How do training techniques improve aiming performance?
In this article we are going to look at the theory behind physical training, practice & coaching and how that applies to improving your aiming performance.
We know that athletes spend hours training in the domain of their sport, be it the track, field, court or in the octagon. They also spend hours in the gym and other simulated environments which enables them to focus on specific exercises, movements and skills – this is where Aiming.pro comes in for aspiring eSports athletes.
Muscle memory & Repetition
Fortunately, a computer mouse doesn’t weigh 100kg so we don’t need to concern ourselves with building muscle strength, but we definitely do need to concern ourselves with building motor skills and muscle memory.
It’s very straightforward - the more you practice motor skills (in particular for eSports and aiming we are interested in fine motor skills) the better you’ll become at them.
There are no fixed number of repetitions required to “achieve muscle memory”. Every repetition you performed builds neural pathways which improves your motor skill. There is no limit on how much you can train to improve your aiming performance!
Wikipedia states that during motor learning the brain requires increased activity in motor areas (this happens during your aiming movements) but also an increase in attention. When you’re training keep focused and keep thinking about what you’re doing.
An important point to remember during your aiming training - you need to build muscle memory to reflect in-game situations. If you happened to be playing a game where a target always appeared directly to your left, 5cm screen distance away then you can practice that exact situation until the end of days. More realistically you’ll be playing a game where targets can be anywhere, so you need to practice everything – this is where you need to think about your strengths and weaknesses.
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
The more you train the better you’ll become at aiming, but who has unlimited time? We need to train efficiently. One way to approach this is to identify your strengths and weaknesses then perform aiming drills focusing on specific areas.
Should you focus on improving your strengths even further or getting your weaknesses up to a sufficient standard where they can be no longer called weaknesses?
In terms of efficiency of time we believe that improving from poor to average is faster and will show more overall improvement than trying to take a strength from extremely good to absolutely amazing.
From a more practical point of view you need to think about which skills have most relevance to the game for which you want to improve your aiming ability. For instance, you might find that aiming vertically up at long distance is a poor area, but if this situation never occurs in your game then it isn’t worth practicing.
How should you identify strengths and weaknesses?
Sometimes you just know you are weak in an area or you know you want to get better a specific skill. That’s fine – practice it! Sometimes you’re weak in an area that does not occur often enough in game to gain good muscle memory. This is a perfect situation for a simulated environment to create that specific situation to let you repeatedly practice.
Measurement of aiming performance – sometimes you don’t know you are strong or weak until you see the data. Analysis of specific drills or aggregated data across all game simulations provides invaluable information about your aiming performance. Using this you can identify which directions and distances you need more practice in. Comparing your performance to the general population can provide insights in to how you should train your aim.
Once you’ve identified the areas you want to work on, the obvious next step is to practice them by creating a training situation which isolates the motor skill and allows for maximum repetitions. Check out the drills page on Aiming.pro.
Training is hard and requires focus & commitment, but we are driven to do it because we want to improve. So it’s important for motivational purposes that we do see improvement in our aiming ability
The best way to do this is by tracking your aiming performance over time. The first task is to track your performance of the specific skill you are practicing - this should be the place where improvement is most obviously visible. The next step is to look at performance across the whole training environment, then the final step is for you to see your in-game performance increase as you take the aiming skills you’ve learnt from the simulation and apply them to the game environment.
The more you practice the more your aim will improve.
Aiming.pro is uniquely set up to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your aiming performance and provide you with a variety of aim training drills to enable you to focus on specific skills. We can track your performance over time and you can see how you are improving.