There comes a time in most players’ lives when you can no longer dedicate endless hours everyday honing your skills in your favorite fighting game.
They say success breeds success, and even though it’s “just a videogame”, a lot of the principles I applied in my GGPO days have maintained the momentum and confidence to succeed in other areas of life (career, social, dating, working out, other hobbies, etc.):
Know everything there is to know about your craft. I remembered having a thirst for ST knowledge, and that intellectual curiosity drove me to understand all the underpinnings of the system.
When you dedicate yourself to learning more than the average Joe, finding the best strategies for your particular style, personality, body type, etc. and applying it on a regular basis, you’ll shine.
Disappointment either destroys you or DRIVES you. The choice is up to you. SF2 legend Tomo Ohira said “every loss was memorable… that’s what kept it interesting”.
Whether I lost or won in ST, I always questioned why? A lot of players never get significantly better because they don’t look back and analyze why things happened and how to improve. Same thing applies for career, relationships, whatever.
Some mornings, I’d play ST first thing just to wake my brain up, even before I brushed my teeth! When you do something everyday and commit yourself to the process, you’re bound to get better. Improvements tend to come in spikes and epiphanies, then you plateau for awhile, and then it repeats. (See George Leonard’s book “Mastery”).
The key is to love the plateau, to commit yourself to the habit of practice, being in the moment, and to stay consistent; breakthroughs will happen naturally over time. Like Tomo said, to be the best, the winning formula is dedication, you gotta be committed.
Tony Robbins said the NUMBER ONE distinguishing factor between his clients that had massive success and those that didn’t really improve is this one question, “What are you willing to settle for?”.
Personally, I wasn’t content until I could hold my own against top players, because I knew I could if I just practiced enough. Just like I won’t settle for anything less than a fulfilling, lucrative career, so I’ll do whatever it takes to become who I need to be to achieve my goals.
I always played fighting games, but I never became really good until I put myself in an environment to practice with good players on a regular basis. GGPO was that place to exercise my discipline. Whatever your pursuit may be, having a hub of skilled, dedicated, and positive people to learn from and practice with on a regular basis is essential.
Even though Boxer and Chun were my mains in ST, I think my biggest breakthrough in overall skill was when I started learning every other character in the game. Fundamentals like zoning, footsies, combos, mind games, etc. all drastically improved because I had to apply them across the board in many different situations with different tools and limitations.
I started to think more out-of-the-box and became much more creative and insightful with my mains because I explored all the different ways to play the game and knew the other side of the equation better in match-ups. In business this principle is crucial, but whether you’re going into medicine, playing football, or developing yourself socially, it applies.
What do you guys think? What are some other principles you learned or honed from playing fighting games? How did you apply it to other areas in life?