Bethany Pyles Named Director of Coaching at NASEF

Student esports players in NASEF and HSEL to benefit from game skills coaching and near-peer mentorship from collegiate players and coaches

(Atlanta, Georgia – August 3, 2021) – The North America Scholastic Esports Federation today announced the selection of Bethany Pyles as NASEF’s Director of Coaching. For the past three years, Pyles has been the Esports Program Manager for Connected Camps and, as their employee, was the Coaching Coordinator for NASEF. This new staff role has been created to follow through on a commitment to students, which includes improving game skills but emphasizes personal and social-emotional growth as fostered by coaches and near-peer mentors.

Since its founding, NASEF’s goal has been to provide high quality coaches at no cost to NASEF teams. This remains a goal, along with making coaching more widely available and expanding to include members of NASEF’s partner, HSEL. 

“I am excited to be transitioning into a new role with NASEF and begin to dedicate my energy to building a coaching program that will scale along with the new initiatives established between NASEF and HSEL,” said Pyles.

“Bethany’s blend of experience as a gamer and as a coaching coordinator makes her the best choice for this role. Students will benefit from her leadership, experience, and creative ideas as we not only continue but significantly grow the free coaching program,” said Gerald Solomon, executive director of NASEF.

NASEF’s coaching program includes an emphasis on: 

  • Cooperation
  • Communication
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Self-Management
  • Deliberate Practice
  • Tilt and Motivation
  • Executive Functioning (e.g., self control, self monitoring, self management, planning and organizing, emotion regulation, reasoning, critical thinking)
  • Stress Busting skills (breathing exercises, affirmations, mindfulness, visualization, physical stretches) 
  • Increased game knowledge and awareness (e.g, mechanics, map awareness, positioning, tracking abilities, shotcalling, reviewing patch notes, and gameplay analysis)

With the goals and models well established, NASEF is eager to join forces with NACE (National Association of Collegiate Esports) to source coaches, clinicians and ambassadors for its expanded coaching program. This program will train and develop aspiring esports coaches and mentors. The collaboration with NACE and its members will also connect students with valuable scholastic opportunities in their local regions and across North America.   

Research from UC Irvine has demonstrated the benefit of NASEF’s coaching program. One study shows how students developed important “soft skills” that are increasingly important in the job world. The study showed that “NASEF coaches and GMs were actively cultivating social skills among players through direct mentorship and opportunities for students to not just follow but to lead.” 

NASEF and HSEL leaders will continue to explore opportunities and options that will enhance their coaching and mentorship models as they pivot their structures and jointly expand their reach. They will begin piloting new coaching strategies in Fall 2021 and mold and evolve their approach to meet the needs of students and General Managers.

About NASEF

The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) is on a mission to provide opportunities for all students to use esports as a platform to acquire STEM/STEAM-based skills and critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. NASEF and its partner HSEL are collaborating to create the leading global esports marketplace and community for play and learning. Find NASEF at NASEF.org and on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Media Contact: Claire LaBeaux, claire@nasef.org