When talking optimization for the esports athletes one may think it comes down to just gameplay! Optimization is soooo much more than improving your gaming skills! Just like all athletes, strength, coordination, stamina, and availability are huge aspects of an athletes game that makes them stand out when compared to other athletes. Availability is one we will be covering in depth in this blog.
If you are injured and can’t compete you are not available for your team. Being available is one of the underrated aspects of all sports athletes. We all know the player who is great but is always injured ( ie Anthony Davis). When you can’t compete you cannot win, and when you can’t win you probably aren’t making much $ as an esports athlete. What if I told you there are certain exercises and activities that you could be doing to make sure you prevent overuse injuries and micro trauma from happening as an esports athlete. If I told you what you should be doing to make sure you perform at optimal levels, would that interest you? If so, keep reading!
Warming Up Essentials
One of the most important things all athletes should be doing is warming up. Warming up helps prime your musculoskeletal system and nervous system for competition. It reduces your chance for injury and helps make sure your body is ready to perform at optimal levels. You see athletes like Lebron James, Lionel Messi, and Tom Brady all warming up prior to their sport. They are usually on the court, pitch, or field hours before the game starts getting a good sweat and warming up their bodies. Guess what? Esports athletes should also be warming up their bodies to compete. You do not need to warm up as intensely as these athletes but every serious esports athlete should have a dedicated warmup! Areas of focus should be your cervical spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, core and hip flexors.
Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to your circulatory and respiratory system’s capacity to bring oxygen to your muscles for energy production needed during physical activity. Esports athletes are generally sedentary during practice and gaming, and a sedentary lifestyle is correlated with decreased cardiorespiratory fitness.
Sedentary lifestyles also lead to obesity, high blood pressure, decreased muscle strength, high cholesterol, decreased bone density, and increased risk of depression and anxiety. Esports athletes need to make sure they are building up their capacity to reduce the risk of poor cardiovascular health on a regular basis. In particular for these athletes, this form or exercise is great in reducing depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are regularly seen in the esports community but are often not spoken about. Gamers who play over 30 hours a week have been shown to have increased depression when compared to their peers. Only 40% of US youth in general have been deemed to have healthy cardiorespiratory fitness so there is a huge opportunity to improve these stats.
Physical Fitness Focus
20-40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise 3 – 4 days a week is recommended for activities that fall into this category, including running, jogging, cycling, and rowing. Resistance training should be incorporated at least 2 days a week. Resistance training should focus on muscles that are prone to be weak for individuals who sit for long periods of time. Muscles like the scapula stabilizers, core stabilizers, and rotator cuff are important to train to reduce the risk for musculoskeletal injuries associated with gaming and to improve importance.
There is a role for sports physical therapists to help assist and esports athletes to improve their performance and to reduce their risk of injuries. For a sport that continues to grow and gain financial backing, it’s in the best interest of major teams to have a sports physical therapist on staff to help with the issues that are bound to come up with this sedentary sport.
Contact Us Today!
If you are an esports athlete or run an esports team, and want to improve your performance, reach out to us today to have a conversation about Fit Club Esports Consulting and online services! We make it easy for teams to add this benefit into their regimen and its a cost effective way to keep athletes happy and healthy!