For competitive games like Dota 2 or Valorant, there is an obvious need to be good at the game to win. Be it skill, discipline or staying calm during clutch moments, there’s always room for improvement even for the best of players. That is what makes competitive gaming so fun and interesting. All these aspects require commitment and many, many hours spent on the game, practicing mechanical skills (like aiming and recoil control) and learning about the meta (like how some heroes are better in certain patches of the game over other heroes). A new phenomenon arises where individuals don’t have to start from scratch all by themselves. Instead, they can rely on experienced players who can teach them about the game and improve their gameplay. This phenomenon is called ‘coaching’.
Coaches are essentially personal trainers who can teach you the basics, various ways to play a certain game as well as the most effective strategies to take when faced with certain situations. Coaching is no longer uncommon in the gaming realm as retired players would come back to the competitive scene as coaches to pass down their knowledge and ways to the younger generations. For example, ‘Fear’ is a veteran player in Dota 2 who spent several years as a pro player in Evil Geniuses. After retiring as a pro player, he came back as a coach for the same team he used to play for.
Who can be a coach?
You don’t have to be a pro player in order to coach another person. Just as there will always be someone better than you, there will also be someone not as good as you that you can teach to become better at the game! However, it takes more than just being better at the game, so aspiring coaches take note!
Traits to becoming a good coach
Assessment – Aside from teaching the basics and most effective ways to play, it is also essential that you are able to assess the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies of the player you’re coaching. There are many types of gamers, and different players have different ways to handle a situation. Unless it’s an outright terrible move, it is better to advise the player on what they can add or remove about their playstyle, without changing it totally. It’s still them playing the game after all.
Respect – Recognise and respect the difference in skill level between you and the student. It is unrealistic to expect an Iron ranked player to play like an Immortal within a few sessions.
Patience – It also requires you to be extremely patient as it takes time and effort for your student to thoroughly absorb your teachings. You might have learned things faster but that doesn’t mean that your student will be able to do the same thing.
Openness – Coaching can also be a two-way flow of ideas. Sometimes, a lower levelled player may come up with a strategy that is refreshing for an experienced player to incorporate in his/her gameplay. As a coach, you shouldn’t be there to force feed your ways onto your student. Be open, embrace new ideas and help each other!
Enjoyment – Although coaching can be a stressful thing, it is important that both coach and player are enjoying the process. Unless you’re out to compete in a high-stakes competition, there’s really no need to be stern and strict about coaching. You are there to help the player become better at the game, not make the game not enjoyable for the player. Have fun!
What’s in it for you?
As a coach, the fulfilment of bettering a fellow gamer should be the best reward there is. What’s more, you might very well gain a friend to game with AND get paid in the process of doing so! Do you think you have what it takes to become the next best coach? Try it with us at Gank and list your services under ‘Coach’! Follow this simple guide on how to list your services on our platform and start coaching!