I’m Not Passive – How Being Active IRL Can Help You In Game
Sun 4th Feb 2018 - 4:50pm
Hello, my name is Robbie ‘RobsterMonahan’ Monahan and I’m a moderately high ELO support main in EUW (finishing in mid to high platinum in the last two seasons). Now I hear you ask, "How is that relevant to this topic?" Well, what I didn’t mention is that I’ve been playing the sport of field hockey for 19 years of my 21-year-old life.
To say that playing sport and ultimately being active in real life has had a positive impact on my play is, in my opinion, is a certainty, and many pros over the years have echoed a similar point with notable examples being Balls in the gym in season 3 and Yellowstar’s transformation so he could keep being a pro through season 4. In this piece, I hope to go over some of the benefits of being active in terms of gameplay impact and in turn I hope it encourages you to maybe be a bit more active yourselves.
Now I’m sure many of you have heard the saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ and I do have to admit there is some truth to the saying. I know without my hockey to give me something to make me want to get out and move, whether it be hitting my signature slap lift aerial pass or running the ball down a wing to set up a team play, I would be more sluggish in my thinking, demotivated and overall just not as sharp.
Now I want you to think what makes you play at a lower level to your peak. Are you tired? Almost, sluggish even? See where I’m going here? This can be summed up for me in the fact that I play better the day after a great training session or match, a memory of mine is after I scored my first league goal for my club, the day after I was so motivated to just do well in everything I played to a standard I never had at the time (this was 3 years ago when I was pushing gold) and gained a significant amount of LP. So here we have an example of how being active out of the game may help you in the game.
Now I know this seems obvious, but being fitter and faster as a whole is going to reduce your reaction time as you are faster. However, just because this is a very linear train of thought does not mean that it’s a bad thing, being able to react faster to a scene change is always useful as getting that flash of in time can be the difference between life and death, and one death can cost you big, especially in late game. So, getting that reaction speed up by being active with sports such as squash, hockey, or others can directly benefit you, your gameplay, and ultimately help you grow in your goals on the ranked ladder.
Now this one only really applies to team sports such as the prior mentioned field hockey and similar ventures such as football (or soccer as some call it) but the point is still very much relevant.
In team games, you often have an allocated position or role rather like that of League of Legends (for example, I’m a forward in hockey so it is my job to do the damage to the scoreboard rather like an ADC damages the objectives) and again like LoL you need to position a certain way for a certain role (again to enforce the metaphor I need to be in a position to do damage via shooting while being away from threats to my intent such assassins or defenders).
This has benefited my play as I find that by applying the approach of smart positioning from my team games to my league play, I’m getting caught less and as we know lowering your number of deaths can greatly increase your chances of getting the big win which is something I can safely assume we all want.
Overreaching for something is an issue that plagues our gameplay at almost every ELO, but what you may not realise is that we have a similar equivalent in team sports - ‘Forcing the play'. This is where a team is too desperate to push straight towards the opposing net and so will make a punishable mistake by giving the ball away, throwing too many players up the pitch (leaving their own net vulnerable) among a few other ways. The primary cause of this is desperation to make the play to score, and desperation in LoL has a very similar result, overextension.
Now we all know that over-extending to make the play will usually end up in us being slain, not desirable. But how do we stop this negative effect of forcing/overextension? Well, in our hockey training the method revolves around patience and intelligence. So, being able to wait, find a smarter play that isn’t going to cost us then applying it (for example instead of hitting the ball through a defender where it may be stopped, by playing wise and around him so we can push up safely).
Now, lets apply this to LoL, instead of just going to Baron and start attacking with the huge risk of being seen and punished (with a team collapse getting you all killed), you go to baron but clear out the vision around it first to then snipe off an opponent then taking the baron 5v4, sounds a lot better and is far more likely to be effective, right? So instead of forcing the baron play, you show patience and the intelligence to be effective.
Simple stuff, but it is a clear example of how being active IRL and then applying your activities to your gameplay can make you better in-game.
To conclude this mini-guide off there is two things to take on board; being active in real life can most definitely benefit you in your gameplay but it’s you who has to make the effort to apply it. To hark back to my opening paragraph Yellowstar and Balls improved themselves by making the effort to go and exercise themselves. It’s your potential. So with that I offer you all the best of luck with your endeavours in game and IRL and should you find improvement tell me in the comment section below, I love to hear stories of this kind of growth. GL HF and GG.
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