How to handle nervousness?

I was wondering how high-leveled players deal with nervousness when playing at arcades or tournaments? I was at my local arcade and got beat really badly at SF4 due to being too nervous. My hands was shaking when I was playing, I could not think of strategies properly, and I could not play how I wanted to play. I was disappointed with my performance. My reaction to my performance and being defeated was one of disbelief and surprise. Basically :wtf:!

Just play again and ignore the fact that you lost. Just don’t get over hyped! If something doesn’t work, practice or try something else during the match.

After taking enough L’s in front of dudes who are watching and judging your game (which is likely the root of your nervousness), you just stop giving a fuck.

Keep playing in front of other players and you’ll grow more comfortable with the whole thing.

I would suggest getting some music in your ears like an Ipod and forget people are there. I trained myself to drown out everyone else while playing games(which is not so great when people start to talk to you XD). If that doesn’t work try what the dude above me said: Don’t give a fuck.

It’s kind of like public speaking, you’re nervous because people are watching you. As someone already suggested, a good idea is to just attend more tournaments/weeklies until you are more used to playing while people watch you. A lot of players use various tools to zone out the things around them, some players have an extremely high focus ability. In the middle of them playing a tournament match, if a fire broke out behind them, I’d bed they wouldn’t even notice, the level of focus and ability to block out noise of people around them or to specifically listen to cheers to get hype is part of their ability to control their emotions during a match. Some players have a huge difficulty with this however, and can’t seem to focus. I’ve heard idea from taking medication to herbal supplements that focus on short term concentration before an event. One thing you may see very often is people who listen to music while playing, simply put, it helps block out the people and noise around them and puts them in a comfortable familiar atmosphere listening to their favorite music, you could always try that.

There are plenty of tricks, probably the best being practice. Good luck, and don’t let it discourage you from playing.

Music is a good idea, but other than that it just comes from playing more. You get used to it, just keep trying!

Just try to play more in that type of environment (around people in an arcade or even at gatherings) and you’ll get used to it over time. Like the other said, just try to not focus on winning at first, but more of staying relaxed while you play. Take a few L’s until you feel more relaxed and focused, then kick ass.

Take a few deep breaths.

Realize that these guys are here for the same reason you are. To play. Basically, they’re friends you haven’t made yet, so no reason to be nervous around em.

Friends till you play them and own them. Then they will become your rivals.

I don’t think anyone totally gets rid of it. Like in a match with a lot on the line, big pot for 1st place, up against a legend you’ve been wanting to beat, late @ EVO and you’re still in the tournament, the feelings will always come back up. I think people like choi\sanford have been put in the spot light PLENTY of times but I believe that when they were on the verge of obtaining the word “champion” they probably felt a little anxiety it not a lot.

most people get nervous by this simple fact alone. I want to do good in front of everyone. Wrong thought totally. Worry about the match @ hand. The way I see it, if you’re not thinking about the fight, you deserve to lose. Thoughts like I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy or you want to do good in front of your peers, those are thoughts best left alone for the time being. Worry about whats in front of you.
when you can play SF and have no actual consciousness of your surroundings like people talking to you, cell phone going off and other distractions, thats the type of focus you need to get rid of nervousness. If you’re focusing all of your focus on the fight, there is no room left in your head for nervousness.**

the thing about music is that in can fuck you up depending on the game. Sound effects register before visual cues in most cases giving you the fastest time possible to react. Also 99% of american tournaments allow players to sit side by side. The benefit of this is that you can hear a button press. Audio reaction time is like 15-30% faster than a visual reaction time. Audio reaction times are generally faster because the brain has to process less.

I listen to this usually when Im at a tournament

helps me focus / get pumped up :


other than music , then like what others said above just go to more tourneys / gatherings / arcades

I used to freeze at arcades/tourneys when I played people I didn’t know, but I got used to it after awhile.

During war some soldiers dehumanize their enemies to remove emotional response, similarly in fighting games if you think of it as fighting the character on the screen and not the actual player I guess it could help too (maybe a weird analogy).

Concentrate on the game, get experience, don’t be self conscious.

just keep at it. the feeling is a rush and eventually those people at the arcade will become your friends if u keep going back long enough and dont have serious social problems. then you’ll miss the rush u got those first few weeks playing at the arcade with strangers.

Totally agree with shoultzilla about nervousness…if you can manage to place focus on the match at hand it becomes easier.
When I played at Evo last year…I only focused on the match to the point that I didn’t even hear anything but the game sounds and Yipes.
I lost, but it didn’t matter…because I did my best out there, and I wanted to see if I was all talk.

Sometimes you have to leave all doubt outside.

i dont undestand how people can get nervious at playing videogames.
I mean, maybe at doing an Expo in front of your classroom, but playing a videogame tournament? cmon =S

Redundant post, but keep at it. A lot of players make the mistake of spending a bunch of time playing by themselves or online thinking they need to reach a certain before playing in tournaments or in public and I think when you do that you put even more pressure on yourself to perform well at the few public occasions you play. When you play in an arcade regularly, its not going to really matter if you play bad one match or one night because you’ll just go back again the next day (or week or whatever).


This shit is great, ty for the links, I need to get these on my mp3 player :slight_smile:

I almost always have this playing wherever I am

Doing mandatory school presentations is just following directions and reading your prepared script. Playing fighters is a confrontation that tests your skill with you trying to outplay the other player with money on the line (25c lol / tourney fee / prize money). To people new to playing in arcade / tournament environments it takes a bit to get used to both the social and playing aspects at the same time. Finals and big money matches though. . .even with experience you’ll still probably get a little nervous :wow:

You have a few options:

  1. Become a sociopath.

  2. Take deep breaths.

  3. Lay off the caffeine before doing some Street Fightering.

  4. Compete against people you don’t know more often.

When I started playing online (hardly compares, but it’s better than nothing) I’d get super jittery and overexcited when playing, my breath would be erratic and my heart would pound. I just toughed it out and over time I could just shrug it off with a deep breath and a good stretch. You get used to it.

Also, try to think positive if you’re worried about losing. There’s nothing wrong with losing, but winning feels so good!

As far as music, I listen to this and [media=youtube]IjYJndzV07c"[/media]!

woah i missed that comment. Writing it off as just a video game indicates to me it doesn’t matter much to you. Even if it isn’t money on the line, if you take the game seriously, you’re making a statement about your skills when you challenge someone if you take it seriously, otherwise you are just killing time.