Improving Mind & Play

This week on Crucible Radio, the guys bring back a fan favorite who has appeared on the show previously to bring insight and knowledge on competition from a different perspective.

Sports Psychology Steve, as he’s known, works with both athletes and military personnel. Recently, he’s been applying his profession to gaming.

Steve talks about two concepts that either encourage or heed progression and improvement. There are two different types of mindsets: Fixed Mindset, and Growth Mindset.

Fixed Mindset – stagnant progression, accepting defeat, unwilling to improve.

Growth Mindset – consistent progression, adapting to adversity, learning from mistakes, willing to work hard.

Their very names are somewhat explanatory, but let’s look at five ways in which they come up when talking about the Crucible.


How Failure is Viewed

Failure can be hard no matter what – no one likes to lose. But with failure comes an opportunity to learn from mistakes and improve the next go-around. A growth mindset can turn failures into educational opportunities. Quick tip: try saving your gameplay and watching it later – you’ll notice a lot more of your own habits and can adjust accordingly.


Obstacles & Uncomfortable Situations

Someone with a growth mindset will welcome new opportunities and challenges, even if they don’t feel completely ready to take them on. It won’t go perfectly, but challenging one’s self is the key to improvement. A fixed mindset will see obstacles as a reason to avoid challenge or place blame elsewhere.


The Concept of Effort

Being stuck in a fixed mindset is a negative cycle. It can prevent someone from making progress, and when they feel stagnant, they might view effort as worthless. A growth mindset will help you realize that effort is necessary no matter what, even if progress isn’t made right away. Small increments add up over time, and in the long run result in noticeable improvement.


How Feedback is Accepted

One of the toughest things about getting better at something is hearing about your faults and problems. While it’s important to constantly highlight your strengths and moments of improvement, accepting critical feedback with open eyes is essential for breaking bad habits and taking the next major steps towards mastery.


The Success of Others

In Destiny, we all play with and against players who are better or worse than us. It can be intimidating or downright infuriating to get beat badly in the Crucible. It can also be nerve-wracking to play with someone who is much better. Regardless of winning or losing, observing and interacting with talented players can be the biggest resource of them all when it comes to learning and advancing your own skill.

Even if they’re killing you, stop and think: what about their style and approach is allowing them to succeed? There’s absolutely no shame in copying and adapting – it’s just another step towards improvement.


If you’d like to hear more tips from Steve or chat with him about the psychology of competition, feel free to follow him on twitter. See you next week, Guardians!