How you treat yourself is incredibly important in competition

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The Inner Game of Fortnite – Self-Talk

On Saturday, I had 10 elims in this one game. I was top two, posted up in a one by one three layers up on a small island south east of Slurpy Swamp. I had no idea where the last guy was. All of a sudden, he comes out of nowhere, ramp-floor-walling in metal up and above me before I realized what was going on. He dropped down, put a floor above me and was controlling the situation.

“I’m dead,” I said to myself out loud. I’d just told myself it was over. I’d come that far. I’d cleaned up 10% of the opponents in the game and this metal ghost was going to give me the silver. But I took a breath, got my head together quickly, and I stayed calm. I knew what he was going to do. I waited for him to edit a corner open, jumped up with my purple pump, hit a body shot, waited for the reload, hit him again in the head, and won the game.

I tell you that story not to flex but because the worst thing that I did in that game was that I tried to eliminate myself. Pay attention to the things you say to and about yourself or the things others say about themselves.

“I’m trash at this game.”

“I can’t hit my shots for crap.”

“I’ve spent so much time on this game and what to do I have to show for it?”

With low health in an intense fight: “Welp, I’m dead.”

We hear these from friends and streamers all the time, right?

How can we flip each of those so they’re healthy and productive and that we support ourselves?

  • “I’m not playing well, it’s just today though. Maybe I should take a break for the day.”

  • “My shots aren’t landing. I haven’t eaten in a while, I’m tired. I’ll be better tomorrow.”

  • “I’ve practiced a lot and I’m getting better. Today’s just an off day.”

  • “Health’s not my marginal advantage right now. Let me slow down and try to figure out how to take this other guy out.”

These flipped statements take into account the nuance of what playing a complex game is about. You’re not going to be on and firing every day. We’re not demeaning ourselves in any of those statements.

If you wouldn’t let someone else talk to you like that, then why is it okay for you to talk to you like that? It’s not.

How we talk to ourselves and the relationship we have to ourselves is incredibly important. The good news is that you can change this easily by just paying attention to it and then after saying the negative thing, flip it and say the positive thing. We just have to retrain our brains to the art of positive self-talk.

The first steps to improving at anything are believing in ourselves and being kind to ourselves.

“I’m not there, yet. But I will be.” (Yet is important here because it comes with an implied belief that you’re awesome and you can do it if you keep working at it)

“I’m learning and growing.” (This is a great thing to say to yourself any time you make a mistake, because it’s 100% true. You’re taking n new information and getting better, all the time).

Give it a try today!

Sub-Skill Drills – Running With Your Crosshairs Up

One of the simplest mistakes I see a lot of people make, across a ton of shooters is running with their reticle down. I do it myself sometimes and I understand why: if you keep your gun lower, you can see more of what’s in front of you and then react if you need to. In most FPS’s, the character is right-handed so keeping you gun low allows you to see better off of your right side.

In Fortnite that doesn’t really apply though since we’re in the third-person but we do it anyway out of habit.

So today’s drill is a simple but important one. Try to keep your crosshairs at your enemy’s head level at all times. It’s easier to get a headshot from that position, even dropping your crosshairs if your enemy crouches, than it is to flick up from their feet (or below) to try to land a headshot.

  • Hop into Team Rumble and keep your crosshairs up.

  • Try to land headshots on every shot. You won’t be 100% but try your best.

Do that for 2-3 games before hopping into your regular competitive games and I think you’ll see quite an improvement.

Have a great week. Get some wins and pay attention to how you’re speaking to yourself. It’s not your job to eliminate yourself.

See you Wednesday.