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How to teach and how to learn

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Senior Member


"I like to help new players"

I started playing over a month ago now, and in that time have met a lot of people who claimed to like to help new players learn the game.

Some were decent teachers, a lot weren't nice people at all.

1. If your teacher takes you in 1v1 and just destroys you, what does it teach you? You already know you're new and don't know everything. It's not teaching, it's just giving them a free ego boost for destroying a newbie. People who do this aren't teachers, they're trolls.

It's different if they take you in 1v1 and just observe, then you both leave without the game being won or lost by anyone (you can both leave a custom without it being a "leave" on record). Or if they take you 2v2 on your side against bots and show you then observe then show you.

I refuse to do 1v1 against teachers now, because of those people, because I don't trust anyone to play against me while I'm still new and don't have a chance against someone more experienced.

2. If your teacher does a game with other students or friends, invites you, and balances the teams horribly (say, 2 lower levels vs two higher levels), what does it teach you? This can be done as a learning aid or it can be done in a nasty way.

This happened to me with the first person who claimed to be a teacher. His team totally destroyed our team despite my repeatedly stating "I don't think this is balanced guys, we have both the lowbies on one team" and then after when I asked how this benefitted me as a student, he started yelling at me and calling me names on vent. He went around telling everyone that I was a sore loser, and encouraged others to troll me as well. It wasn't about losing, it was about the way he betrayed my trust after claiming he was there to help me. He also claimed that I agreed the teams were balanced, when I had repeatedly stated the opposite.

Recently this happened with another teacher, but I was on the winning side and was higher level than half of the other team. Again, I said at the start that I didn't think it was balanced because both lowbies were on the other side and we were all on voice chat together - even though they had high levels also. I stuck around after the match and offered advice to the person I'd killed the most. The person I killed a lot did get mad and started saying he was gonna get me, but I didn't call him names or blame him for being a little bit upset at how uneven it turned out. And afterwards, our teacher had us all do a fun game of kill the teemo, so we could all just have fun together and laugh a lot. This helped erase the bad feelings of loss for the other team rather than just calling people names and destroying trust. It was uneven and they had the right to feel a little upset about it. The teacher NEVER called the people on the losing team a sore loser even though some of them were upset - and in fact he didn't even play, he spectated!

3. It's ok to not like losing, but it's not ok to rage about it. It's ok to enjoy winning, but it's not ok to rub it in people's faces. It's never ok to betray and troll someone you're teaching and try to provoke them to get them reported.

A good teacher puts your development as a player ahead of ego. They will teach you to share their love of the game, or to improve their own skills because teaching a skill makes you have to understand that skill in a deeper way than just doing it.

They will not troll you "to see how you react to trolling" because they understand that they have taken a position of trust and refuse to abuse that trust. They will encourage you when you are trolled in solo q, and help you find ways to say things to try to get your team back on track in a nice way without raging.

They will admit when they don't know something and will do their best to help you anyway, even passing you on to another teacher who can teach that skill better.

Pay attention to how they are teaching you, not just think they're friendly and nice for offering to help a newbie. Teaching is a skill in itself, and not everyone has what it takes. They might be a good player but be unable to communicate with you, or have the wrong teaching style to get through to you.

Sports coaches who yell at their players for playing badly actually reinforce the negative behaviors more than coaches who primarily reward and encourage desired behaviors. There are tons of new studies showing that in animal training, reward for achieving positive expectations pays off way better than punishments. We humans are still animals and still have basic reactions to pain and pleasure same as other animals. This is why the Honor system is having a better effect than two years of Tribunal.

Anyone who teaches via negativity and punishments, is not worthy of teaching you. There are natural consequences in this game for doing badly, and those are enough that new players want to avoid doing badly.

There is however, some need for external rewards to catch that moment of doing it right, and that's where having a good teacher can really help improve your game. Why? As a new player, you don't yet have the game knowledge to know when you're doing it right! Sometimes you can play badly and still win, or play well and still lose. A teacher can help you identify those times so you can continually grow better. Most importantly, a teacher can help you refocus on your personal performance, win or lose, which helps give you the resilient, sporting attitude needed to do well in League.

4. Self-teaching.

The most important thing you can do is to self-teach. Why? Because even if you have a teacher helping you, you still are the one who has to learn all this stuff.

So get lolreplay and record your matches, then watch them and do slow motion on both the plays you felt you did badly and the plays you did well. Do custom 1v0 on champions you want to learn, in order to get a feel for how they hit minions at different levels and with different gear. Watch streams. Read guides and tutorials, and look at the wiki to view details on champion skills in order to come up with your own builds to suit the way you like to play. Constantly see if there's an area you can improve next time.

I'm still new and I'm still learning, so if you feel I've left anything out or should expand on anything I said here, please let me know.

Good luck in finding a good teacher.

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Senior Member


Hey Kaalika,

Very nice synopsis! I agree that no one can teach someone just by stomping them! The only thing that a player can really do is share knowledge as to what to focus on. Also agreed, things like positioning and skill shots can only be learned by yourself!

I usually just like to spectate a game of the player and tell them what they could work on. Another thing is to tell them what they are doing right!

You defiantly seem like you know what your talking about and you have a great mindset!

I can defiantly learn from this aswell!

Happy summoning!


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Assistant Producer


There's no doubt that teaching is an art. It takes no only mastery, but also patience and understanding. A good teacher is not just someone who gives you lessons but is also someone who is your advocate.

I am lucky enough to get the opportunity to train some of our newer Rioters here on a regular basis and get to help them learn the basics of the game. I'm very glad that I get to do it - I was lucky enough to have some great friends who helped me discover the passion that the community has for League of Legends and all the awesome times to be had in both victory and defeat.

To those who volunteer their time and know how on this forum and elsewhere to help out new summoners - Thanks for your hard work!

Thank you for your thoughtful writeup Kaalika. Every day I am thinking about how I can be a better teacher.