Regarding composure explicitly, I think my college football coach said it best, “Composure is knowing what to do and doing it despite knowing that it may fail since nothing in life is 100% certain.” Remember, panic isn’t going to help the situation and if you are panicking it’s because you don’t know what to do or even worse, empirical evidence is proving that your strategy isn’t working given enough attempts to verify the effectiveness of a given tactic. Just have to accept that there is either a weakness you have as a player you need to eliminate, your tech is obsolete and you need to hit the lab, or the odds just weren’t in your favor that day.
Best advice I can give you is “anyone can beat anyone on any given day,” which is something you’ll hear if you’ve ever wrestled in high school or college. Realistically, you’re always trying to put the odds in your favor (the very essence of fighting games) and doing the actions with the highest chance of success, given what your opponent is doing, to win but that’s no guarantee that you’ll win (especially in a game as random as Marvel.) Sometimes, no matter what you do, things just don’t work out or even worse, you’ll just get outclassed on a given day. Hell, I went 3-33 in casuals against someone and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was because they were leagues better than me (which is a a very real possibility) or if I was just really unlucky in that time.
There is no such thing as a guaranteed win or a play style that will allow you to win 100%. Sure a team comprised of Wolvie, Wesker and Akuma seems to have an advantage on the rest of the cast, but keep in mind that an S tier team in the hands of a F tier player will still under perform. Just because you have good tech and practice till your fingers hurt doesn’t always mean it will appear when you need it. Believe me, I’ve practiced my combos since Vanilla with my team and there is nothing more demoralizing than when you drop something you’ve practiced for hours (days, months, a year at this point) on end; makes you want to just drop it because you’re not seeing the returns.
Best thing to do is maybe take a break from competing intensely (to let the salt work it’s way out plus re-build your confidence) and compete for fun while focusing on improving what you can control:
Do you trust your execution enough for any given situation? If no, go work on making sure you don’t drop any combos (or sometimes, cutting them short at the right time if it’s too risky to keep it going) or get clipped because you messed up a wave dash
Do you understand enough about your opponents strengths and weaknesses? If no, learn more about the match-ups and figure out the right thing to do given what your opponent is doing
Do you know how to counter a particular setup that your opponent is using? if no, hit the lab, record your opponent’s setup and see if you can find a flaw to exploit or at the bare minimum improve your chances of surviving it
Do you have enough offensive options that have synergy therefore not allowing your opponent to have an optimal strategy against you? If no, see if you have a way of incorporating left-rights, high-lows, command grabs and everything else you can into opening up your opponent.
This is where I’m lacking as my team is way too based on reading my opponent and not generating some randomness, hence why I’m trying out Wolve, Shuma, Akuma as a training team for a while to see what it’s like to have those options. Best advice someone gave me was that “since your team thrives on chip and pressure but lacks any serious mix-up threats that are very damaging, I just have to make sure to attack you with adequate cover and you’ll eventually crack despite your ability to block 3 mix-ups in a row.” It finally dawned on me that I can manage 95% of match-ups pretty well, but it’s those 5% that were killing me since there are some situations that I can’t neutralize not matter how hard I try. Since Marvel is such an offensive game, I came to the conclusion that I was basically shooting myself in the foot sticking with my current team and am in the process of trying to re-tooling.
I agree with Cillranchello in that taking a total hiatus isn’t going to help you improve your game (however one to clear your head, recharge you batteries and get over some bad losses so you can hit it harder later is never a bad idea either.) My recommendation is to make a training schedule for yourself to practice specific aspects of the game (i.e. what characters does my combo kill and which ones should I just setup for a reset since going for an extended combo is risky, what is the optimal spacing I should try to maintain for specific characters with my characters, what are ways I can increase my mobility and the overall speed of my characters, can I create I create any true guess situations for my opponent, etc.) Hell I practiced for about 2 hours straight defending against Wolvie B.Slash by flicking my stick back and forwards and it was actually working fairly well against someone who was killing me before with Wolvie + Drones assist. Well, he is still killing me, but at least I’ve been stopping his B.Slash mix-ups more frequently. Once you think you have enough new stuff to try out, put it to the test against people.
Also, check this guy out if you think you know the definition of salty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Gable
Dan Gable is famous for nearly going undefeated in his years of collegiate wresting to lose only once. Problem is that the one match he lost was he Senior Year, at the NCAA Tournament, in the Grand Finals. If you think you’re salty about one or two losses at a tourney, then imagine how Dan Gable felt and it should give you some perspective.