Before you can become a good player, you have to become a good student. Improvement is an active process that requires self-reflection and honesty. The first step to improving your play in any skill is to analyze your own performance. If you can’t be honest about your own strengths and weaknesses, there is no room for improvement. Often times, people refuse to believe that they can be at fault. This mentality doesn’t let you improve because you are restricting yourself by putting the responsibility on other people. If you often find problems with your team, your opponent, luck, or even the game, there is probably a problem on your end. In competitive team games and even solo games, it is important to clarify that there is always something you can improve. Be proactive about whatever issues may lie in your play. Identifying flaws and weaknesses is a positive and useful skill that you shouldn’t avoid, since it’s the only way to grow.
Learning to Learn
Improvement is never an end goal, but an on-going process. Along the way, you will learn how to learn, i.e., make progress more efficiently and more meaningfully. Every individual learns at different paces and through different means. Taking notes, watching yourself in action, and receiving critique from others are all generally good places to start. From there, you have to learn how to apply the knowledge you attain and make the most of it. Recreation and education do not have to be mutually exclusive. You can enjoy yourself while still working hard to improve. With any competitive sport, it is easy to become lazy after an extended period of time, even within a single match, meaning the ability to actively think about all your decisions becomes that much more important. With video games especially, “auto-pilot” tends to kick in and hurts your ability to play and learn. Do not dismiss the valuable information you have when in a game. Think about how, when, and why that information should be applied before, during, and after your matches.
Prioritize learning certain skills over others. Relative to game knowledge, mechanical skill should only serve the purpose of giving you a slight edge over an opponent of equal macro-level skill. Micro-level play should not be the main source of improvement, because it will only take you so far. An opponent who out-smarts you is much more threatening than one who out-maneuvers you. Macro-level play, depending on the game, can include knowledge of in-game items and abilities, map awareness, team coordination, and communication. These macro aspects require proactivity and active thought. The decision to buy a certain item, level a certain skill, position yourself in a certain place, or lead your team to an objective is easily and often dismissed. Complacency is a terrifying mindset for a player who wishes to improve. Force yourself to question your decisions and consider the variables.
You cannot expect to make progress without diving in and practicing firsthand. That being said, the proper preparation and mindset going into practice allows for efficiency and progress. The experience and knowledge you can gain from playing is unmatched, but so is an outside opinion. Successful and knowledgeable players can provide insight that can be applied to your own play. The experiences of such players is important to analyze and utilize. It’s what drives people to look at professional players’ plays, decisions, and strategies. There are endless amounts of resources online that are available for all players and should be taken advantage of. Sometimes it is hard to directly translate the information you find into a game. There are some problems that are hard to identify without an outside opinion. Our goal is to make personalized attention and coaching accessible to everyone. The vast amount of information and skill needed to improve can be overwhelming. As our platform grows, fewer people will have to take on the tough task of improvement alone. A mentor will offer a good sense of direction and valuable insight to any interested individual.