The increase in popularity of eSports and professional gaming has meant that we have been able to study the best way of achieving gaming performance. You will not become a professional gamer by playing video games as often as possible, but rather you may become a professional gamer by following a structure more similar to that of a professional sports player. Important factors in becoming a professional gamer include; strong communication skills, social skills, physical and mental fitness, and a number of other factors. The following subheadings are areas that the performance optimisation program focuses on.
Sleep and Naps
Quality of sleep, as well as duration, is key for high performing athletes. At the bare minimum, seven hours of sleep is recommended, but even nine or ten hours is also considered healthy. Power naps can be taken throughout the day to supplement for shorter sleeps. Our bodies begin to secrete a substance called melatonin as light disappears in the evenings, but screen time can delay the secretion of melatonin by up to an hour and a half. Even if you go to sleep immediately after gaming, the first hour and a half of sleep will be disrupted by the lack of melatonin, causing an overall diminished quality of sleep.
Physical exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and it can significantly improve performance in regard to video games. A study conducted in 2020 tested League of Legends players, while giving some the task of exercise and reading, and others to simply rest. Those who were told to exercise were introduced to high intensity interval training (HIIT). After 15 minutes of HIIT and 20 minutes of reading, they were told to return to the game. Compared to those who were told to rest, the exercise group was more effective in their gameplay and committed less errors.
Meditation allows for the brain to relax. By boosting the brain’s regeneration, we are able to take control of it. Other benefits of meditation include reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure, regulating the hormonal system, as well as improving the quality of sleep. Introducing mindfulness and meditation into your routine is extremely helpful for cognitive function and concentration. To begin integrating meditation into your lifestyle, try to make an effort to meditate before sleeping. In the absence of screen time, with dim lights, nightly meditation helps to release melatonin before falling asleep, and improving overall sleep quality.
Small breaks can help to improve sustained attention, which is highly important in successful gaming. After a certain amount of time doing any task, our attention to it declines. In order to counteract this drop in attention, Gamewell suggests several different strategies to increase blood flow and mitigate against lapses in attention. Stretching is a tactic that aims to refocus the mind and improve focus through movement. Another option to refocus during a little break is to focus on breathing techniques. Deep breathing is known to decrease stress and increase energy, which then enables the gamer to have deeper focus.
Food and Drinks
A balanced diet can help to improve cardiovascular health as well as cognitive functioning. In order to perform at your very best, nutrition is very important. Having access to healthy foods to snack on during little breaks will help improve performance and foster good habits. It is also important to note the levels of caffeine that you are ingesting, and how they affect you personally. Caffeine has a half life of four hours, meaning it can affect us for longer than we think. For this reason, it is advisable that gamers refrain from drinking caffeine for five hours before they intend to sleep.
One particular study of gaming timings conducted research on two separate groups who were told to play Starcraft II over a period of seven months. One group was to play excessively, and the other group was to play moderately. In the beginning, the group who played excessively showed a higher skill level, but eventually, the other group caught up and ultimately surpassed them. Those who played excessively played so often that they required longer periods of rest, but the moderate group could continue to improve their gameplay incrementally. Gaming for too long can be harmful to your skill level, your neurotransmitters, and your sleep schedule.
How Performance Optimisation Can Help
Video games use up our mental capacity, and gaming performance can be enhanced by improved physical health. Approaching eSports and professional gaming as you would another professional sport will help to address the specific areas that can increase game performance, as well as overall quality of life.Finding motivation?
This post looks at motivation, not only how it can be used in e-sports and gaming, but also in other areas of life. Through some theory exploration, as well as practice sessions, the goal is to help the viewer to understand how to effectively use motivation to their advantage.
Motivation comes from the latin word, movere, which means “to move”. This is why we like to imagine that motivation is something that, metaphorically, moves you. What moves you to play? What moves you to work?
Some people may have watched motivational videos in an effort to capture the motivational theories of celebrities or star athletes. These videos can be inspiring – but they are short term solutions. Motivation comes from within, not from an outside source; this program will guide you in how to do that. We will show you how to create a positive feedback loop that generates momentum and ensures a consistent source of motivation.
Through the analysis of motivation we can start to understand the different types, and how people are driven by different forces. The motivation continuum serves as a complex set of motivational theories that explains feelings which arise as a result of different motivators and pressures.
When we think about motivation, we wonder what exactly causes people to do the things they do. What drives people to act, behave, or perform in a certain way?
Controlled motivation – “mustivation”
Autonomous motivation – “wantivation”
Another set of terms that work similarly to these explanations is extrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation.
|People who are driven by extrinsic motivators||People who are intrinsically motivated|
|Do things because they have toAre fixated on rewards and outcomesBecome depleted of energy when they fail||Do things because they want toTake pleasure in the processHappily continue on their path despite failures|
The motivation continuum also provides us with an opportunity to analyze different motivators, such as pressure and drive. Someone who is pressured to do something will fear the backlash of what will happen if they don’t do it – this is again fitting for the term “mustivation”. For those who are powered by their own drive, and their own desire to do something, they will be more passionate about what they’re doing, and focused on the process more than the outcome.
Motivation is about satisfying our three basic human needs:
Autonomy – self governance and independence
Competence – feeling capable and effective
Relatedness – a sense of belonging and respect of peers
Fulfillment of these basic human needs prevents emotional exhaustion and keeps us energized to accomplish our goals.
Discipline – How Can I Perform Consistently?
Discipline is at the service of motivation. When we are depleted of energy, we fall back onto our routines. Discipline helps to ensure a level of consistency in our lives. We educate our clients on common barriers to discipline, and show them how to implement strategies which produce results through long-term consistency.
Instant Gratification – I Want it Here, and I Want it Now!
What encourages this pattern of thought? What has conditioned us to think this way?
There is an undeniable role of social media in regard to instant gratification – likes, views, comments, followers, subscribers, these things all provide us with some enjoyment, and it happens instantly. Gratification from social media is rewarded by increased levels of neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine, but if it remains the only source of satisfaction, people lack discipline and are instead too focused on instant results.
The ultimate goal is to build discipline over time. The discipline build-up is the gradual, incremental implementation of attainable goals.
How do we set ourselves up for success?
Viewers will learn about goal setting, different types of goals, and how to use them effectively. This means that they will be able to set their own aspirational yet achievable goals which are personalised to their specific needs. We will also explain the process of how to accomplish these goals in a manageable way.
What kind of goals are there?
Process vs. Outcome
When the only motivation is the result, not achieving that result depletes you of energy.
We show our viewers how to focus on the execution, the performance, and the small objectives that lead towards long term goals.
Through more detailed, thorough explanations of these motivational theories, as well as the encouragement or practice and self reflection during the sessions, viewers will be better equipped to motivate themselves in a way that works for them. The goal of this program is to help viewers to be intrinsically motivated, and work towards goals because they want to.A Successful Career in Gaming?
A successful career in gaming can mean different things to different people; it could be winning international tournaments, it could be building a large fanbase who watch videos and live streams, or it could be both. Gamewell promotes healthy gaming; in order to have any kind of successful gaming career people must have a positive relationship with gaming.
If you observe any sort of top athlete, you will see that they approach their sport holistically. This means taking care of every part of themselves. Professional basketball players do not spend every waking hour on the court. Instead, they have rest periods, carefully control their nutrition, study tactics, and practise mental techniques to help them cope with the immense pressure their career entails. Gaming is no different. Playing video games for hours upon end can negatively affect mental and physical health, and also does not actually improve the quality of play. Gamers must look after their physical and mental health just as much as they spend time actually playing them.
A History of Professional Gaming
Professional gaming has surged in popularity over the past decade, although it is not totally new. The gaming industry itself brings in over 100 million U.S. dollars annually around the globe, and eSports are projected to make over a billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
eSports Vs. Streaming
With the rise of eSports came another form of gaming entertainment – streaming. There are now several different revenue streams for those who are seeking an entry into the world of paid gaming.
One of the ways to earn money is by winning tournaments, which are hosted by large organizations. These tournaments usually take place in front of an audience, and are streamed online by many avid gamers and fans alike. The Fortnite World Cup is one of the anticipated eSports events in 2020. Fortnite has an estimated user base of 250 million players, so the competition is incredibly high. Last year in 2019, the total prize pool for competitors was 100 million U.S. dollars.
Another popular way to earn money through gaming is through online live streaming. Some professional eSports players stream their gameplay so that fans can watch them play online. There are no barriers to entry for streaming, and as a result many non-professionals also stream but don’t necessarily get paid for it. For users that generate a high number of followers, companies may offer them sponsorship. For 18 to 25 year olds worldwide, watching video game streams online is more popular than watching sports.
Whether the goal is to become a streamer, professional eSports player, or anything in between, the two things that are necessary is a passion for video games and the online world, and dedication. Promoting healthy pathways to allow gamers to achieve their dreams can help to reduce the negative impacts of an unhealthy relationship with gaming, and to encourage a forward thinking dialogue that puts the best interest of gamers at the forefront of the discussion.
The Rocky Balboa Approach
In the popular boxing film from 1976, Rocky Balboa puts everything on the line, devoting all of his time and energy to a fight against the undisputed heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. At the end of the film, Rocky wins, but what would have happened if he did not?
The current attitudes towards eSports and professional gaming encourage gamers to take the Rocky Balboa approach, but what happens if they fail? There is a more logical approach that actually takes the best interest of gamers into account.
The Healthy Approach
The healthy approach encourages a regimented approach to gaming. In a healthy approach to gaming, users do not dedicate their entire lives to playing video games. Of course, to become a professional gamer one has to be extremely dedicated to the craft. However, this craft includes self-care, and as such, one must also be dedicated to this.
Gaming must not take a precedence over other areas of life. Our lives are made up of many interplaying, complex parts which do not function totally independently. This means that if we neglect one area of our life, it can negatively affect another. This includes gaming performance. It is highly important that gamers take part in social activities off-screen; this gives us the chance to develop and practise our social skills and self-esteem. As well as taking part in these activities, it is also important that aspiring professional gamers take care of their nutritional needs and their sleep. Both of these factors are linked to increased performance in gaming when they are at optimum levels, but a declining performance if these levels are allowed to decline.
Through completing Gamewell’s training program, you will be equipped with the essential tools to improve your wellbeing and therefore your gaming performance. However, professional gaming is very competitive. Whilst we might not all become professional gamers, we can all take care of our mental and physical health.