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Blog / November 13, 2018

Mentors and Managers

In the last post I presented you four different types of Esports coaches: The analyst, the strategist, the mental coach and the head coach. Now I want to say a few words about mentors in the coaching staff and explain why management tasks are sometimes closely related to those of coaches.

First off about

Mentors

A mentor is often some kind of prominent, emerged, very experienced former toplevel player. He doesn’t need to have specific competences and tasks, and doesn’t need to be in the coaching staff or in the management at all. But if he holds in some way a position in the respective esports organization or something like that he can become a mental support and leading figure for the players.  Because you know:

Some personalities in sport have gained a certain amount of authority simply through success. The mentor is someone who can use his influence on the athletes to inspire and motivate them just by being around. Sometimes it can simply be a big support to be able to fall back on someone who may not have any concrete skills or training, but has a lot of experience as a player, who has experienced the stress, everyday life, travels and life as a professional player for himself and now stands by with advice and guidance, especially for younger players. Being a mentor does not primarily make a coach, but can achieve coaching effects solely through his person or amplify them when he takes on the role of an active player, coach or manager. With regard to what I said in the second part of the article, it is now even easier to understand why iconic personalities often become head coaches or are part of the management.

Speaking of the management:

The Team-Manager

A team-manager is usually less involved in game-specific stuff or in-game matters and takes more care of the team’s organizational flow, everyday life, living together, schedules, travel and event procedures, coordination, meetings, etc.

This is an often underestimated job. Creating perfect and smooth conditions for a group of people requires a lot of effort and coordination talent. What is often overlooked is that this has a direct influence on the success or failure of a team. Being a professional esports athlete is a lot of hard work and not always fun and some people misunderstood the position of a manager as a teams secretary, but actually the manager is responsible for a few of the most important things: Maintaining the framework conditions for practice efficiency over a long period and ensuring peak performance on decisive events.

The manager must of course have an absolute talent for organizing, planning and execution and should come along with a good portion of stress resistance. With the many pending tasks, some of which run in parallel, the manager must always keep an overview and is responsible for ensuring that the communication of all important participants runs smoothly. In addition to personal balance, this requires a high degree of leadership and communication skills. A team manager must also be absolutely reliable in every respect. He must still have a clue and the overview when everybody else doesn’t have it anymore. As you might notice: the manager shares a lot of qualities and tasks with the headcoach in a way as is already mentioned in part two of the article. But it totally depends on the individual cases. There are some organizations in which the headcoach is also the manager, or vice versa, or there are organizations where the management is absolutely uninvolved in any intern aspects of the team, and so on.

So I think we have come to an end of this quick presentation of coaching stereotypes in esports. As I said all of these are highly over-generalized and whether these tasks are performed by a single person or by several or a whole staff of coaches varies from case to case. Because there are some single coaches who are very specialized in only some or only one of the roles presented and there are others who cover the complete spectrum with different competencies and tendencies and varying emphases. Because in reality there are so many different personalities, individual competence profiles, combinations and staff structures.