eSport Mental Skills Trainer and Performance Excellence Coach
My overall philosophy as a coach is providing players not only with the skills to optimize their performance, but with skills that will enhance their feeling of well being far beyond their years as professional esport athletes. I like to focus on skills that increase consistency in play by helping players overcome the fear, frustration, and and pressure they typically experience in high stakes games. I also like to help players build a lifestlye that can support longterm high performance.
Most recently, I've joined Counter Logic Gaming as their Player Development coach, where I am focusing on weekly mental skills training workshops designed to enhance their brains' abilities and mental resilience. Prior to that I worked full-time at Gold Coin United as a performance coach, culminating in a 1st place finish in both the 2017 CS Spring and Summer Splits. I have also done boot camps with LCS organizations such as Team Liquid, NRG, and Phoenix1. Most notable of these was the week prior to P1's massive upset in the 2016 LCS Summer Split, in which they handed TSM their only loss of the season. Prior to my more hands-on work, I was a founding member of Esport Coaching Network alongside Weldon Green and others, during which time I constructed a framework to assist coaches in tailoring their coaching style to the personalities of their players. I found my foothold in the industry in early 2015 writing blog content for Weldon on his then online webzine, mindgames.gg.
What inspired me to start performance coaching
Both gaming and the field of psychology are my absolute passions in life. How lucky I am to have made a career that combines the two!
As I’ve followed professional League of Legends, in 2012 the Riot features on the use of sports psychologists in eSports really peaked my interest. With my degree in Psychology and a love for League, I quickly considered becoming a psych coach in eSports a dream job. A couple of years went by with me considering this dream a passing folly, but then several debates regarding the acceptance of women in competitive gaming began to crop up. The factor discussed was a lack of positive role models for aspiring female gamers in the eSports community. Considering that a call to action, I started using my field of expertise to inspire and inform.
In 2006, I suffered from a debilitating bout of performance anxiety related to my studies that put a temporary halt to my academic career. (Oddly enough my biggest trigger was writing, but look at me now!) I immediately sought treatment, which had a very interesting side effect. The tips and strategies that helped me regulate my emotions enough to write, also helped me perform better when I played Call of Duty! Ever since then I have been interested in the interaction between gaming and emotion.
From then on I’ve used various games to help add structure and enjoyment to my life, so that I could better manage my stress. I would use simulator games like the Sims to calm down, and FPS games like Call of Duty to release anger and aggression. I also would raid on a regular basis in World of Warcraft to gain a sense of achievement that I could fall back on when I was feeling down.
Getting myself back on track was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Still to this day it's hard for me to think back and realize how many dreams I had that were taken from me by fear and a lack of coping skills. It’s because of this that I have vowed to help those who struggle like I did. I want to make sure that my players' dreams are not limited by their mindset like mine were. I want to make an army of mental warriors like me.