It can be difficult to keep it together when games aren’t going according to plan or when tilt rears its ugly head. However, licensed therapist Chris Alphenaar offers great insight on how to keep your head in the game when times are tough.
He recommends using the Core Mindfulness Skill “Wise Mind”, a psychotherapeutic technique used in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), to help focus your attention in games.
Now I bet you are wondering how a technique used in clinical psychotherapy could possibly help your gameplay, but we have known since 2004 that techniques like these boost performance. It was then that we discovered that Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) used on Olympic athletes, boosted their performance by at least 20% when compared to traditional psychological skills training in sports.
Today in eSports, elite performance consultant Weldon Green uses a modified version of the ACT program that includes Mindfulness to coach his 3 LCS teams, including the 2015 & 2016 NA LCS Summer Split Champions, Counter Logic Gaming and Team Solo Mid. The program is aptly named “MAC” for Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment therapy. What’s even better is that he has the program available online for you to train with yourself.
DBT in eSports
Still not convinced? Well if you think back to when I discussed reworking your daily routine to increase motivation, believe it or not, that program (the “BREAK Method”) was inspired by none other than [drum roll please] Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
DBT covers a broad range of skill sets that are useful to any athlete including, self-awareness, emotion regulation, communication, and extreme stress management. In particular, I love using the emotion regulation techniques to keep motivation up during long training periods. Being that your mood directly impacts your desire to train, these skills help a ton, as you can see with the BREAK Method.
With that being said, Alphenaar’s instinct to use DBT in training eAthletes is a good one, as the Mindfulness skills themselves offer an excellent framework to keep motivated in games when you are extremely behind. Although, the mindfulness skills are without a doubt some of the most difficult to master in DBT.
For most people, it requires a complete rework the way you think. Even so, it would be “wise” to at least give it a try.
Are you wondering what other ways DBT can up your game? Shoot me a message in the comments below, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be sure to give you some wisdom. In the meantime, check out these other DBT inspired articles: