Chapter 1 – Training and Routine.
Most of us have some training routine of some kind – Certain modes we play or certain things we do to improve little by little each day – But very few of us have a routine capable of getting the most out of the time we are putting in.
So, let’s go over a few things that will help you set up the best, personalised routine for you.
Section 1 – What do you want?
We all have different goals through our training. Some people just want to be good enough to have fun. Others want to get to a higher rank or play with a team. And some of us
want to be the best of the best, to compete with the top players in the world and play professionally.
Think about what you want to get out of your training. How much do you want to get out of it, and how much are you willing to put into it?
Try to assess how much free time you can muster up per week.
There are 168 hours in a week, and, on average, a healthy person will sleep for eight hours a day. This cuts the average number of waking hours per week down to 112.5 hours per week.
From here, you need to consider self care – Eating, bathing, exercising. These three, along with a good nights sleep, form the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. You should be eating three meals a day, at about 10-15 minutes per meal, this cuts your free time down to 107.25 hours per week.
Then there is exercise – So many competitive players dramatically underestimate the value of a proper exercise routine. Not only does exercise improve your overall health, but, key to gaming, consistent, proper exercise can both improve your reaction time and make it easier for you to learn and process new information.
A good starting exercise that works wonders, that just about anybody can get into is quite simply – Skipping, or Jumping Rope.
Jumping Rope is by far one of the most undervalued, underutilised cardiovascular exercises out there. It takes next to no investment, requires very little space, and is one of the most efficient exercises in terms of time investment to return – Start off with 10 minutes per day, split into several sessions if required. Working your way up to 30 minutes per day is a great way to cut some kilos while also being safe and secure in the knowledge that you’ll go back to your game more focused and alert.
So, if we take warming up, cooling off and bathing into account, this will bring your overall free time in a week down to around 100 hours. So, where do we go from here?
Well, that’s where you step in. You’ve got a basic routine lined out for you here –
8 hours of sleep per day.
10-15 minutes per meal.
60 minutes of warming up, skipping, cooling down and bathing.
What you need to do now is assess the factors in your own life – What obligations do you have? What activities do you enjoy partaking in? And most importantly – How much time is it all going to take?
Take those 100 hours free per week and divide it up between your obligations, school, work, socialising, etc, to come up with your final figure for “Free time” per week.
From there, assess what you want from your training – How much of the free time you have left do you want to put into improving?
For casual players that just want to get better, you may want to dedicated as little as 10% of your time to training – After all, you’ve still got to have fun, right?
For more advanced players, this number can be anywhere from 20% of your free time to 33% of your free time – Leaving you plenty of time to actually play and improve ingame while also making sure you are getting the most training you can.
For players looking to go pro, however, this gets a little bit more spicy – You will not only need to find time for your training, but also time for study, time to learn new tips and tricks, and time to put into practicing more mundane tasks like Spray Patterns or team coordination. I would reccomend anywhere from 20% to 50% depending on how far
you really want to go.
So, you have an idea of how long you should be training, and what kind of routine you should have – Now let’s get into the meat of the blog. How to personalise your training.
Section 2 – How do you get what you want from your training?
There are training routines out there that are as simple as giving you 5-6 tasks to do x amount of times per day. These can be effective for new players that just want to get to grips with their aim, but for players that have even a modicum of experience you are going to have strengths and weaknesses – Things you need to focus on and things you can
lay off of a little.
So, how do you know what you should be training? Simple – Look at what you struggle at the most. So many times I see people grinding out rounds of microshot one after another, day after day, questioning why they are plateauing – All they are doing is grinding something they are already good at, allowing the high scores and high accuracy to act as form of positive reinforcement while they waste their time training what doesn’t need to be trained.
Instead – Look at the things you can’t do. Look at the tasks you struggle at, or the facets of your aim that you are not confident in. Put more time into those than your already established skills, so that you may get everything to be on the same level, rather than focusing on one aspect you know you are already good at – Become a generalist.
Every subsection of aiming has lessons that can be applied to other forms of aiming. Tracking offers you consistent control against all manner of targets. Long range shooting helps you to focus your aim to the head of a pin, providing a boost in precision that carries over all ranges, and flicking provides you the reactive medium to engage targets unconsciously – Combining the benefits of all three schools of aim is key to getting smooth sprays and crisp flicks.
Section 3 – How do you understand what you are doing wrong?
You’ve got a routine, you’re practicing the things you need to practice, but you can’t shake something. There’s something you’re doing wrong, yet you can never catch it in
So, how do you go about identifying a problem too small for you to notice in practice? You record your training.
Thankfully, screen capture has evolved beyond the old days of FRAPS and Bandicam – Recording solutions now exist that allow you to record something retroactively. Solution such as Shadowplay, ReLive or OBS Replay buffer allow you to record a problem after you’ve noticed it. From there, you can go back into the recording and watch it again, and
again, until you understand the problem more clearly, or you understand that there is a definite problem there. Comparing clips from different games and practice sessions allow you to pinpoint consistent, persistent problems, helping you to differentiate between one-offs and problems that rear their head over and over again at crucial moments.
However, there is one more step you can take in this analysis stage – Handcams.
Getting a webcam, or even your old phone, set up in such a way that you can record your movements is becoming a staple of almost all sports. From Archery to Football to Gaming.
Recording your physical movements has the benefit of helping you to understand what you are doing wrong physically, rather than having to deduce it from the results you are getting ingame. Having this physical, one to one medium can allow you to more easily pinpoint what it is you are doing wrong, enabling you to more easily correct anything you
may be doing wrong.
Section 4 – Where do I go for help?
We’re only human. Our understanding of certain concepts is limited at the best of times, but us humans have developed one thing that has enabled us to become the apex predators
on this planet – Communication skills.
It is through communication that one person can share their understanding and knowledge with another. So – Don’t be afraid to send your clips and handcam footage to somebody else for review. They will, more often than not, spot something you didn’t, and will almost always be able to offer some kind of advice to help you in your path of gitting gud.
Communities of helpful players exist all over the globe, but for Aim Lab specifically, you can find links to our social media resources on the Main Menu, Ingame. Join our discord to gain access to thousands of helpful players from all over the globe – Of all different skill levels, from amateur to professional.
And remember – Asking questions is always better than guessing for yourself.