Magic: The Gathering & Process Orientation

“The point of Magic isn't to win. You can't control that. The point of Magic is to try and make the best play available to you every time.”

-Ben Stark, Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer

Process orientation is something a lot of coaches are fond of talking about. What does it actually mean? What does it look like to put into practice?

The quote above from Ben Stark is a concise definition and application of process orientation. There are three key elements:

  1. Acknowledge that things exist which are outside of your control and let them go.

  2. Recognize which things are within your control.

  3. Prioritize and act on those things.

Fortunately, the training process offers us nearly limitless opportunities to practice this skill. Next time you’re struggling in training – physically or mentally – ask yourself three questions:

  1. Why am I struggling?

  2. Can I do anything about it?

  3. What can I do about it?

Answer these questions honestly, and then act accordingly by either making a change or letting go. Do this every single day and it will become second nature, and you will find your training is more consistent, more productive, and less stressful.