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The mental game

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I recently read this great write-up on the rise of esport psychology in League of Legends. The Mental Game: Sports Psychology in the LCS I recommend you go read that article instead of this post!

Since you are here though I’ll finish up quickly. I think that Alex is right on the money with a lot of the stuff he talks about in his article. However there’s also some common sport psychology myths mixed in with the facts, such as towards the end when he says a coach might not be able to handle inter-personal conflicts. In actuality a sport psychologist is not in a much better situation than the coach. Sport psychology is almost completely about personal skill development and mental skills training and does not have much research in the area of conflict management or communication. For those situations a coach or managers is probably recommended to turn to the business sector where there are lots of different types of training workshops set up for dealing with conflict on teams while still yielding results. There are of course sports psychological trainers who have experience handling such situations, but the actual practices are most often from places like the Thomas Gordon school.

Other than that I think that every situation in Alex’s article could have been helped by having a sport psychologist on staff, and the list from the American Psychology Association website is spot on.

  1. Improve game performance
  2. Handle high pressure situations
  3. Recover from an injury or personal hiatus
  4. Keep up with practice and training
  5. Enjoy the game