Addressing Variance

In a previous article I discussed the phenomena of variance and how it can impact your team and decisions in a game.  After receiving a few comments about the article, I decided to write a follow up article on how to address variance, when it can be beneficial and how to bring about consistency in your life.

Variance can be reduced by developing a better understanding of how it comes about.  There are a few aspects of anything you do that I feel sum up why anyone would have variance.  Mastering these aspects can lead you to have virtually no variance, although being 100% consistent is impossible.

Emotion

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Control over your emotions is critical in controlling your consistency.  A lot of people are very strong in the other aspects and are really lacking in emotional control.  The ability to control your emotion will stop you from tilting, making poor choices due to current mood and keep your body’s chemicals in check.  This particular aspect has many different ugly heads to prevent you from achieving your potential, so I am going to break them down more closely.

Tilting

You will see this one more often than anything else.  It ties in closely with the next issue and acts as a catalyst (the spark that lights that fire).  What happens here is not everything goes as it should and instead of taking a step back and realizing that it could work out, you get angry, sad or upset.  Tilting is the beginning of an emotional issue and is the easiest thing to do on this list.  Trying to avoid and recognize when you’re tilting is a science, but knowing that it exists, taking a breather and addressing it goes a long way towards stopping tilt.

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Tilt is only cool here

Bringing Your Issues to the Situation           

This is definitely the major contributor to your emotional control.  Did you have a bad day today?  Did you get stuck in traffic on the way home and are really stressed out?  Big deadline coming up?  Relationship or lack thereof issues?  Bringing a loaded mind into a situation where focus and control is required is a bad idea.  I’m certainly guilty of this coming off a long, rough day and “unwinding” to some League of Legends only to find it actually frustrates me even more.  On top of that, I begin to dredge up all of those negative emotions that I had during the day and things just get ugly.

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I didn’t have a fight, just a loud conversation

In order to stop this trend, find another outlet or get it out of your system before you sit down to do something.  Bringing a loaded mind ready to snap already to a stressful situation is setting yourself up for failure.  If you had a rough day sit down and relax, diffuse your situation and regain control of yourself.

Defeatism and Pessimism

These two things are going to really damp your consistency.  If you are the type that gives up after your team gives first blood, you really should reconsider your outlook.  People performing badly on your team in any situation always have a chance to redeem themselves.  While that bot lane Fiddle has been feeding all game, he might also land a great ultimate that helps you carry the team one time.  Being very pessimistic and defeatist about your team is really just defining your path and then fulfilling it.

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My life is a third full!

The way to solve this is to break the cycle.  If you’re saying “Oh, this is lost, nothing I can do” then you have already lost.  Go into things and say instead “We can still do this” and then rather than being right and losing, you can be wrong and either win or lose.  One option realistically always leads to failure while the other at least takes victory into consideration.

Fundamentals

The second huge path on the way to more consistent play is knowledge of the fundamentals.  If you are unaware of the basics of what you’re doing, trying to complete advanced things as well as replicating normal results is impossible.  Whether you’re trying to design a building that doesn’t fall down and don’t know your physics equations and moment diagrams or playing a game of League of Legends and don’t know how to play your role, fundamentals are essential.

Posted ImageMost gold in the game through last hits, despite 9 less KDA.

This is the easiest issue to address, but also takes the most practice and time.  Emotional control is really hard to do, but is just a matter of changing your approach to life.  Fundamentals, however, require a grind, practice and repetition.  If you’re trying to become a better League player, find the funadmentals of your position and get them down.  You see someone like Reginald able to play and AP carry in the game because he knows very well how to play his role.  Chaox also can play any AD because the aspects of positioning, last hitting and game progression are very similar.  Work on your basics before you delve into finer points like optimizing your jungling path.

Mental State

This one is the easiest to recognize, but often ties in with emotion and is typically not solvable at the time.  Mental state issues are things like being drunk, stoned, tired or just stressed out.  You can’t really “solve” being drunk when playing, other than to not drink.  If you’re playing ranked when wasted, you can’t really expect good results.  This is the same for stress and tiredness levels.  You can’t really just snap your fingers and relieve yourself of those issues as well, the best way to fix this issue is to address it before you begin playing.

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You can’t just snap out of tiger blood either.

Conclusion

So this article can be interpreted a few ways, and one of them is: “Don’t play League of Legends or do anything unless you’re 100% perfect emotionally, mentally and know the fundamentals!”  That is hardly the case, however, because while those things matter you can’t only do something when those things are perfect.  If I were to only play when I had a good day and wasn’t angry about something in my life, I would never play a game ever.  You also have to play a lot in order to get your fundamentals down and mechanics worked out.

The main point of this advice is to recognize it.  When you come home from an awful day and do bad in a game, don’t flip out and start questioning whether your life choices are valid.  Yes, that does happen to people and was an issue I struggled with a lot.  Instead, take a deep breath, evaluate what problems you’re having and address them.  Are you bringing too much to the table, struggling with fundamentals or simply too tired to perform right now?  Find those realizations and work towards a solution in order to make yourself a consistency machine.

GL HF,
Hahano

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