It wasn’t something I’d necessarily thought of, but it makes sense that in our current gaming landscape, we’d see the profession of video game personal trainer (or performance coach) begin to emerge. Responsible for anything from diet, to exercise, to personal hygiene and habits and psychological health, personal trainers are becoming indispensable (and likely well paid).
These are the trends in eSports gaming to create healthier, happier, and more competitive gamers:
Esports burnout is large phenomenon amongst high level players. Because of the intensity of playing, quick moving and emotional games against the best players in the world, it’s not uncommon for gamers to succumb to anxiety and pressure and disappear from the competitive gaming scene.
There is some uging to beginning officially referring to eSport gamers as athletes as what they do (at least mentally) equates professional athletes. Just like athletes require physical fitness training, so would eSports gamers require sports psychologists.
The term “tilt” is commonly used in eSports when someone loses control during a match, giving in to panic, confusion or anger, and acts out during competitive gameplay. Obviously this would be disastrous when competing against highly skilled gamers. The term originates from pin ball machines, when a player would panic, slamming buttons or shaking the machine violently. The game would freeze and the player would lose the ball. Keeping gamers focused and healthy decreases the chance of tilting under pressure and leads to more successful competitors.
Apparently the practice of hiring sports psychologists is helping eSports teams. Back in March, SK Gaming revealed it had brought in a sports psychologist to help with their League of Legends team. Since then the team has managed to rise from the bottom of the EU LCS standings, to the top, with great improvement to their playing.
ESports gamers also put a lot of stress on their bodies, just in a different way from sports athletes. They are more prone to hunch forward (not so different from the typical office worker) and carry stress in their shoulders. Carpal tunnel is also a fear because the constant use of micro-movements in their hands and the amount of time spent with a mouse or gaming keyboard. I wonder when we’ll start hearing about gamers insuring their valuable hands.
Because of this, personal fitness trainers are starting to find a place in the world of competitive eSports, to assist in both physical and mental agility.
Jake Middleton is a personal trainer who gained some traction earlier this year with his new business targeting eSport competitors. He has tailored fitness regimes for gamers that utilize yoga, tossing exercise balls, and arm stretches. The sessions cost about $200 per month. He’s volunteered with TeamKC, an amateur competitive team, to coach them on breathing and stretching during tournaments.
It’s not uncommon to now see performance coaches showing up on eSport team rosters. Performance Coaches can take care of both of the above areas, as well as massage, nutrition, stress management, scheduling, and innumerable other things that may be causing anxiety to the players. Happy gamers are successful gamers.
Robert Yip, sports psychologist and Performance Coach of The Immortals has this incredibly vague job description (“I basically do all the stuff”):
“His duties range from creating structure and scheduling for the League Team, managing the variables that inevitably pop up in eSports life, and keeping the players on track. Robert isn’t limited to just League; the mastermind of IMT works with the other coaches in the organization to maintain a healthy ecosystem.”
Healthy gaming for the non-pro
If you don’t have enough money to employ a personal trainer with an individualized workout routine for you needs, a performance coach to massage your hands, or a sports psychologist, here are some tips to help you stay healthy and improve your personal gaming bests.
To actually get to the heart of your gaming issues, a website exists that analyzes your game play and becomes a personal trainer/coach to help you with your own tilt experiences. Mobalytics received $2.5 million in funding in November and was named winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2016. The powerful tool analyzes the way you game and locates your strengths and weaknesses. It’s in beta right now, but has the potential to give the average gamer their own Performance coach to help them massively improve their playing.