In almost all forms of competition, a certain “spirit” is needed perform consistently under a wide variety of circumstances. This is beyond confidence or humility, skill or talent. This is what lets you, as a competitor, realize that you’re not hitting a wall but a step. When you climb that step, you reach a new level.
I mean this thread to be a source of inspiration provided by and for other competitors. This isn’t just about fighting games, but since this is SRK, I’m sure we’ll be speaking in that context.
I’ll start with a few topics, and hopefully you all will add to them.
Let’s start with BLAME.
Blame is one of the greatest roadblocks to personal achievement anywhere. It’s that thing your annoying childhood friend used to do every time you won; trying to rob you of your victory. If you are blaming someone else for your failure, you’ll see no reason to examine yourself and correct your problems. The same goes for blaming your equipment. When it comes down to it, you’re responsible for maintaining your own stuff. As far as what system you play on or what TV is used when playing a fighting game, you and your opponent are in the same situation.
Even worse is blaming yourself. Don’t get down on yourself. If you do something wrong, try to examine what you can do better and move that way. Recognizing where you failed or when you just got outplayed is great if you can turn that into positive energy. If you let it push you into a rut, chances are you’ll just quit.
What to do about BLAME:
Keep your thoughts on the future. How can you do better next time? What can you work on? Own your wins and your losses, but instead of resting on the wins or dwelling on the losses, pick them apart for future matches.
HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
It sounds kind of cheesy, but these four things can be a huge problem to most competitors. You need to “HALT” (get it) when these things are standing in your way. When you let these 4 states dominate your game, you end up frustrated and probably turning to blame instead of competing at your peak.
What to do about it:
Address them, then move on. Get food, sleep well, take a deep breath, and make sure you’ve got your personal matters in order. It’s probably good in life to make sure you’re at peace with all your family, friends, co-workers, etc.; but particularly for competition, they can be a huge distraction if you’re at odds with them.
Too much ADVICE.
Everyone wants to give you superficial advice which buttons to hit and when to jump or not jump… whatever. Look, there’s a lot of valuable information in most people’s advice, but if someone just tells you “you jump too much”, chances are, they are not looking at the whole picture and you might change your game for no reason.
What to do about too much ADVICE:
Listen to it, see if it applies, even try it out. Do NOT let it dominate how you play. Don’t fill your mind with it. Save it for when you have a chance to test it out and, if it works for your style, use it. Every person has an idea of what he would do, but you’re not him.
What to do about it: Be grateful you can even play video games instead of worrying about malaria. It’s a heck of a lot easier to have fun and play at your peak when you’re not sitting there acting out a “white people problems” meme.
Check yourself. I know this is going to be the least popular thing I say, but I believe it’s the truth. Make sure you’re behaving on the level. Make sure you’re at peace with God before you compete. Sound like nonsense? Well, you may think that, but if you’re at peace with God, you’re at peace. Anyone familiar with martial arts knows that peace is key to advancement. Good old simple virtue will actually help you play better. I believe that because I’ve seen it. Sportsmanlike behavior always follows and makes any competition great for every competitor involved.
These are things that I know. I don’t know everything (FAR FROM IT, ACTUALLY), and not everything here will work for you. However, if you want to be a force to reckon with at any competition, I think this is a good place to start. This is what helped me turn my grades through the roof in college, and has taken me to new levels. In fact, I spent three years being a complete joke at street fighter until I started to actually apply these lessons. I probably averaged about 500PP online, now, it’s more like mid 2000’s and still gradually climbing.