Focus on Yourself

If you want to improve, you have to focus on yourself. That sounds simple, but there’s more to it than you might think.

“Focusing on yourself” means more than simply paying attention to what you’re doing. It means you have to stop devoting time and attention to other people.

How many times have you been playing a game and you became upset at a play your teammates made? Maybe they missed an easy skill shot. Or they mindlessly overextended and got ganked by the jungler. There’s thousands of ways your teammates can throw the game and there’s not much you can do about it.

How do you respond when something like that happens? If you pay attention to it at all, you’re not paying attention to yourself. And I don’t mean flaming them in chat or question-mark pinging them (although you should certainly avoid doing things like that). Even if you just shout curses at the screen, words they’ll never hear, or shake your head and think “why do I get teammates like this?”, then you’re paying attention to them. You’re not focusing 100% on yourself, and you’re hurting yourself when you do that.

It wouldn’t make sense to record a Reiterate clip that reminded you “are your teammates making mistakes?” That would be silly. You need to focus on your own plays, your own mistakes, and any time you waste thinking about other things is just that – a waste.

So often I see players wasting their time and energy by commenting on the actions and performance of other players. Do you call out “bot diff”? Or “mid gap”? Those are comparisons. In fact, it’s a double distraction. If you’re playing top and you call “mid gap” then you’re saying (a) the enemy mid-laner is playing well, and (b) your mid-laner is playing poorly. Neither of those people is you. You need to focus on yourself, not your mid-laner, and certainly not the enemy mid-laner.

Do you complain “welp, I lost the coin-flip this match”? Often I see players who will sigh and complain that they have been defeated by “the coin flip” which randomly assigned them bad teammates. Again, this is irrelevant to your own improvement. Your bot lane may be 0-12, but so what? Nothing you do or say is going to change that fact. Every second you spend in melodramatic lamentation is a second where you are not improving your own skills.

If you find yourself frequently thinking like this about the other players in your games, perhaps you would benefit by recording a clip to reiterate during your matches: “Focus on yourself. What can you do right now to improve yourself and the game?”

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