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Elevating performance

in esports athletes

An independent collective of performance experts, helping you to push your boundaries and challenge your limits. It's time to get in the zone.

STORY mindset

No ‘I’ In Team: Enhancing Gaming Performance With Comradery

Team Performance
Team Cohesion
Mental Preparation
Inner Speech
Self-Knowledge
Goal Setting
Motivation
Sleep Habits
Endurance
Team Spirit
Social Capital

Introduction

Teamwork is an essential piece of the multiplayer jigsaw performance. But there is much more at play than simply joining the session together and hoping for the best. 

There are a whole host of mental, physical and communicative skills to think about when playing in a team. In the following story, we’ll look at how these factors, both in and outside of the game, can have a profound effect on collective performance. Not only for individual players, but for the coach and the team as a whole. 
.01

The Influence Of Self-Knowledge On Team Performance

If you’re looking to improve your team-playing capabilities, you might be surprised to learn that it can come down to something as simple as being aware of your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Research has found that those players who better understand themselves are able to thrive and perform much better as individuals, which has a knock-on effect on their team performance. As it is generally understood, gamers who are not aware of what is happening in their minds have a harder time controlling their in-game play.

It’s extremely common for gamers to experience critical or negative thought processes.

And those who talk or think negatively about themselves and their team(mates) will also find that this will increase their likelihood of poor in-game performance. On the flip side, those who speak kindly to or about themselves and their teammates will see a natural improvement in their own - as well as their team’s - performance.

Not only is it the basis of mental well-being, but self-knowledge is the key to maximising performance. To achieve this self knowledge, one must be aware of their “inner speech”, that is, their self worth, expectations, social code of conduct and ability to feel empathy.

Esport is for the most part team play, whether playing on a team, or working individually with the support of a team. Understanding the importance of good team spirit and communication as well as what kind of person you are as a team mate, is therefore a vital component of your success.

Mia Stellberg

Sports- & esports psychologist

.02

Controlling Your Blood Sugar For Better Endurance

Blood sugar, also known as glucose, comes from the food that we eat. Our bodies create blood sugar by digesting carbohydrates into glucose, which circulates in our bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy and so the body requires a continuous supply of glucose to function optimally. Stable blood sugar levels will provide a player with consistency in both their mental state and cognitive performance.

Gamers who want to take their performance seriously, both individually and part of a team, should therefore be aware of their diet. 
This is because food, and its ability to cause spikes in blood sugar levels, can have a dramatic effect on cognitive functioning, mood as well as how one behaves towards teammates.

Be aware that food spikes blood sugar levels, and so eating high carb or sugary foods can cause these levels to skyrocket, causing difficulty in thinking clearly, nervousness, tiredness or low energy. This will also cause your body to release higher-than-normal amounts of insulin to bring these levels down, which can contribute to mood swings, irritability, coordination and decision-making difficulties.

To avoid this, prioritise three main meals a day as this will encourage more stable blood sugar levels and enhance cognitive functioning, helping to increase team performance.

In a nutshell: control your diet to avoid the emotional rollercoaster and become a more stable and thus successful team player.

Signe Find

Hormones & stress specialist

.03

Achieving Team Success Through Motivation And Goal Setting

Motivation plays a significant role in how committed we are to any given task. It also helps determine to what quality such tasks are completed, and for how long we are willing to commit ourselves to them. 

If we really want something, we understand that we must give our best every day. Setting the right kind of goals helps, as following our steps keeps us on the right path. And so in order to stay motivated, it could be worth asking yourself what you’d like to achieve and what you should do to get there.
These questions also apply when working as a team. In this instance, good motivation requires both an individual goal and a team goal. While an individual player might have certain steps in place  towards reaching their goal, a team, however, needs to step back and see the larger picture, remembering that short and long term goals help support everyone involved.

Besides instruction of skills, a team coach should also be aware of their team’s short and long term team goals while looking to enhance effectiveness and success through motivation, inspiration and conflict management. The main objective of the coach is to align all team members towards a common goal, which means that he or she needs to identify what motivates each player, because motivation is the key factor that every player should possess in order for the team to be successful.

Mia Stellberg

Sports- & esports psychologist

.04

The Power Of Sleep And Its Influence On Mental State

A well-rested player is a better team player. In a team, you have to work together, react to what your fellow players do, and regulate your emotions in response to their actions. Bad or too little sleep can make it difficult to perform, because we lack the necessary resources. For example, when we lack sleep, our thinking is slowed, staying focussed becomes more challenging and our ability to rapidly and flexibly react to new or changing situations suffers. In short: we tend to make more what our team mates might call ‘stupid’ mistakes. Additionally, we become more willing to take risks while at the same time less sensitive to potentially negative consequences of our actions. 
Lacking sleep, we may also become thin-skinned, experience more negative and less positive emotions, and tend to emotionally overreact. In a team, such behaviour is not desirable and can negatively affect the team spirit and performance. In addition, a lack of sleep renders us less sociable and, unwittingly, others become hesitant to interact with us. If our teammates blame us for not performing, this causes stress, which may in turn impair sleep – a classic self-reinforcing process. 

In a modern world, it is easy to lose what we call ‘good sleeping habits’. Actually, it happens to quite a lot of people, but becoming aware of these habits also allows us to change them. So, to a considerable extent, our sleep is in our hands. Though not everything works for everyone, here are 5 tips we would like to invite you to try.

Christine Blume

Sleep scientist

.05

Fortifying A Team Bond: A Vital Factor In Gameplay

Getting close with teammates and building a team bond can be the difference between a good team and a victorious one. A major part of this comes down to three simple things: communication, collaboration and cooperation within the team. The foundations of a solid team are built on trust and reliability, and to achieve these qualities, each individual player needs to feel comfortable expressing their own frustrations and thoughts with their co-players while being able to listen and understand their teammates’ points of view.

Whether practicing together physically or online, maintaining good, solid relationships with your teammates outside as well as during gameplay is paramount. 
A good way to develop this rapport is by discussing gameplay before or after practice, reiterating your goals for the day’s practice, or going over how it went afterwards.

Communicating common goals as well as the individual needs between co-players will help them to flourish. It is also key that all those involved prepare well for practice sessions and don’t waste others’ time by showing up unfocused or unprofessional.

Common qualities among players of the most successful teams include the ability to listen, respect and support their teammates, something that can be achieved by simply creating the right setting. By fostering evaluation, reflection and general socialising, team members will be able to connect on all levels.

Mia Stellberg

Sports- & esports psychologist