William Bradford’s Original Research Quarter One Update

This quarter, I started with a completely different idea for my original research. I was originally planning on attempting to execute a study on the effects of out-of-match habits on in-match performance for professional esports players. Upon further assessment of this idea, I realized that I would not be able to complete it due to outside stressors that I cannot rightly account for.

Changing ideas completely, I’ve elected to interview six to eight experts in the fields of esports psychology, sports psychology, performance arts, and business (including business management and stock trading).

Currently, my prospective interviewees are as follows:

  • Dr. Sean Flannery, a sports psychologist local to the Charlottesville area
  • Ronald Kim, a performance psychologist who has moved to private coaching in the gaming industry
  • Either Lars Robl, the performance psychologist behind Astralis’ Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team, or Mia Stellberg, the performance psychologist for OG’s CS:GO team
  • Mx. Ti Ames at Renaissance School, a performer and teacher of theater
  • Dr. Beth Cantrell, a local music teacher and performer who works with students involved in orchestras and symphonies in the Crozet/Charlottesville area
  • Mr. Eric Lamb, a local stock trader
  • and finally Ms. Bethany Farris if I both have time and am allowed to do so.

My Questions for my Interviewees are planned to be as follows:

  1. How did COVID-19 affect your industry? (If applicable: More specifically, what mental strategies have you instructed [players/performers] to use to cope with COVID-based stressors?) (If Robl responds to my interview request: What tools have been most helpful in enabling players like Gla1ve and Xyp9x to reenter the esports sphere after their extended breaks?)
  2. What pre-performance routines do you employ/do you instruct [players/performers] to employ?
  3. What mental tools do you use/instruct [players/performers] to use to cope with or prevent mid-performance anxieties?
  4. Have you found a distinction between performances/players motivated by a fear of failure and those motivated by a desire to succeed?
  5. Finally, what methods of managing success have been most successful for you and/or your players?

The emails sent to each of these individuals, scheduled to go out next Monday, will read as follows:

Hello [insert title and name],

I’m William Bradford, a high school student at Renaissance School in Charlottesville Virginia and I am conducting my Senior Thesis on the relationship between performance psychology in multiple fields. Would agree to an online interview, either over a recorded video call or via email? I would like to ask you about a few concepts and methodologies I’ve found in my research so far and get your stance on these matters.

If you do agree to this interview, would you be available at [insert time] or [insert time], on October/November [insert day] or October/November [insert day]? Alternatively, if you would like to conduct the interview over email, I could send you my questions and you could respond whenever you like.

Thank you,
William Bradford

After collecting information from each of these sources, I will begin to examine the commonalities and differences between their answers to these questions, writing a short report on each one and a longer document detailing important cross-overs.

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