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Monday, November 28, 2011

Lessons from sports psychology can help you win more games

Anyone who has played physical sports knows the importance of staying strong mentally. A weak mental game can cause mistakes and meltdowns, resulting in defeat. Similarly, it is important to have a strong mental game in League of Legends because this can reduce stupid deaths and the snowballing effect that some experience when they start playing poorly.

One helpful way to maintain a strong mental game is to use what has been called the "3Rs" method. The "3Rs" stand for "Release, Review, and Reset." This technique was first developed for tennis, primarily because so much of tennis is repetitive and because there is plenty of time in between each point to think/meltdown. To use the "3Rs" technique, the player should go through the same steps after each point (or death in LoL) to maintain mental composure.
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The first R, Release, means to release any positive/negative feelings associated with the prior point. This may mean cheering yourself on or cussing yourself out. 

The second R, Review, means the player should review the prior point and determine what was good/bad about it. In the tennis context, this could mean reviewing the proper swinging technique for a forehand/backhand.

The third R, Reset, means the player should reset for the next point. This is a way to forget about what just happened and prepare for the next point. For example, in tennis this could mean bouncing the ball a certain number of times before the player serves.

League of Legends players can use the 3Rs technique to maintain a strong mental game and reduce mistakes. Like in tennis, there is time to reflect on your mistakes thanks to the death timer. After a careless death, the player should release any emotion associated with that death - probably profanity or self-criticism. After that, the player should review what he did wrong and how to avoid a similar mistake in the future. Finally, the player should mentally reset and move beyond what just happened.

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