I just read Justin Wong’s old article on using training mode effectively, and in it he says that he “works on zoning, counter pokes, and footsies.” How exactly is he accomplishing this against an A.I opponent? Is it just setting the opponent to attacking you and you trying your best to outpoke and keep them out for as long as you can? I know that’s not as optimal as constant training with a human partner, but if that would help my footsies at all I’m going to start doing a whole lot of it.
Working on zoning is a bit difficult, but he probably means to turn on AI at the hardest setting and try your best to zone him out. Obviously, this principally applies to characters with fireballs.
As for counter pokes and footsies, a basic example would be to record yourself walking back and forth at a certain range and throwing out attacks. Change up your spacing, timing, and pokes and pokes of choice until the record function runs out. Then play it back and try your best to damage your opponent, not whiff attacks, and punish their pokes.
It’s a basic example of learning proper spacing. Later on you can try and record your opponent also throwing in special attacks, surprise jumps, and all that stuff to see what kind of options you can come up with. Ultimately, it’s best to practice against a live opponent.