François Géraud, better known as The Coach, is the mental coach of the esport team Oserv. He will describe where does it come from, his role in the team, and his ambition!
Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter !
K : Can you tell us more about your background?
F: My name is The Coach and I am Mental Coach at Oserv Esport!
Oserv has been the first to trust me, it’s important to make it clear.
My career path is atypical. Back a few years ago, I was Deputy Reserve Constable. It’s something that’s been very important in my life. This job allowed me to developed fundamental values: body spirit, always doing things well, sense of hierarchy… I learned a lot.
Afterwards, I left the police force for various reasons, with a strong desire to help people. When you are a policeman, you intervene to resolve situations. You’re not going to help the person upstream or downstream. And that’s what I wanted to do. So, I began to learn different type of therapies, including hypnosis (I was sceptical about these methods and wanted to make up my mind).
After many readings and trainings, I started helping people managing their stress, their phobias and their addictions… But it was complicated to make ends meet. I thought: François, you have knowledges in various fields, how can you really use them?
That’s how I ended up teaching. In a few months, I trained sales people coming from important international companies in communication. But it’s a very particular job and to be honest, it was not my dream job… Therefore, I looked for a way to do something similar but in a field that I liked more.
I spent some time in mental coaching to take guide sport athletes as well.
Luckily, I came across an offer to “Coach” a Rainbow 6 team on GamingJob. I thought it might be interesting and even if you don’t know video games, a human being is still a human being. That’s how I ended up at Oserv Esport. At Gamers Assembly I started to be interested in the different line-ups. It is following the victory of the Fornite team of Maylie that I became the Official Mental Coach for all the lines-ups of the Oserv Esport team.
K: So you’re not a gamer at all?
F: It might be very strange but no. I’ve always been interested in video games, but I prefer watching other players. Now, I coach athletes. Therefore, I need time to read, learn and train to do my best to help them… and playing takes time.
K: Is there a difference for you between a esportsman and a traditional sportsman?
F: YES! Especially in the mentality. A sportsman “fights” against his body and mind. He’s going to push his limits as far as he can and will have answers from his body: aches, wounds… He will very quickly feel that it is hard. While an esport athlete doesn’t necessarily realize it! There’s no physical pain at first! There can be a lack of involvement sometimes. But it’s legitimate, it’s a different environment.
The biggest difference for me is the turnover in the teams. In the esport it’s incredible. Players change teams so often!
K: And you, when you coach an esport athlete and an athlete, do you have a different approach?
F: The objective is the same: always give the best whether it’s in the game or in training to get the best of the players. Especially when they practice! People often underestimate that a lot. When you see in bootcamp sometimes the attitude of some players… They don’t realize how lucky they are and the investment we put on them!
A traditional sportsman, like his evolution is easily evaluable, as he is generally himself conscious of his mental barriers. For a Gamer, it’s much blurrier. The big game of RNG gets players out of their game quickly and it’s only after a lot of hours of play that they understand that they might have bad ways of thinking.
K: What is your approach to players?
F: The Mental Coach takes care of players from A to Z regarding their mental. Upstream, you give good mentalities, you help them with image management, communication, conflict management … Players must feel good about themself. Then, before and during the competition, you have the mental preparation aspect! We have to help them manage defeats, but also victories! Some players can’t handle wins… There are quite few details that are clearly super important for gamers.
K: What about tournaments, can you tell us more? You prepare them, you pump them up… What is your role during a LAN?
F: The DreamHack Tours – TDHT, for example; we finished top 4 (on Fortnite). With all the bugs there, it was a great performance. In addition, we had players who got disconnected directly at the beginning of the game. You have to know how to handle it. If anything goes wrong, you have to analyse to see if the players are able to manage by themselves. If they don’t, here you go into the field. Then, depending on the players, you use a different approach.
In this case (TDHT), I had a discussion with the shyest player of the team. I checked how he managed the situation, what was right and wrong. Then, I did the same with another member of the team. Actually, the more you talk with players the more you understand the source of the problem. My goal is to explain them how to get over this situation while maintaining team cohesion. It’s really human management.
K: And this style of mental coaching, would you say that it is applicable to any game?
F: Yes, absolutely. But in France, we are not so many mental coaches …
The players still don’t realise how important we are. We are able to push people higher and higher. For example, there have never been so many people who have done less than 10 seconds in the 100 meters since Usain Bolt did it. It’s the same thing here! We’re here to show that we set the limits ourselves.
K: You also have a website to book classes with you! Can you tell us more?
F: Absolutely! Each type of training can be given to individuals or professional. Only the bootcamp part is reserved for teams.
I tried to talk about training categories that enabled me to reach as many people and fulfil as many objectives as possible.
And again: THERE IS TRAINING FOR EVERYONE AND FOR ALL PRICES!
K: And what are your future plans?
F: I am developing a mental coaching app that will be released before the end of the year.
I will also join Galibelum (website here !) to help structures and streamers to find funding and sponsors: which are the other big problems in the esport. Then, I intend to help Reflex esport in their training project. I am also in serious discussion with WomenInGames to help them develop gender diversity in the esport. And many other projects! 🙂
K: Thanks for your time! And I hope to see you soon!
(PS : Don’t forget to check our article about Maylie, a Fortnite player for Oserv ! 🙂 )