• Vertex

Profiling performance

Before we begin, let me make a quick disclaimer on this one. Performance profiling isn’t a cure-all. It doesn’t solve your issues and doesn’t necessarily propose any solution on how to go about fixing something that's holding you back. The primary purpose of using a performance profiling tool is more geared towards helping you identify WHERE/WHAT you need to work on, not HOW.

With that said, performance profiling contains a lot of intrinsic value that'll help an athlete identify barriers and develop a plan of action to break the skill plateau. When done effectively, the athlete can move forward in a purposeful way and maximize their training hours.

Performance profiling is all about creating awareness. How many times have you plateaued in skill and held the same rank consistently over an entire season? Have you ever had a breakdown completely out of the blue in competition that cost you the match? Our goal with a performance profile is to break down and analyze factors of success/loss, then identify where you are at on those measurements. With that knowledge, you can take more effective and efficient steps towards remedying the issues holding you back. Without that knowledge, you’re going to spin in circles while thinking you're moving forward.

The whole purpose behind the concept is to use awareness to create action. When you know what you need to be working on, it's much easier to push to the next level. If you're constantly practicing things you already excel on, you won't see much change in skill level. It's easy for an athlete to fall into a cycle of "the same old same old," and repeat things they already know inside and out. That's not helping you skill progression. With a performance profile staring you down, it's hard to ignore the skills you should actually be working on.

A tricky part with performance profiling is that it’s very, very subjective. Working on it by yourself is fine, but it’s not always straightforward trying to figure out things you should be focusing on. Your perception of your weaknesses/strengths may be skewed, you may have blinds spots, or you may not understand certain parts of the game well enough to know how to fix it. If you have access to a game coach or a mental performance consultant, I'd highly recommend getting their help on it.

Here's an example of what a Performance Profile in Esports may look like, using League of Legends as an example:

Let's jump in to how it works.

Skill: In this column, list the skills necessary to performing at an optimal level in-game. However, each game is going to have different skills. For example, League of Legends may have something like: 1) CSing, 2) warding, 3) map rotations, 4) KDA, 5) call outs and pings. It doesn't have to stop at 5 items, but I'd suggest no more than 10.

Ideal self: Here, we are rating what we think an optimal performance in those skills would look like on a 1-10 scale. Obviously, a 10 in each would be the ultimate best BUT we are wanting to rank it according to our current level. If I'm ranked low gold in a game, I shouldn't put "ideal self" as someone in high diamond. Instead, put "ideal self" as something a little more within reach, such as high gold or low platinum. Identify what a player would look like in that skill range and record that number.

Current self: This one is a little more straightforward in theory but difficult to do accurately. Some athletes think they are better than they are, while others feel the opposite. This is when having an outside opinion like a game coach or mental performance coach comes in handy. As accurately as possible, you need to give an assessment of where you are right now. Being overly cocky or overly humble doesn't help - it NEEDS to be accurate.

Importance: Not all skills are created equal. True, each skill is on this list because it contributes to overall success. However, some skills are simple more important or critical to success than others. This is also done on a 1-10 scale.

Final Score: (Ideal self - Current self) x importance. For example: if I rated something as a 7 on ideal, 4 on current, and 8 on importance, I'd get something that looks like (7-4) x 8 = 24. With that example my final score is 24.

When that's all wrapped up, you'll see a "Final Score" column filled with measurement ratings for each skill and will identify what skill should be a priority to work on. I feel compelled to say this again: this measurement tool is purely for creating awareness of areas that you may need to work on. It's not a cure-all tool that'll magically fix your issues. It's primary purpose is to point you in the right direct and say "hey, maybe working on this would be a good idea."

Knowledge generates awareness. Awareness sparks action. Action create experts.

This was an adapted Performance Profile from a professor of mine, Hugh Richards, from the University of Edinburgh.