Short intro into who you are and what you are currently doing?
I’m Kate, a sport psychology consultant and co-founder of the mental craft. Currently, I am completing a PhD looking into physical and psychological performance in high pressure and stressful environments at Loughborough University. I have worked with many athletes across different disciplines aiming to understand how we can better equip people with the skills to face and cope effectively in the face of adverse performance conditions.
How did you get involved in esports?
I got involved in esports through friends I met during my master’s degree.
One of my colleagues presented his research on esports and from there we saw the opportunity and huge potential to explore how sport and exercise psychology could be incorporated into the field.
After that, we decided to develop our own consulting platform and subsequently gained our first experiences in the professional field.
Why did you want to become a coach?
My background is in physical education and mathematics teaching, so the desire to instil in people, a life of autonomous wellbeing through both work and life, has always been my passion. Hence, it was a no-brainer when I transitioned from the formal classroom, to the coaching arena.
What characteristics do you think makes a good coach in esports?
I think a good coach is one which considers the player first, takes a holistic approach in educating and empowering their athletes.
A good coach also is a strong leader with exceptional communicative skills, who is respectful and respected, especially in esports.
Also, I think a good coach is one which maintains an open mind and perspective, always developing and exploring diverse methods for facilitating the most optimal learning environment for their players.
From your experience, what are the most common issues/problems esports athletes encounter when trying to improve their game?
The most common issue I have come across in esports athletes is the lack of perseverance. It’s easy to give up, it’s the simple option. I’ve worked with many athletes who just try once, and if it doesn’t work, they are done, and subsequently frustration rises and tension amongst players becomes rampant. Lack of effective communication with teammates and coaching staff is a close second. You have to remember that you are a team player and not solo on stage.
What’s your favourite esport and why?
Has to be League of Legends, as the sheer cognitive prowess you need to perform such intricate skills in such little time is amazing to watch.
Who is your favourite esports player and why?
I don’t have a ‘favourite’ player. The players I enjoy following are the ones who are constantly trying to better themselves and create an example for other players.
What’s your greatest achievement in esports?
My greatest achievement was to work with Fnatic as their sport psychology consultant for one summer split.
What’s a fun fact about you that no one else knows about?
I absolutely LOVE black pudding sandwiches. I’m sure everyone who knows me knows that though!
If you were a mad scientist and could create the perfect esports athlete, what characteristics would they have?
An ounce of passion, a tablespoon of mental resilience, 4 ounces of adaptability, a handful of dedication and a sprinkle of realism served alongside a slice of humble pie.
What are your top tips for players wanting to improve their performance?
Persevere. No matter what the hardship is, persevere.
Don’t give up in the face of a single obstacle, learn from every mistake, and be positive.
Seek opportunities for growth as much as possible, and most importantly, leave your ego aside – ego is the enemy.
Motivational/favourite quote to live by…..
Whatever you are afraid of in life, feel the fear, embrace it…and then do it anyway.