Chapter 12. Cultivating the attitude of a winner
As we already mentioned in the first chapter of this book, what you will often notice when playing Ranked is that as a Mid laner, you are to be expected to lead the team to a victory.
It makes sense that acquiring the proper mechanics and game knowledge will help you tremendously in achieving the rank you aim for. But there is one more key ingredient to the formula – having the right attitude.
Your attitude relates to the way in which you comprehend and react to the circumstances around you during game. It all has to do with the way you handle and feel about the in-game events – not just inwards, but outwards.
In other words, attitude is everything. It is the main factor that determines how much fun you have during game.
Also, your attitude will have a huge impact on your teammates and therefore, on the outcome of the game. It will either help build them up, or it will make a negative contribution towards their motivation level. If your attitude is positive and your performance is on point, your teammates will be more motivated to do well.
If you play poorly and you actually express your frustration about it, the rest of the players will usually pickup on that and stop trying to do their best.
No matter what bracket of play you currently belong to, your attitude will either be your greatest limiting factor, or one of your strongest advantages.
I would go as far as to claim that your attitude is just as important as your game knowledge and mechanics. That’s what I’ve personally come to realize after coaching so many players.
I am sure that if you have been following the Pro scene for a while, you can think of at least 15 mechanically godlike players that never reached their full potential, due to them having a negative attitude towards things, as soon as they stop working out for them in the way they desire.
It was their “only” limiting factor, but it had such a powerful impact on their carrier. If this concept applies to the greatest players in League of Legends history, then I think it is safe to assume that cultivating the right attitude it is something worth paying attention to.
So what are the key concepts that will help you to develop the mental attitude of a winner?
The best place to start is by identifying your current internal thought processes when you are influenced (positively and negatively) by the in-game circumstances.
Ask yourself honestly – what thoughts are entering my mind when a person “x” does a certain thing, and how am I reacting when a situation “y” occurs?
Why should you care? Because your thoughts will tell you everything you need to know about your subconscious perceptions of those circumstances, i.e. the way you view things.
Let’s assume that all morning you have been in a great mood. You started your day off being happy and then you decide to sit down for your first Ranked game for the day.
You are excited and you are really looking forward to getting closer to your Ranked goal.
If the game goes well up to a point, but suddenly an unfortunate in-game event occurs (a teammate starts trolling or feeding, your team throws an objective) and you allow it to put you into a negative state of mind, what do you think could be the reason for that?
Think about it. Was it really the event that did it? Does it really have all that power over you?
Of course not. Your reaction was a direct reflection of your perception of the importance of that event. If you view what happened as something bad, of course it will put you in a negative state of mind and it will cause you to experience negative emotions.
Negative emotions lead to negative thoughts. Once you allow yourself to enter that negative headspace, you know what happens. It tends to snowball and grow as events keep rolling out.
Things only get worse from there. You stop trying as hard. You start assuming that things won’t work out in the end, so you might as well not bother. You start blaming your teammates for being incompetent and so on and so forth.
Essentially, what happens is that you start operating from the internal state of being fearful that you will lose the game.
Once you allow yourself to enter that state of mind, you will be subconsciously inclined to doing and saying things that are congruent with you losing the game.
I know it sounds screwed up, but that’s just the way we human beings are.
Mind you, in some cases you might be perfectly correct in your assumptions, but please understand that those assumptions will not serve you towards the purpose of winning that game, so you need to learn how to resist them, or even better – not have them at all.
You have the power to consciously choose your response to any situation that happens in-game, good or bad (and in life for that matter, but that’s a different subject).
So here is the BIG SECRET towards cultivating the attitude of a champion… are you ready?
Let go of any attachments you have to the way you think things should turn out during the game, and the way you want them to be. Let it go. Give yourself permission to accept whatever the game hands you and work with what you’ve got.
Oh, by the way, on the topic of attachments… the worst type of attachment you can ever have is the expectation that you are supposed to win every game.
As soon as you let go of any attachments you might have, you will notice that all of a sudden magical things will start happening.
You will be able to stay in the present moment and to maintain your focus on doing what you need to do to win. You will play better and be more productive.
You will no longer view an unfortunate event as being bad. Therefore, you will no longer be emotionally invested in situations that do not serve you.
So you will no longer operate from the state of being fearful that you may lose the game and therefore, you will only do things that are congruent with you trying your best to achieve victory. Think about how powerful this is.
If you adopt this mindset, you will also start having 10 times more fun with the game. All of a sudden, you will be winning more games, especially the ones that your old self would see as unwinnable.
From now on, I would like to encourage you to view things like trolling, intentional throwing, feeding teammates and negative comments toward you as things that are no big deal to YOU.
Use your mental power to think positively and find the good in each situation. Always come from the place of “No matter what happens now, things will work out great in the end and I will be victorious”.
Your teammate has fed 5 kills in the first 8 minutes? – “That’s okay, I can work with that. More shutdown gold for me”.
The enemy team got your top lane inhibitor before the 15th minute mark? “That’s okay, now the super minions will be pushing the top lane and killing our creeps all the time, so we can farm more”.
It is amazing how looking for the good in each circumstance can have such a powerful impact on a player’s ability to sustain a high-level performance.
Be okay with any outcome that might occur during game. Accept that achieving your ranked goal will never be a straight line. There always will be little obstacles and setbacks that must be overcome, so you can learn from them and become better.
Embrace that reality. Don’t let negative circumstances affect you in any way, shape or form. Instead, view them as challenges that are meant to help you grow as a player.
Apply all the principles I teach my dear readers in all my League of Legends books and combine them with disciplining yourself to enjoy whatever the game hands you.
Stay away from being self-critical. Resist the urge of feeling bad about the mistakes you make. Instead, your mindset when playing your Ranked games should be, you thinking at all times how YOU can improve, how YOU can do better.
How can YOU do what you just did even better next game? How can you have more fun playing?
Give yourself permission to stay cool and focus on enjoying every part of your journey to improving at the game and you will be rewarded with achieving what you want and having even more fun while doing it.
What I talked about so far had to do with shaping your attitude, by controlling the way YOU perceive situations. I believe we can mutually agree that you have 100% control over that.
But there is another angle to all of that, which has to do with the way you present yourself, i.e. the way your actions and words affect your teammates’ attitudes.
To illustrate what I mean better, I want to present you with some more practical instructions of what to do and what not to do when you encounter certain situations.
They will give you a great perspective on how to handle the undesirable situations that you will inevitably encounter when you play Ranked.
These instructions will also help you directly or indirectly influence your teammates in a way, which would encourage them to try harder to win the game.
If a teammate keeps dying multiple times in a row, possibly feeding intentionally.
Take a look at his farm, is he trying to farm at all?
If yes, then he might not be intentionally feeding. If you see that he is still not terribly behind and there is an opportunity to help him, push the wave while conserving enough mana for a full combo and head toward his lane.
If not, just keep laning and focusing on building up a bigger advantage for yourself, while still looking out for opportunities to carry that advantage elsewhere.
Also, is he complaining? Is he toxic? If yes, it’s best to mute him, because at this point you can be 100% certain that he will not be helpful anyway, so you might as well not see what he has to say.
If you see that some of your teammates are trying to rationalize with him, after you have muted him, politely advise your teammates to do the same, so you can all focus on the gameplay.
However, if he is friendly and he asks you or someone else for directions on what to do in his situation, do feel free to offer him your advice.
Don’t try to enter an argument with him. If he is being toxic, don’t reply back to him. Don’t encourage your teammates to start lashing out at him. Don’t try to rationalize with him or explain why he should or should not do something.
You would be wasting your energy and you would shift away your focus from what is important. Don’t accept anything he says as a fact, because he is saying whatever he is saying, because he comes from a place of the fearful state that the game is already lost.
Also, don’t even worry about his feeding affecting the outcome of the game. Unless you are playing in very high elo, most of your opponents will have little to no clue on how to transition the advantage they get in the laning phase to an actual win.
If a teammate starts to blame, criticize and judge you or any other players on your team.
Take a brief look at what he is saying. Is he actually right, or just being offensive? If whatever he says is true, and it is directed towards you, politely thank him for offering his advice and assure him that you appreciate it.
If he is trying to be helpful, this would have a positive effect on his attitude and he will immediately become friendly, because he will feel acknowledged. Accept the fact that some people have poor communication skills and they do not always know how to express themselves the proper way.
I would even suggest that you throw some sort of a funny joke, so you alter the tone of the conversation to a more positive one. Usually, your teammate will respond with the same and the whole atmosphere will change for the better.
However, if your gut feeling tells you that what he is typing is just a reflection of him trying to be mean intentionally (because he has a bad day or whatever), you will not accomplish anything if you respond to him, even if you were to do it in the friendliest way.
Make sure you report him after the game, because players like him are not healthy to the League of Legends community. They might as go play a different game.
Put him on ignore with no hesitation. If a player is not being logical, or typing anything of value, do not expect him to do so when 5 minutes later the game is going even more poorly.
If you see that one or more of your teammates are trying to argue and reason with him, once you have muted him, feel free to support them by advising them to ignore his negativity, so you can all focus on winning the game.
If they still keep exchanging insults back and forth, you can choose from two options. You can either mute every participant in the argument, or you can let things be and just have fun with whatever they type at each other.
If you still haven’t mastered the concept of letting go of your attachments to whatever happens in-game, then I suggest that you choose the first option until you get to that point. It will help you focus better, which is what matters the most anyway.
Don’t try to argue any of his points with him (or your teammates) under any circumstances. I am serious. If you have identified that his intentions are just to be mean for the sake of being mean, you can safely assume that he might just be one of those individuals.
Don’t give him the benefit of the doubt by assuming he is having a bad day. You can probably agree with me that even if you were right, this would not serve you.
Remember that when they are directing negative comments and remarks about others, they are actually expressing their own internal frustration with themselves.
It’s impossible to reason with someone like that. They would see it as you trying to offend them and hurt their ego. They would only become more of what they already are, so I would suggest that you resist the temptation to reply back.
If a teammate starts to troll intentionally by coming to your lane to steal cs, using their Summoner spells for no reason, wants to open Mid after 1 death, threatens he will feed, etc.
Ignore him and report him after game. Remember that the only purpose of him doing what he is doing is to get attention.
Let’s assume that he died once and then lost all hope that the game can be won, so he starts feeding “so he can move to the next game faster and not waste time”.
In reality, he is doing what he is doing for a different reason. He is probably on a huge losing streak and operates from a negative state of mind. He wants to cause certain reactions in people, because it would make him feel better about his situation.
He is feeding, because he likes the attention he gets when people start begging him to stop. So the worst thing you can do is give him that attention, because that would only encourage him to keep trolling.
Act as if he does not exist. If he comes to your lane and starts attempting to steal minions from you, do not even recognize his presence. Let him be.
If you deprive him of the reactions he expects to see, chances are that he would eventually (hopefully soon enough) get bored of trolling and he might be inclined to start contributing.
It’s a small chance, but it does happen every once in a while, as long as you handle these types of situations properly. Always approach such situations with thinking about how little this game would mean to you in 1 month time.
Would you even remember that you played it and you had that troll on your team? Chances are you probably won’t. Then why would you bother raging about something that you will have forgotten about in a month’s time anyway?
Don’t ever beg him to stop trolling. Like I mentioned above, that would only encourage him to do more of what he is doing, because he will be enjoying the attention he receives.
Don’t insult him or verbally harass him. I know how tempting it can be to do so in such situations, but please refrain from doing so. Not only will insulting him not make things better, but it can potentially get your account in trouble.
Don’t allow yourself to get angry as a result of his actions. Not only would it hurt your performance in game, but it would also limit your ability to focus on carrying the game.
Don’t react if your teammates start to exchange insults with him. Don’t participate in verbal assaults of any kind, let them vent out their frustration and if you don’t want to see the ugly things they say to each other – mute them and keep trying to win.
If an enemy player starts to harass you or any of your teammates verbally
This scenario does not take place as often, but it does happen sometimes, so it’s best to know how to handle it should it occur in your games.
First of all, if they are not using harsh insults, it never hurts to assume they are joking and they just happen to have one of those strange, twisted senses of humour. Trust your gut feeling with this, unless it is already apparent that they are not joking.
On the other hand, a lot of players say offensive stuff in all-chat in an attempt to tilt the opposing laner right after they first blood them. It’s a move meant to break down one’s self-esteem and confidence.
Take a look at whom they are directing their aggression towards and if it’s a teammate of yours, then say something to support your teammate and encourage him to not pay attention to what his opponent is saying.
If the aggression is directed towards you, resist the temptation to reply back and mute him instead. Deprive him of the joy of receiving even a fraction of your attention.
Make sure you remember to report him after game.
Don’t take anything he says seriously. Remember that the only reason he is saying what he is saying is to cause you and your teammates to tilt, so he can have an easier time winning.
It’s a form of manipulative behaviour that should never be acknowledged and paid attention to.
Also, don’t discuss whatever he says with your teammates. The last thing you would want is for everyone on your team to shift their focus away from winning the game.
Don’t even answer him. Let him experience the pleasure of having a small win over you, only to taste the disappointment of getting defeated at the end.
Let your actions do the work for you, not your words.
THANK YOU FOR READING!
Thanks for reading! I wish you all the luck on your journey to improvement, even though by now you have probably realized that luck plays a minor role when it comes to advancing in Ranked.