Posture, Performance, and Personal Growth in esports

The holidays are coming to a close, and soon we’ll all be returning to work and school. The various mental and physical strains will no-doubt accumulate, and you might just find yourself a little more sore in your gaming sessions.

As you get older, you might begin to wonder not only how you ever participated in the gaming marathons of yore, but also how the heck guys like Daigo Umehara are still kicking butt at 40 years old.

The late NBA all-star legend Kobe Bryant had a wonderful outlook on hustling. Your passion should never change, but your output needs to. In your 20s, you can use that inner fire and be a little reckless.

As you approach your 30s, it’s more about sustenance. Keeping that fire alive, but making sure you’re equipped with smart and methodical ways to compete for years to come.

Let’s dive into some gaming and betting practises you should 100% indulge in.

Take care of your hands

It seems obvious as these are tools required for gaming and optimal performance, but somehow, we still neglect these. Well, the negligence ends today! Here’s a wonderful video of some exercises and stretches you should do with your hands, with an explanation behind the choices.

On top of these, I would also advise stretching each of your fingers individually, being mindful of your posture with your controller or keyboard + mouse set up, and shaking all the tension out of your hands for 20-30 seconds. You’re going to be sitting in the queue anyway, might as well make sure those hands of yours last, right?

Hourly breaks… PROPER ones

Right, I get it, I’m sounding like your mom, but hear me out. Do you ever get those little pop-ups from games that say “you’ve been playing for awhile, please take a break!”? Well, there's a good reason for that.

Problem is, most of you suck at taking breaks. You’re not actually recuperating anything. Your brain is still racing, your eyes are sore, and your body is growing stiff. The correct way to take a break is to, if possible, step outside and gaze into the distance.

The more distance between your eyes and an actual object, the better. You will almost immediately feel the benefits of this.

Also read: Top 3 coaching patterns that apply to esports

Additionally, have a mini circuit planned out for each break that takes 30 seconds or so. I like to stretch my neck and alternate between a set of jumping jacks, pushups, and body squats. Keep the blood flowing, and your gameplay performance will be enhanced as well.

Focus on sitting straight and breathing, THEN focus on the game

“Wait, are you seriously suggesting I don’t focus on the game in front of me?” Yes, I am literally saying that. This knocks out two birds with one stone: you increase focus and you increase the ability to auto-pilot all the same.  As is the body, so is the mind.

Think of it like this. You’re at a tournament, it’s down to the wire and you need to nail that frag so your team can bring home the trophy. Do you think you’ll perform better tensed up, being a sweaty gamer and mouth breathing? No, of course not.

So take that initial 5% performance hit (honestly, it’s probably not even that), and as counter-intuitive as it seems, specifically focus on proper nasal breathing, making sure your shoulders, neck, and jaw aren’t tight and clenched, and notice how much your gameplay improves. Trust your mind to make the gameplay an automated process until you get into the zone.

This is it. You are now optimally prepared to tackle the toughest of competition and the most difficult of decisions.

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