Get In the Zone: Peak Performance Tips For Gamers During Competitions
Set the Stage
No matter what your particular sport, dominance is, above all, about mindset. If you’re mentally prepared, then you’re far more likely to be physically, technically, and strategically prepared as well. Conversely, if your head’s not in the right space, it’s a pretty good bet that nothing else will fall in line either.
So one of the first and most important things you can do as you strive to build your competitive gaming career is to create a space designed for champions. After all, your physical environment has a direct and significant impact on your mental health, so take care to surround yourself with things that make you feel like a winner.
Everything about your space, from the lighting to the furnishings to the decor should leave you feeling focused, relaxed, and confident. So select a few items of memorabilia or personal mementos that are personally empowering, items that help you find your competitive edge without cluttering the space.
Creating a competitive environment that gives you a winning mindset is only half the battle when it comes to setting up your space. You also need to focus on utility and functionality. You want to ensure, for instance, that you have a healthy and comfortable setup, one that will help you endure a grueling gaming session.
At a minimum, you will need a good, ergonomic chair that will help you maintain good posture throughout the competition to combat both physical and mental fatigue. You’ll also need easy access to healthy food and hydration as you play. And, of course, you will want to ensure that your tech is connected, accessible, and functional at all times.
Planning and Practice
Dominating during gameday doesn’t just happen. It’s a process, one that takes time, strategy, and preparation. So start getting ready for the competition as early as possible, ideally weeks or even months ahead of game day.
Create practice sessions that emulate game-day conditions. If, for instance, the competition is set to start early on a Saturday, but you’re not really a morning person, then you’re going to need to condition yourself to become one. Forgo those late Friday nights and get into the habit of waking at the same time as on gameday and on starting your practice sessions at the same hour as the competition.
And, of course, if you’re competing, then you probably already are an expert on your particular game, but that doesn’t mean you know all there is to know about its competitive aspects. So do your homework. If footage of previous competitions is available, study them much as a professional athlete would study game tapes.
Learn as much as you can about your competitors, the logistics of the competition, and how the sessions generally play out. This includes learning how long sessions generally are and working to build your stamina, through good nutrition, effective hydration, physical exercise and conditioning, and quality sleep.
You’ll also need to consider, and practice, the more challenging parts of a marathon competition. Plan for how you will eat and drink during extended gameplay and how you will manage the call of nature. Timing your food and fluid intake will help you more effectively schedule bathroom breaks during the competition.
Honor Game Day Rituals
Most elite athletes have their own unique rituals to help them prepare for competition. But these rituals are far more than simple superstitions. In fact, rituals have been shown to be highly effective in helping people focus their energies, reduce anxiety and stress, and feel more confident in high-pressure situations.
So don’t be afraid to embrace a few game-day rituals of your own. Whether it’s donning your lucky sweatshirt, listening to a favorite song, or walking around the room a specified number of times, these gestures can help you get in the zone and ready to win.
When you’re a gamer, competing at an elite level is most definitely not child’s play. It requires planning, preparation, and commitment to maintain peak performance throughout a marathon session of ultra-high-level play. However, by creating the right environment, practicing consistently in the weeks prior to the competition, and embracing rituals that support performance you can excel.