Hey everyone itzBolt here, this time to talk about coaching in Hearthstone. I have been coaching Hearthstone players for about 5 months now, a lot of the players I’ve coached have told me that the sessions were really helpful. This article is going to go over some points on how to maximize your coaching session with a coach
WHAT COACHING IS AND ISN’T
A player looking for coaching should have a certain mindset and that mindset is to get better as a player in an area where they find they are lacking. This can be a wide range of things such as deck building, drafting an Arena deck, piloting an Arena deck, playing around key cards, and the list goes on.
There is a misconception about coaching; the community sees it as two people using voice communication and the higher ranked player is telling the other player what plays to make. The point of a coaching session isn’t to climb ranks or getting an amazing arena run, it’s a process of learning and those things are just the by products.
If you’re looking to hire a coach for a session, look into how they do their coaching. A coach who only tells you the best play is basically you just paying to climb ladder. When you don’t have that person playing for you the next day, you’re just going to drop ranks. You paid for stars and didn’t learn anything in the process.
There are slightly different ways to go about coaching. However, they are generally all very similar. The style I like to use the most is to get the player to explain their thought process and the coach follows up and explains their own. This method may seem simple, but has a lot of ideas you can pull from it from both perspectives.
When the player explains their thought process, it allows them to go through each play out loud and helps them think a lot better, just like when you’re editing an essay for an assignment. By listening to what the player is saying, the coach can analyze how the player thinks and can see their tendencies and this may explain some errors in their play. A coach may notice trends such as their client almost never playing to win, but instead playing to delay the loss. This method also teaches the player that they don’t have to rush through each turn as quick as they can, there is no punishment for slowing down and thinking through their play.
In return, the coach explains their play and what they think is the best decision for that turn. They will go through step by step and explain their reasoning (mentioning cards used, probabilities etc.). This allows the player to understand the play themselves and obtain the best results during the game, which I once again emphasize isn’t the most important thing during the coaching session.
It’s always good to be prepared, you should decide and confirm with the coach on what deck you plan to be coached on and that the coach is confident in their play with that deck.
Having a list prepared beforehand is good for the coaching session, especially if you’ve been having trouble on ladder with it. You can ask your coach to look at your deck and adjust it by having them explain their card decisions.
Talking about different matchups also helps, especially with card choices. If you’ve been seeing a lot of hunter and are having a difficult time against it, you can ask your coach for suggestions on how to adjust to hunter instead of more control matchups.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes! You’re doing this to learn more about the deck and the game. When asked to explain your thought process, be confident it’s alright if you’re wrong. If you don’t explain your thought process well, you might not be showing your coach what you need to improve on because you aren’t talking. There are sometimes plays that a player will notice and the coach won’t and they will consider the play and tell you if it’s a good one.
Ask as many questions and you need to, especially if you make a mistake. You won’t learn if you don’t understand what the mistake was. For example, why do you armour after hitting with your weapon. Asking questions and learning how to fix your mistake will help you remember it for the next time you see a similar situation and you can think back to what the coach taught you. Armour isn’t affected by Alexstrasza so health matters less, shield slam also uses armour rather than health so having more armour is more beneficial.
Here are some questions you may want to ask during a session
- mulligan tips for the deck
- general playstyle against different classes and archetypes
If you have the capability to, you should record your games so that you can go back to review them. This is extremely important if you really want to improve, you can go back to games and see what you did wrong and look at alternative plays.
Knowing that watching recordings can help out a lot, I typically record all my coaching sessions and upload them to Youtube for my clients so they can go back to the video and watch. This includes the gameplay and the voice communication. They can go back and listen to their thought process and mine in the video, they can also go to a certain turn and seeing what they would do and then playing the video to see what the end decision was.
Most coaches won’t have recordings to give to you, so downloading something like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) would be really good to do for yourself. Some will stream your coaching sessions, this allows you to go back to their past broadcasts and rewatch the VOD.
Whether you’re paying for a coach or not, these are things you should consider doing in all sessions. Make the best use of your time and try to learn as much as possible within the hour or two that you have booked. Using programs to record the coaching session allows you to go back and relearn or finalize the ideas you weren’t able to grasp previously.
If you want to learn more about my own coaching sessions please click here.
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