When you see professional players, you generally only get to follow the successes, and how teams celebrated after their wins. However, being able to deal with loss in esports is a big area which goes untouched.
In this guest piece, Professional sim racer for Oracle RedBull Racing Esports, and 2020’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Champion Sebastian Job shares some advice on how to deal with the pressure when results don’t quite go your way.
The first step after any poor performance is an analysis/debrief of what caused everything to go wrong. Looking back at a replay of the event is the best way to do this as you can refresh your memory. Take note of what went wrong and make sure not to make the same mistake next time. Mistakes are the best way to learn, as long as you don’t do them again!
Often after a race your emotions are running high. Maybe you want to give up on the competition, or maybe you want to blame others. Some people can never blame themselves and always look for an excuse or someone else to fault, meaning that they will never learn from their mistakes. It is critical to look impartially at what you did as a driver, and what you did wrong. Put yourselves in the shoes of your competitors and see how you would consider your actions from their view. It can be a humbling experience, but the best drivers know when they messed up, and know when to accept the blame. Once you learn this tool, your decision making will improve significantly for the future.
Being able to control your emotions after a bad competition is one of the most important aspects of being successful in esports, or any sport. Those that are in full control of this are able to channel their anger and frustration into motivation, working harder than ever before to ensure that they are better next time. For me one of the key ways to control my emotions after a bad race is to go to the gym and let my frustration out there. I can then return to practice with the motivation from before, but without as much frustration and with fewer things racing through my mind. A clear mind is key for effective practice.
This one is relatively simple. Sometimes a short break or a holiday is needed if the results aren’t going your way. It’s very easy to burn out when competing all the time, so it’s important to cool off occasionally. In my experience I’ve always been able to enjoy practice more after a break.
5. Stay disciplined:
Often after a bad competition, this can be when the practice starts to drop off as the motivation is drained and you can no longer be bothered to put the effort in. Staying disciplined and training even when you don’t want to is what separates the champions from the challengers. Often this just comes down to the personality, how hard are you willing to work to achieve your goals? This is one of the major keys to dealing with failure, being able to set aside those bad days and continuing to work despite everything being thrown your way.
For more information and advice about maintaining positive wellbeing in esports, you can check out this article which outlines the best ways to stay healthy physically and mentally in esports.