Nerves Problems? You Are Not Alone
One thing people never talk about is nerves. Those little butterflies that creep into your stomach and the shacking of the hands when things get tough? Nerves impact every game from League to the NFL. It doesn’t matter who you are, nerves can cause you to fail when you normally would succeed. The most important question is, how do you deal with them?
Imagine the nerves if you were here!
WHY NERVES STAND OUT NOW
Nerves are a common part of playing competitive games/sports and I have been hit hard by them lately. I have not really played League of Legends in months. A game here or there but I mainly have not played for 3 months. Did I expect my mechanical skills to drop? Absolutely! Did I expect to be nervous when I play normal games? Not so much. Last hitting use to be easy, but not only am I missing those blasted minions because my timing is off, but because my hands are not responding the way I want them too. It is time to face the problem head on.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT NERVES
Before the Game:
- Nerves happen to everyone. When you are going out to compete, everyone feels some level of jitters. It is completely normal and you know that it really happens during promotion matches.
- Go through a sort of “warm-up.” This can be light exercise just to get your blood moving, this can be last hitting practice but some kind of pre-game preparation.
- Visualize yourself performing perfectly. Breathe deeply and speak positively to yourself with a prepared plan. “I am going to be great and focus on getting every CS I can.” “That guy is going down and I am going to snowball the other lanes.”
During the Game
- Focus on the task at hand. Ignore things like “We are going to lose, mid is feeding” and focus entirely on your own game. Focus on getting all the farm you can, focus on not dying and focus on your own actions in the moment. The present is a lot easier to deal with than trying to deal with the past, present and future.
- Force a smile. I know it sounds ridiculous but our mental state is physical as well. A smile will help break negative thought cycles so that you can focus on the task at hand.
- Play like you do not care about the outcome. When you are nervous, you are usually nervous about an outcome. If you do not care about the outcome, then what are you so nervous about? It is a GAME. Unless you are in the LCS, League of Legends is a game, it is ok to think about it like one!
After the Game
- Review the game. This sounds like a broken record regarding advice but take a moment to review your decisions, actions and the outcomes.
- Acknowledge, but quickly dismiss things that hindered your performance. Recognize when you messed up, but then focus on what you did well. If all you ever think about is how you failed, then you will only ever figure out how to not fail. The goal is to not fail, but to succeed. Focus on the things that let you do that.
- Training programs to mimic the situations. This can be difficult but if you are having issues focusing on something, play a bot game and practice your spell rotations, last-hitting, whatever. Until Riot creates a training room, we all have to make do. (Anyone want to start a petition?)
Nerves were not the aspect I thought would hinder my game as much as it has. But nerves can be overcome and these guidelines from sports psychology should help. Next time I play a game, I hope I do not suck!
About the Author, Emeraldw:
- Loves psychology and philosophy. Then tries to apply it to even simple things like League of Legends.
- Cookies and Ice Cream have been known to buy Emeraldw's loyalty and affection.
- Basics are the most important thing in learning anything
- For more by Emeraldw, click on my name and go to the "Articles" Tab under my profile.
If you have any comments or ideas for future articles, please send me a message and I will be happy to communicate with you!