This post will cover the main aspects upon which NOVOS bases its training philosophy. We want to clarify why we believe NOVOS is a great way for players to work on their skills. The following post will specifically cover the basic principles behind the way we shape our training programs.
Traditional sports have strong foundations rooted in history, tradition, and community. Every sport has its way of practice and training, clearly defined progressions, and goals. Esports is a bit different, and we do not have a rich history or a strong foundation to build upon. One obvious obstacle is the fact that different games require different skills. Arguably many are shared between games, yet that is not what I want to focus on today. The field of Esports training is new, and the very foundation is not defined yet.
Traditional sports have a structure, and if someone wants to improve at basketball, they can sign up for a local team and have a structured routine. It may not be the best, but it will have planning and structure. For example, three times a week 2-hour sessions when each practice is designed around different aspects of the game. Structure is a way to plan progression and make sure it is occurring. Therefore, structure is the foundation upon which NOVOS stands.
What we aim to do
We believe that Esports training could be better, and we try to give players who wish to improve, the best possible way to do so. Traditionally, Esports training has not existed. The only improvement was simply through playing. Grinding away without direction and hoping this will lead to improvement. This is similar to shooting in the dark, if you shoot enough, you will eventually hit your target. We want our players to use their ammo wisely, every shot taken with intent and accuracy. How do we think we can achieve this? Players who want to improve their skills need a structured, customized, engaging platform.
Structured training is the basis for effective training. This way, players can know they are improving, know by how much, and make sure it is the proper training. Structured training is achieved by implementing three aspects.
“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”Mark Twain
Improvement is all about creating the right habits. For instance, if a person is preparing to run a Marathon, they will need to build stamina over a long period of time. Running several times a week for many months. Simply condensing 3 months of training into one week will not work. This is true for most skills, consistency, and frequency is key. Being consistent in training leads to a significant compound effect. Every day a player improves their skill level even by just 1%, will equal a significant amount when multiplied by time. Simply working on skills consistently will lead to better results in-game.
At NOVOS, we believe that a structured training plan which a player follows as best as possible takes out the guesswork. The program is clear, and now the player needs to perform it. It does not relate to motivation or enjoyment necessarily, and yes, it does require discipline. A player can have the most effective and well-thought plan possible. If the player doesn’t follow it, progress will not happen. We want the player to be as consistent as possible because we want them to be the best player they can be.
How is it done now?
We found that consistent training is not a fundamental idea in Esports training. If a player chooses to get better, their training routine will include basic warm-ups and drills. Having a structured, written down plan increases accountability and does not require motivation. The player has a schedule. Following it consistently is the key to improvement.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”Yogi Berra
Above all, the most important aspect of training is setting goals. Goals direct attention in a specific (hopefully correct) direction and increase motivation. The drive to achieve goals mobilizes effort. In addition to increasing motivation, goals lead to sustained effort. If a goal is well designed, the effort will get the player there. Goals give players feedback as to where they are and allow self-reflection and a standard for improvement. Goal setting itself is a massive topic. Look for future blog posts on how to set goals and what they consist of.
To provide an overview, I want to cover how goals are built. Firstly, we have Process goals – these are what players can work on and depend entirely on them. Take, for example, basic mechanical editing skills. As a player, it is possible to always work on motor skills for performing better, faster edits. Performance goals – these would be external standards, for example, a number of successful edits in 30 seconds. Outcome goals – are what most of us think of, Victory Royale or even winning a cash cup. These are external outcomes that depend on many factors and other people.
These three types of goals build upon each other. Firstly, a player needs to be good at editing, then achieve a certain standard, and finally, translate those skills to wins. Goals are simply outcomes people want to achieve, and every player out there has the same grand goal: to win. The question is, what is the system they use to achieve that goal, and this is where NOVOS comes in.
How is it done now?
Generally speaking, there are no clear goals in competitive gaming, and if there are, they are not well designed or even well defined. We would argue that even striving towards a certain ranking or placement in a competition is not enough. Yes, that is something to strive for, but it comes with two significant disadvantages. One, there is no plan, the real question is, how can a player get there? Goals should consist of short and long term destinations, and be defined in a controllable way, think Process goals.
The second disadvantage is if a player dedicates their life to placing in the top ten in a tournament. Let’s say they show up sick on the day, or it was simply a bad day for them, which happens to everyone. Will that be a failure? Objectively speaking, it is. But if the player made significant improvements and was capable of winning based on his skill level, that, to us, will be a success. What the player can control is their training, this is where they should focus. The achievements will stem from skill and delivery.
“In the end it’s all a question of balance.”Rohinton Mistry
Training programs need to be balanced based on different skills and include various opportunities to improve. The structure we based NOVOS on defines the diverse training methods and different skills. When we say balance, we mean that the training routine is as balanced as possible, taking into consideration all the relevant skills. Balancing different aspects of the game have a twofold effect. One is, of course, making sure the player is well rounded and doesn’t have deficiencies in their game.
The second effect is of a more physical and cognitive nature. For example, working on a skill like aiming. A player’s arm will get tired, and the training will decrease in quality since skill is not holding the player back, however, fatigue is. That is why we incorporate activities such as game sense or breaks, to make sure players are not hurting their quality training time.
The Second reason is cognitive load. Diversity in training is important. After a player practices aiming for 30 minutes, their attention levels will begin to drop. This has the same effect as physical fatigue. Either way, the training suffers, and that is the last thing we want. Changing the skill a player works on will invigorate and sharpen training. The second facet is Life Balance – we here at NOVOS believe that in-game capabilities are holistic. To be better, players should try and have a balance in their life. Sleeping well to improve cognitive ability, staying fit to increase alertness, and balance training and enjoyment. Creating a well designed and structured plan takes rest and mental fatigue into account.
How is it done now?
Traditionally speaking, competitive gamers do not focus on balance in their lives and skills. Even competitors started playing for fun, and working on weaknesses is anything but fun. We like to do things we are good at while neglecting other aspects. However, in terms of life balance, gamers are notorious. Staying up late, not eating well, and neglecting physical fitness. This changed in recent years, and competitors understand the importance of health and its effect on game performance. Even though awareness has risen, there are many players who are still lacking.
Once we have structure, the training plan requires adaptation. Adaptation is two-fold. One is the personal schedule and preference for training time. The second is taking into consideration the strength and weaknesses of each player.
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”Steven Covey
We are all different, we have different strengths and weaknesses, but we also have different tendencies, processes, and lifestyles. Some of us prefer to train at night, others during the day. Certain people can train 4 hours straight while others need to take frequent breaks because they lose focus quickly. The player using NOVOS is able to customize their schedule around the training plan we offer.
Moreover, other than the simple balance, which integrates different skills and keeps training fresh, and reduces fatigue. There’s also the fact we emphasize what the player needs to improve on. The player is able to customize their training based on strengths and weaknesses in their game.
How does this apply to the player?
Here at NOVOS, we constantly work on improving our platform. NOVOS is not just a company. The people who work at NOVOS are also users of the product they create. This is something we are proud to do, and we respect the time players choose to spend with us and we honor their trust in us. We aim to be the best possibility for players to improve, and we chase that goal daily. A player only needs to follow the plan, join us for the process, and have faith that their best interest is our top priority, which it is.
“Take gaming seriously.”NOVOS
That is our motto, which we live and breathe. In conclusion, behind everything we do, there is thought and research. We wanted to share how we approach Esports training and what are the reasons behind what we do. Well-being and progress are always at the top of our priority list, and we chase excellence in what we do so that as a result players could excel at what they love most.