League of Legends: The Problems of Private Coaching

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Getting private coaching for League of Legends has its drawbacks.

Forcing Change

There is no “correct” way to play League of Legends. There are ways that are better, more consistent, optimal, or easier to execute, but no method given by a coach or guide is objectively the best.

A good coach will therefore be able to understand a student’s particular strengths, the style of champion they’re most comfortable playing, and how to optimize their gameplay style to maximize their chance at improving. Unfortunately, most coaches I’ve experienced will, instead, attempt to shoehorn players into their League of Legends worldview.

For instance, on more than one occasion, I have been told by a coach to drop the champions that I typically play and play the champions that they have either had success with or seen other students succeed with. I’ve been given cheese strategies that will work for some students, but that I struggle to make work. In fact, I’ve often gotten conflicting opinions from coaches regarding the advice of other coaches.

This isn’t to throw them under the bus, but to point out that a lot of coaches are teaching from their, narrow viewpoint. That’s bad for the student when they struggle to conform to what their teacher wants them to do.

For instance, let’s say a player is an Ivern main. They like Ivern, he’s their favorite champion. If they go to a coach who tells them “Ivern isn’t good, Master Yi is better for climbing,” that might not be good advice because the playstyles of Ivern versus Master Yi are diametrically different.

And, don’t get me wrong, coaches offering players advice on changing their champion pool isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, a coach giving players advice on new types of champions is a good thing to help find the right playstyle for them. The issue comes when a coach refuses to teach to a player’s strengths.

I am a tank player. I suck at mechanics, I’m comfortable playing tanks. I had so many coaches try to get me on champions like Fiora, Jarvan, Kled, Jax, Master Yi, etc. because they believed those harder champions would help me improve my mechanics. When I came back after 50 games and was still struggling, they didn’t adjust their coaching but rather insisted that I needed to practice more on them until I “got it.”

For a lot of League of Legends players, they don’t know their own limitations. A good coach will push players beyond those limitations, making them try new styles and champions, but ultimately will not force a player to do something they’re not able to do consistently. If a coach is known for teaching a certain style of player that you definitely are not, or they only coach one role that you don’t play, reconsider hiring them.