Mental Health and the Psychology of
Collegiate Esports

Collegiate Track

10/08/20, 12:00PM - 12:30PM PT

About the Workshop

Over the past 6 years, I have had the honor and privilege to serve as the liaison from the UCI Counseling Center to Esports Program. From initially working with the program when there was one scholarship team to expanding to three teams over this past year, being the Team Psychologist has invigorated my personal and professional pursuits. I have been fortunate to have a front-row seat to see these student-athletes’ develop in multiple areas of their lives. From my perspective as a Licensed Psychologist, it’s developing and holistically supporting the person as a multicultural being that allows for performance to improve.

However, as I speak to other colleagues across the country, they are unsure of how to support Esports players at their respective school if the program does not have an infrastructure similar to UCI. Thus, through a workshop presentation, my hope for presenting at this year’s ESC is to highlight how my role as Team Psychologist can be expanded to support other collegiate Esports student-athletes. In particular, through “Milo Meetings” I focus on three key areas: 1) emotional engagement (i.e., “Today, I’m feeling…” or “I felt ___ when my teammate did ____”), 2) identity development through values exploration and activities, and 3) team building. Attendees can also hope to gain additional insight of what my overall responsibilities have included, such as encouraging/facilitating healthy dialogue, empowering independent decision making, and increasing emotional awareness so that individuals do not feel as though they are “sacrificing” their identity for the betterment of the team.

There is no continued success in Esports without well-being, resilience, and hope. My workshop will highlight the necessity to focus on the person before performance, because when you put the person first, performance will improve.

Milo Dodson, PhD

Senior Staff Psychologist, UCI Counseling Center

Originally from Covina, CA, Dr. Milo Dodson earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and now works as a Senior Staff Psychologist at the UC Irvine Counseling Center. Dr. Dodson is a committed advocate for service-based leadership and continues to connect his academic and clinical background with the entertainment industry to discuss wellness, mental health, and social justice. For UCI Esports, he serves as the team psycholgist and works with players to develop healthy habits surrounding competition, constant high-stress environments, and conflict.