We all have our favorite players. No matter the game of choice, there is a player that we absolutely love. Some of us aspire to be in their place some day, play daily, spending countless hours on the game with our teams every day just trying to be even half as good as they are. We’ve all been there or heard of it at some point. Every event we watch, we always focus on those who are in the spotlight. The players are the ones who execute the gameplans put into place for their teams. There is one member of the team that does not get the credit they deserve, though: the coach.
Coaches are responsible for giving players very valuable information. They are basically the only person that can sit back and watch the whole team at once. If a player is out of position, the coach will be the first to know and can relay this information to his team in order for them to make the proper changes. In a game such as Halo, time is also a valuable thing to keep track of. This is something a coach is also there for. Power weapons and things such as camo and overshield respawn after a certain amount of time has passed. Coaches keep track of these times as well.
I sat down with Emanuel “Hoaxer” Lovejoy, who is the coach of the Str8 Rippin Halo team, to get some insight on the life of a coach. What does he do to stay on top of his game? What kind of advice does he have for other people who may want to pursue coaching as well? First off, let me teach you a bit about Hoaxer’s history.
Hoaxer is currently 27 years old and living in Georgia. His first experience with any kind of esport was back in 2009 when he played in Major League Gaming Halo events, eventually going pro in late 2011. It was not up until Halo 5 when the stresses of competing made him realize that it may be time for a change. That’s when things changed and Hoaxer decided to be a coach instead.
“I told myself that I wouldn’t put myself through another experience like that again if I could help it, Hoaxer said. “Way too many facets of my life were getting pushed to the wayside by me dedicating my energies to an unstable system of competition. And when I say an unstable system of competition, I don’t mean to throw shots at any single entity; it’s mainly the description I give to the nature of the beast that was the competition at the time. I had a lot of time to reflect and observe competition after that point. I feel like my perspective on the game changed somewhere during Regionals and in between Worlds. I hadn’t felt something like that since I teamed with Naded back in Halo Reach. Ironically, it wasn’t until then that I saw improvement in my own game in both instances, respectively. I knew I still had much to offer a team besides competing on one, and I thought what better way to do that than to coach one.”
Now coaching for Str8 Rippin, Hoaxer has a lot more time on his hands to focus on family and other things. On the topic of family, we all know Hoaxer’s brother Marcus “Elumnite” Lovejoy is also a coach, coaching the Team EnVyUs Halo squad. The two have a sort of rivalry going on, but Hoaxer describes it as “a healthy one in the fact that neither him nor Elumnite let it get to their head.” They also have the support of their parents.
“My mom texted me before our series against nV at UGC St. Louis saying, ‘Good luck! May the best team win!’ and I just kept thinking to myself that one of us isn’t going to be lucky and one of us isn’t going to win,” Hoaxer said, laughing.
At the end of the day, Hoaxer said that it’s all love between the two of them. It’s all part of competing and they both know it’s business.
As a coach for Str8 Rippin, Hoaxer said that his main purpose is to “contribute to the betterment of the team in any way possible.” After all, he has a view during the game that the players do not get to see. Being honest and critical of yourself as well as the people on the team is very important. Some players will not respond to criticism as well as others and it could end up hurting the team more than it would benefit them.
When asked what advice he has for people that want to become coaches, Hoaxer said that actually being good at the game yourself helps.
“I’d say that they should really focus a portion of their efforts at improving their performance in playing the game significantly,” Hoaxer said. “I believe there are some intangible opportunities missed in coaches that don’t make that effort.”
So for starters, make sure you have a solid understanding of the game if you want to be able to coach a team towards success. Another thing that is very important is knowing the difference between what you can say to influence your team for the better, and what is better left unsaid. This is the key to making sure the team stays positive. Motivation is the key to playing well. If you do not believe you can win, then you have already lost to begin with.
It was a great opportunity to be able to pick the brain of a successful coach within the Halo community. After it was all was said and done, Hoaxer had a few shoutouts he wanted to give.
“I wanted to give a shout out to the team first of all,” Hoaxer said. “I’m incredibly proud of the guts they’ve shown thus far and our performance at St. Louis. We still haven’t reached our potential in my eyes, but I feel that we’re shaping up quite nicely. Also, I want to give a shout out to MoneyMatches. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible as we are now. And last but not least, thank you so much to the Str8 Rippin organization and all of our fans that have been supporting us along the way. We greatly appreciate the support! Oh, and who else wants Str8 Rippin skins?” *Looks at Tashi and winks*
This should give everyone some insight on what it takes to be able to coach a team. As I said before, coaches are an essential part of a successful team. There is a lot of information and data that the players do not have the time to keep up with due to having to focus on actually playing the game. The coaches are there to stay on top of this extra information, provide a new eye, and motivate the team. A motivated team is a winning team.
Do you want to pursue a career in coaching? Do you think coaches play a part in a teams success?
Comment below or tweet your answer to us @GAMURScom.
Maurice Barton is a writer for GAMURS and can be reached in the following ways:
Photo Credit: Lalo “Muggsy” Torres