My son’s five-minute foray into professional esports

As my kids got to be around age 10 I phased out my play-all-day approach to homeschooling. Instead, I considered anything homeschooling as long as there was a goal and a daily plan for meeting that goal. Playing string instruments fit neatly into this scheme, but here’s another thing that fit: esports.

My kids played a lot of League of Legends. So much that I told them they needed to either set clear, weekly goals or find another way to spend their time.

They wanted to just play til they leveled up.

I told them the way pro gamers level up is they learn systematically because that’s faster. I told them they can’t spend five hours a day on a goal that has no clear methods or milestones. “You won’t feel proud of the time you’ve invested if you don’t invest consciously — as if your time is precious.”

Younger son: “Mom, our time is so precious that we can’t talk to you about this now. Just let us play.”

The older son is the more pragmatic of the two, so he said almost immediately he would spend his time on schoolwork and he would only play League when his studying was finished.

The younger son said he needs a coach. “Mom. I’m going pro.”

He found one of the top players to book a coaching session with. It was $150 for an hour. I listened in, of course. So did my older son. Those esports guys are celebrities!

First the coach asked my son if he watched the ten hours of free video coaching.

My son said yes and then asked a question that immediately gave away that he watched very few of the videos.

Mr. Esports was not surprised. And I have to admit the he gave pretty much the same advice I give to people who hire me to help them get a career. He told my son about setting a goal and making a commitment to meet that goal. He told my son about the importance of figuring out what other people do to meet that goal, and then based on that, decide what you have to do each day.

After that first session, my son quit playing League.

My son wanted to be really good or not play. The coaching from the YouTuber was a great dose of reality. I coach people who are 30 years old and have never experienced that — someone telling them how to get real about the goals they have for themselves.