This was suggest by Mandel so here we go:
So with SFIV fast approaching, as well as HDR and with season four fast approaching. I just want to share with everyone some stuff that I do in regarding tournament play, fighting games in general. Now I’m not tryin to put myself out there like I’m on some higher level shit, just some things that I think about when going into a match wether it’s casual or tournament. I guess I’m just throwing this out there in hopes that it might open a person’s way of thinking when it comes to fighting games and they are able to share some of their mindsets and in the end get everyone better, because let’s face it. As important as it is to have your execution down, you gotta have your mental game down too. I mean what’s the point of practicing a touch of death combo in any game if you can’t implement a way to get a chance to do the combo in a match?
I’ll start out with what I had mentioned in the other thread which was having a defeated mindset and having mental blocks when it comes to certain players, or just a negative outlook when approaching a match.
Surprisingly you’ll be amazed at how much of an impact your gameplay is effected by your mindset. Let’s break it down like this:
You’re in a SFIV tournament and your first opponent is Cole. If you are already thinking “Man he’s gonna rape me.” or “this is fucking bullshit that I have to play him first round”.
Now let’s say you’re in a Marvel Tournament and you’re playing against someone that’s picked Hayato/Roll/Hulk. Besides the fact that you’re trying really hard not to bust out laughing, more than likely you might be thinking of things like “Let me try to land that one combo off on him” or “I bet I can beat this guy in under a minute”, or you might even be thinking about your next match.
You see the difference here?
You see how you’ve set your mental game up between those 2 situations? It’s a pretty drastic change. On one end you are not even trying to think about how to win, but how to lose and the other is vice versa, and everyone’s been in a situation like that at one point or another. I know I’ve used an example of me vs. Cole in the other thread but I have another one that illustrates both mindsets.
So at another SFIV tournament my first match was against Billy, now everytime I’ve played Billy in a game he’s scraped me, at that point I don’t think I’ve ever beaten Billy one game period. So when I saw the bracket and how we were going to play first round, I immediately looked at the Loser’s bracket to see who I’d play next. What do you think happened here? I wasn’t giving it 100% and played sloppy and lost. Now I managed to claw my way through losers, and once again I ended up playing Billy again for 3rd. Once I knew I had to play him again the first thing that I thought about was “Man this sucks.”, but then for some reason I thought about what Billy might’ve been thinking and all I could think of was how Billy probably thought this was going to be a piece of cake. For some reason when I thought of that it made me hella mad, and I told myself “fuck all that noise, you’re going to go in there and come out swinging and prove to him that you’re not an easy win” or something along the lines of that. We play and I ended up winning the first match, it was crazy because my whole mindset was completely different instead of worrying about getting the match over with the first time around, and just not paying attention to what was really going on. I stared to focus on some things he was doing, and how he would react to the things that I would do, I noticed somethings and tried to see if I could take advantage from them. The second round was pretty close from what I remember, as was the 3rd round, but in the final round I remember looking up and seeing that Billy was way out in front healthwise, and he had turtled up. I told myself that I was done, and pretty much gave up, honestly if I didn’t give up right there who knows what would’ve happened, but in the end of it all I convinced myself that I had alread lost when the game was still going on.
And like I mentioned before, I’ve heard different people from different games say something along the lines of “There’s no way I can beat _____” (Names that come to mind; Yosuke, Axel, Beasily, Mandel, Rat, Row, Jmar, Fatbear, LTB etc. etc.)
Listen, all the players I’ve just mentioned they are great players for the games that they represent…but they are not machines nor are they gods. And they are all beatable, and honestly if you have a negative/defeated mindset against ppl like that, not only are you cheating yourself out of getting better. You’re cheating them out of getting better. I mean shit if someone just came out of nowhere and started beating the shit outta a top player in their game, do you think they are just going to throw up a white flag and give up? NOPE. They are going to go back and get even better, which in turn can make you better and so forth and so forth.
Another good thing is having confidence or “willing the win” as Apoc puts it. It might mean something completely different to him but for me, it’s just having that confidence that if you’re going to do something that will turn the tide it’ll happen.
I remember Zach mentioning in one of the threads how he would enjoy watching me play Marvel, and Mandel agreed because as he puts it I take risks. My response to that is, I don’t even call it risky play. For me (at least in Marvel) I’d rather lose swinging than lose blocking. Which boils down to, if I see an oppertunity to try and go for something I’m fucking going for it. There are tons of matches where this has happened. Random stuff like someone trying to chip me with lightning attack XX Lightning Storm and I ended up AHVB’ing before the super went off to win the match, or there’s a match against Kenny where he tried to chip with a lightning storm while i was coming down from a super jump, and ass soon as it went off I immediately thought (I know I can hit him with a super right…now!) and sure enough, he got tagged up as the lightning bolts just whizzed past me. You have to have that confidence about your game, it’s like w/o your confidence/positive thinking you might as well be playing marvel with one hand. It really hinders your game a lot, but at the same time it can enhance your game by even more.
So I hope that those who have read this over, have looked back and see if they’ve said something about how they can’t beat a player no matter what. I would say to just take a step back and start playing at your best until you do actually start beating them. I had that happen last night in VF5, playing against a decent Sarah that was scraping me, but I knew that I could win at some point, and after 9 or 10 games I did win against him 3-0. Then ended up with a 6 game win streak of my own.
Next time I post in here I’ll talk about Sandbagging: How it helps you at a regional/world level, but how it hurts you and others at the local level.