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Taking off the Rage Glasses: How to Stop Anger from Losing you Games

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In my last article, I introduced the concept of two mindsets. A growth mindset allows a person to steadily increase their skill. To review, some of the hallmarks of the growth mindset are accepting criticism, seeing obstacles as challenges instead of threats, and embracing that the success of others is not a threat to ones’ own success.

Today, I am going to discuss how to build on the concept of mindset and utilize some strategies to reinterpret rage and regain focus on the game. Ultimately, rage doesn’t do anything to increase your chance of winning, so why bother?

Let’s first take a look at why we rage.

Some typical triggers for rage in solo queue are feeling threatened by an impending loss, receiving negative feedback from teammates, and seeing someone on the enemy team stomp one of your teammates. All three of these triggers are EVENTS. How we interpret them (our belief) is entirely up to us. Additionally, our belief or interpretation about an event causes us to experience an emotion or reaction.

Why does this matter?

We can CHOOSE to interpret events differently to experience a different emotion or reaction. Think of it as if you put on a pair of glasses every time you press play. If you put on your “rage glasses,” every event will be interpreted as an attack on you – leading you to rage more. If you put on your “growth glasses,” you will be more likely to interpret obstacles as challenges, criticism as valuable, and your opponent’s success as something to mimic!

For example, if your teammate loses lane, you can think two things. If you’re wearing your rage glasses, you might think, “This guy is the reason I’m losing.” While if you’re wearing your growth glasses, you might think, “I can learn something from his lane opponent.” Look at the chart below to see how this plays out.

carter_soloq_rage_chart

It can feel tempting in the moment to let the rage pour out into /all chat, but ask yourself: “how does raging in chat get me closer to climbing the ladder?” If you instead put your energy toward constantly improving every game, you will get better.

How to do it

Admittedly, it’s not that easy to immediately counter the thoughts going on in our head. Sometimes, we need to give our brain a little help.

One technique we can use to regain control is called centering. It involves five steps:

  1. Take a deep breath from your stomach/diaphragm. Inhale (count to 5). Exhale (count to 5).
  2. Notice 3 things you can see.
  3. Notice 3 things you can hear.
  4. Notice 3 things you can feel (physically).
  5. Take another deep breath, inhaling and exhaling to a count of 5.

For example, I can currently see the Word document I am typing, a book I’m reading on my desk, and my water bottle on top of my computer tower. I can hear the hum of my computer fan, the music in my ear buds, and my cat chasing a toy. I can feel my feet on the ground, the keys under my fingers, and my arms on the armrests of my chair.

You are welcome to include sights/sounds from the game you’re playing, too!

Events are going to happen every time we play that we can interpret as harmful. By changing our interpretation and centering our mind back on our goal (getting better), we can reduce how much we rage. Ultimately, we all have a decision which “glasses” we wear when we play.

Take off the rage glasses and embrace a mindset that will lead you to success!