Coaching, Thoughts and Meditations – Dealing With Pressure

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Esports, League of Legends | 0 comments

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I’ve been coaching for a while, having handled a lot of teams and I’ve been in a lot of tournaments. Things have definitely changed over the last couple of years. In how I conduct myself, in how I talk to the players, in the confidence I have in myself coming into a match. One thing that has never changed, however, is how anxious I get once I step out of the room and am forced to just sit and watch my team do their best against the enemy. 

 

Very rarely do I just sit still. Sometimes I pace around, I fiddle with my pen, I write in my notebook. I try really hard to do what I can and prepare myself to help them move into their next game. But in League of Legends, once the game starts, I just have to wait for them to play it out before I can step in and help them again. 

 

Much like any sport, a game of League of Legends has its ups and downs. The game has its twists and turns, and every little curveball has me on the edge of my seat whenever I’m coaching my team. There’s never really been a game where I just knew my team would win. I’m not saying that I don’t have complete confidence in my team, there are games when I knew that they outright outclassed their opponents, but a lot of things can happen. There are games when, coming into it, I knew my team had everything it took to win and more, but you can’t take things for granted when you’re competing.

 

Once, the team I was coaching went into a match against another team that, on paper, was much stronger. They had more experience, they had more resources. It was a nailbiter. But my team had the pluck, the ability, and the know-how, and they were able to take the win. My anxiety subsided, and I rejoiced. They won the game, despite the odds. And as I met them again, I congratulated them, I reveled in the win with them. Sometimes it all works out.

 

Another time, my team went into a match against a team that should have been an easy win. This time around, my team was the more experienced one. They knew more about the game, and they had practiced a lot. We had prepared extensively for the match. But as the game progressed, it became clearer and clearer that they weren’t going to win. I felt my heart sink as I watched them lose, and I met them again, this time in solemnity. I didn’t congratulate them, and the usual cheerful, noisy atmosphere was quiet and tense. But that’s really just how it is. 

 

I experience a lot of pressure when coaching. But the players experience just as much, sometimes more. They’re the ones that are on the stage, they’re the ones that put themselves out there, they’re the ones that fight constantly to prove themselves. And in a loss, it’s my job to stay strong and remind them that there will be another chance. As nervous as I get when they play, once the game ends, I have to be there for them. It’s important to just see them again and win or lose, stay strong and remind them to look towards the future.

 

I feel every single little swing over the course of each game. When my team wins, I win with them. But when they lose, I also I lose with them. What’s important is that I remain calm and collected during the most difficult situations. Once I meet the team, it’s no longer about how I felt during their match, but how they feel afterwards. Sometimes they need a little pick me-up, but most of the time they just need someone to guide them. In all cases, I have to make sure that I’m there and ready to help them power through.

 

Check out the previous part of this series on coaching here.

Check out the next part of this series on coaching here.

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