I’ve been playing fighters for over 10 years but I never tried to get better until 3-4 years ago. Even after I started trying to do better, it took me a long time to better understand what good players were really doing.
So, I have years and years of bad habits built up. I end up being a very reactive player, and this leads to a number of problems-
I don’t press the advantage properly. I will get into advantage situations - e.g., knock down my opponent in the corner - and I will instinctively back up instead of pressing the advantage.
I don’t punish properly. I’ll block a DP, and I’ll just do a single move or sweep or throw, rather than doing a basic punish combo to maximize my damage or create a good setup. Or, someone will jump at me at a dumb time, and I’ll just block instead of doing an anti-air.
I lack patience. Even when I have the life lead, I’ll sometimes start throwing moves out there when I could just block and look for a better opportunity.
I use canned strings and shenanigans without confirming them or thinking about the situation. I will often just do something stupid that I clearly know was the wrong thing to do the moment I finish the input. For example, if you get me into a fireball trap, I will block 2 fireballs and then jump every time.
I know exactly what I am doing wrong and what I should be doing instead in most of the situations where I fuck up. It’s very frustrating when I play someone who clearly doesn’t understand the matchup on the level I do, but I lose because I beat myself and just do stupid things instead of playing solid.
So, how do I make that jump to thinking about what I’m doing and making conscious, strategic choices, instead of just pressing buttons and playing a reactive game?