Who needs a Rocket League coach? There's a general feeling among the community that the only people that get coaching are those at the top, the ones who make money from it, but that's not true. There's plenty of people who make a living from mixing and matching Rocket League skills like content creation and full-time coaching.
Coaching is something that's becoming not only more sought after, but also more accessible. It's a natural transition for many content creators who've been making tutorial videos forever anyway, and it's something that more and more players are looking for as they reach plateaus or get hard stuck in a rank. With this in mind, I figured I should talk to someone about the whole thing.
What makes a Rocket League Coach?
The person I went with was SpookLuke, who's recently started picking up a lot of steam on YouTube with a mix of analysis, tutorial videos, and even more investigative bits like the one linked above. SpookLuke's been playing the game since it launched but didn't get really into it until around the beginning of 2020 when the quarantines started hitting. They hit GC in that time but haven't had as much time to play Ranked since starting off with coaching.
What does it take to be a Rocket League coach though? I obviously had to ask, but the answer I got was kind of surprising. "Yeah, so I think this is a huge misconception. A lot of people think they need to be the best at the game, to teach others how to play the game. Or they think they need to be an expert to share good advice, and I'm absolutely of the opposite opinion." Instead, SpookLuke started doing videos when they hit Champ two and found the reaction really positive because people like being taught by people who aren't thousands of hours ahead of themselves.
They've had such a huge success with one-on-one coaching that they've kind of run out of time. Rather than doing a few games and some replay analysis, they now run a programme called "The Grand Champ Roadmap" which has groups of players being coached at the same time, with the aim being for everyone to lift each other up. "I've basically modelled everything I do after university course. And it's, it's been really, really awesome."
What's easy to fix, and what's hard?
Having coached over 200 players, SpookLuke seems like an old hand at some of this stuff, so I thought it was worth asking what are the easy fixes, and what are the hard ones. "Decision making is the easiest thing. Like when we when I happened a one on one session, I could tell somebody exactly what they're doing wrong because I can see what they're doing wrong." This isn't uncommon though, as he points out, anyone with a friend a few ranks above them can have these corrections offered as long as the other person has more experience.
The second hardest thing to correct is anything mechanical. After all, we all know we need to practice to get the most out of our Rocket League cars, but actually putting in hours learning to air dribble, speed flip, or whatever else you want to do, is time-consuming.
The hardest thing, however, is motivation. "The hardest thing for me to conquer as a coach is getting people excited about being consistent" The acceptance rate for SpookLuke's programme is low, because everyone gets interviewed beforehand, so it's not about money, but commitment. "I think the biggest problem is just that that's the biggest barrier to long term progress; it's absolutely mindset"
Is it better to be mechanical or patient?
Obviously, the answer to that is both, but it's good to know for players that are firmly in one camp or the other. SpookLuke mentioned that it's fun to coach mechanically skilled players, but he actually likes proving that you can do a lot in Rocket League with very little, so he generally really enjoys coaching mechanically gifted but rather passive players. He also, unsurprisingly, likes coaching players who "don't give themselves enough credit." Also, he says "it's always tough to reel in the ball chaser," so maybe try and give the ball and your team some breathing room if that's you.
If you're reading this and wondering if you should get a coach, then know that this isn't essential for everyone. If you're playing the game casually, then you'll probably not be interested in that, and that's okay. However, if you're itching to get better, then having the right motivation and a good coach can absolutely take you up several notches. SpookLuke's coached eSport teams, people who play in smaller leagues, and people who just want to be good at the game. It's not about wanting to be a pro, but investing in something you enjoy. Those are my words, not his.
"I think a lot of people can get value out of coaching, and they kind of sell themselves short. The fact is, if there's somebody out there who knows something that I don't, I am absolutely always going to be open to paying them for that information and for that insight." That's what coaching is all about, learning something you don't already know.
What should you be doing?
If you want coaching then you should look into it, that's pretty simple. Sometimes putting a bit of money into a hobby can really pay-off, because there's no harm in investing in your pastimes if you can spare the cash. However, if you're stuck in any rank up to and including Plat, you'll be happy to know that SpookLuke thinks you should probably just keep playing, rather than worrying too much about specific skills.
One small bit of advice from me on that though, just learn to rotate and you'll cruise into Diamond with relative ease, especially if you and a couple of friends can regularly play together. Seriously, just hit the ball and go back to goal and you'll rank up, don't worry about perfect car control at that point.
Also, if you want coaching from SpookLuke specifically, or at least as part of his course, you can find out the details on pretty much all of his YouTube videos.