The question is irrelevant: Mindset is the answer.
The Making of an Expert
Talent is Overrated
Coping gets you ahead. The three people you want to have around you as a social network in order to keep your mindset healthy. These three kinds of people will allow you to consistently put forth the productive effort that breeds success in sport.
1. People who value your self-worth independent of the game.
If you have a bad game, there are only two options. Learn from it, or don’t learn from it. Criticizing yourself and learning from it is one of the hardest skills for a person (especially a teenager…)
However, those athletes who can condemn their own faults, quickly learn from their mistakes, and are very productive at developing their skills.
This isn’t a talent you need to be born with, (but it helps to be born surrounded by people who love you). Find somebody who appreciates you even if you win or lose a game, and talk to them when you are frustrated. It will rapidly calm your mindset, and build up your self-worth so that you can go back and start criticising yourself.
2. Mentors/counselors you can talk about the game with, who can point out transferable skills.
Almost all the mental skills that make people successful are actually life skills. In order to quickly develop better shooting on the court, kicking on the pitch, or clicking on the map, a supreme amount of effort and focus are needed.
The ability to focus, apply effort, reflect on what’s working and what’s not. These are all general learning abilities, not sport specific skills.
Become an expert in how you, as an individual, learn the fastest by talking to a respected mentor about the experiences you are having. They can provide a valuable 3rd person point of view that gives you crucial insights into the automatic behaviors you are doing that work, and those that don’t.
3. Somebody you can open up to about your dream goal.
Having a dream goal is very important.
If you are confused about the difference between dream goals, step goals, and workhorse goals I strongly recommend my free goal-setting training course.
It’s not necessary to share your dream goal for it to motivate you. But it helps you stay on task and put together a better set of step goals if you have to verbalize your ambition.
Why you should change how you train: The power of practice.
The human brain can only do a certain number of things in a day. New research is clarifying the idea that we have “hitpoints” for the day and each decision or moment of intense focus we have uses them up. Great New York Times article on Decision Fatigue.
To save up your hit points, keep in mind that effectiveness is much more important than Efficiency
Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe.
Quote by Tim Ferris
Effective training means that you have to find the learning moments in the game, instead of just practicing things you already know how to do. The best way to do this is to craft very specific workhorse goals (or drills).
You can get lots of good examples of these for League of Legends from my Instagram account, LeagueGoals. These goals come from professional LoL players and various other sources. If you are an athlete in a different eSport, check out my Free Goal-Setting Training Course.
How elite skills are learned: Why you need to be aware.
Reflection (called “meta-cognition”) is a super-power that lets you skip around in the upward-spiral of skill development. Here’s the graphic I used in the training
You can see that without reflection you are locked into the Cause -> Effect circle. However, once you add reflection in you are able to theorize, model, and understand how you think and what’s likely to happen. At that point you can skip certain steps and sky-rocket your training past where it should be.
The first step of being self-aware is KNOWING YOUR DREAM GOAL!
- What if the step goal you are on is optional? You could be skipping it.
- What if your goal is actually something else? You find yourself not motivated to work towards your goal, and you blame yourself. What if it’s not your fault, but you just don’t realize that your dream goal is actually something different?
- What if your goal is too low or not even real? You struggle to reach a mediocre goal that doesn’t get you where you want to go, or you end up there and discover nothing there that you want.
Five practical tips you can do today to improve your game.
Q & A
✿ Photo attribution: BKC_atPurdue_2015Med_37 by MGoBlog