One Year of Coaching — Learnings #1

24 April 2022 — by League Analyst

#1 Playing does not make you better
I see it all the time, players mindlessly playing hundreds upon hundreds of games expecting to improve. But playing without your head in the game is the same as trying to study without actually reading the literature, it’ll get you nowhere.

Analyzing your game and finding points of improvement is the most effective way to actually become better in-game. It can be done in a lot of different ways, so below I’ll list my personal three favorites ranked in order of effectivity:

  1. Look at pro-players, analyze what they do and think about what you can implement into your own games. Think about why they do what they do, maybe there even is an even better alternative to their play? When testing your newfound theories in game, you’re guaranteed to come out on the other side with a bunch of new knowledge.
  2. Look at your own games and identify mistakes by asking the why question! Died to a gank? Ask yourself why. Wave in a bad position? Ask yourself why. Teamfight was lost? Yeah, I think you get the point. 99% of players simply say unlucky and move on with their lives when something goes poorly. By asking ourselves the why question, we can become the 1% that actually understand the effects of what we do in-game and can adjust accordingly.
  3. Talk with other players! Only having your own viewpoint on things will limit yourself greatly. It is also next to impossible to practice everything in a game of this scale. Working together is faster, gives more accurate results and is way more fun than doing everything on your own.

Many players also seem to expect that there is some kind of quick fix to make them better at the game. It simply doesn’t exist, just like anything else in life, practice makes perfect.

#2 Managing people is exceptionally hard
My expectations of coaching were fairly straightforward before starting. I thought that I would review gameplay and offer strategic guidance to the players I interacted with. In reality, managing people required way more time and energy than anything else. Confidence, team atmosphere and out of game factors had more impact on performance than I could ever imagine. I’ve learned that nothing compares to working with a friendly squad that encourages a jovial environment where players and staff can thrive.

When it comes to the players, the most common problem I've seen is lack of self-confidence. And if a player doesn’t believe in his own ability, he is set up for failure from the very start. Comments like “I’m bad” or similar statements tends to push the player away from improvement. It’s never just that a player is bad, it’s a series of mistakes that can be analyzed and fixed. To recognize statements based on feelings and separating them from what actually is going on in-game is crucial to identify points of improvement.

#3 Having fun is the most important
I’m not sure if it’s me getting older or what’s going on, but it has dawned on me that enjoying what you do makes everything in life a lot easier. It surprises me to this day how many people do things that they don’t enjoy voluntarily. If you don’t feel like playing or don’t enjoy your time in-game, do not play. It’s really that simple.

Doing more does not equal a better result in all situations. Finding balance will in my experience result in one being much healthier and productive. This also applies out of game as well. Unpacking what we are going through as individuals, finding peace in the things we do and striving for a healthier environment ensures that we can perform our very best.

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