering how to make changes in their life. Changing behavior that is not congruent with what you want requires having insight regarding what your goal is and if your behavior is matching up with that goal. This is a great way to measure the probability of a successful outcome.
For instance if multiple ranked games in a row are lost and the person continues to play more ranked games without considering ways that they themselves are impacting the outcome of the losses they will be throwing away that opportunity to learn and grow. This behavior of not actively diagnosing what could be their role in the losses is indicating that they do not perceive there to be any issues with their own play.
Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives. – Viktor Frankl
The focus does not need to be whether an “accurate” diagnosis of that person’s play is being administered but rather the action itself of attempting to find opportunities to grow is the indication of how much they want what they say they value. Through trial and error as well as searching for new information many individuals will be able to identify areas that improvement can happen both through their own insights and from the feedback of others.
Actions show what you value
When applying this technique to yourself a good place to start is to determine if you are open to change. Most people will state they are, however I will go back to the idea that if your behaviors do not back this up you may want to reconsider if you are actually as willing to change as you may think.
A tool I use when practicing psychology in order to determine the state a person is in regarding their willingness to change is Prochaska and DiClemente’s “wheel of change” where they identify five different stages a person can be in terms of changing a behavior. Each of the five stages show the type of actions that the person needs to engage in to be in that stage of change. Oftentimes it is difficult for someone to see what stage of change they are in as they can only see their world through their own “lens”. Because of this tainted viewpoint it is helpful to have people and resources that you trust to assist in gathering information to determine what stage of change you may be in.
How to apply this to League of Legends
An example is if you are consistently having less than 100 cs (creep score) in League by the 20 minute mark and you feel like that is not an issue for you however you are not making the movement that you desire in climbing up the ranked ladder. It would be helpful to talk to someone who is ranked higher than you or watch a professional player who streams a League game and use the information of what they expect of themselves regarding cs by 20 minutes and then compare it to your own play. By doing something like this example or instead by deciding to not look for information about your own play you could likely be missing an opportunity to grow and the type of behavior chosen can indicate the stage of change that you are in.
Decide who will directly impact the goal
I would argue that we all have areas of our life that we are not ready to make changes in for various reasons and it is not feasible for any person to understand every aspect of how they can improve. However if we state we want something such as attaining the rank of Platinum or higher in League and find ourselves not progressing towards that goal the choice will be to either look at ourselves or to others for the reason the goal has not been met.
If the choice is others as the responsible party that indicates a belief that there is not a need to consider changing our own actions because the blame falls on others. When this mindset is applied it limits opportunities for growth as is places the blame on something we cannot control, someone else’s actions. If instead we focus on the areas of our goal that we can control that is where measurable change can be seen and if applied that is when growth can happen.
What you can do today
When preparing for the next season in League of Legends or in another realm of your life, paying attention to how your actions match up to your goals is a great way to determine how successful you will be in that endeavor. For League specifically a great place to start is by writing down what the goal is that you want and breaking down the steps to get there which will help you to see any tangible progress. Having an increase of 20 cs by the twenty minute mark, reducing your average amount of deaths, having more visual focus on the mini map, taking at least one more dragon a game before 20 minutes are examples of this.
You may not “succeed” in every game at the specific aspects you choose to work on that are housed inside your larger goal but by learning how and why you did or did not have the desired outcome can be even more important than actually making those milestones. The choice lies in whether you take the information from each game and look to apply it in a healthy way to yourself or instead continue on the same path hoping for different results.
To learn more about how you can set effective goals, check out the free online goal-setting course offered here at MindGames.GG. Learn how to stop working for your goals and start making them work for you.