Nerves: How to remain calm?


#1

I’ve gotten about 150 hours of play on SF4 and SSF4, read (and tried to apply) all sorts of tutorials, tried new chars, and still keep a ratio of about 3 wins 10 losses.

I get so nervous during a match that I can’t deal with anything my opponent does, even if I know what’s coming, I can’t do my BnB’s at the appropriate times because when the opportunity arises I get so anxious that I can do some damage that I either blow the execution or hesitate.

Anyone have any techniques to remain calm?


#2

First, don’t mind the number of hours you’ve played (which is relatively low), or your win ratio.

At your level, try to learn, not win. The pressure to win (and get some kind of respectable win/loss ratio) is probably contributing to your nervousness. I’d say the 2 best things to help you will be a change in perspective, and playing more. There’s really no reason to be nervous. You can play infinitely online. If you mess up this match, you get a rematch right away. It’s not a tournament.


#3

I’ve never had to deal with this issue, but I feel that is more than likely that it will lessen as you grow more experienced and play frequently.

You might want to purposely play some really scrubby players and just focus on landing a few combos (such as bnbs, ultra setups) etc.

I used to get really uptight about pressuring myself to win, but it’s really pointless to do that when playing online. No one cares about your bp/pp.


#4

I’ve struggled with similar problems and this advice is probably the best I’ve heard:

Don’t fear the loss. I have a real hard time keeping that in mind myself but it’s absolutely crucial. If you have a fear of losing you will go in nervous and you will come out a loser, just as you feared. If you embrace the loss you can remain level-headed and learn a thing or two from your opponent while losing, knowing it doesn’t matter in the end.


#5

Deep breathing helps, it’s actually a singing exercise and sure it’s used for many other things but it seems to help me be more calm than usual. Sometimes people who are anxious and nervous start breathing really shallow i guess like a dog panting, and this helps you to just breathe normally, properly and get more air in your lungs.

Anyways basically you inhale deeply for 10 seconds, air not whatever else you may be thinking of, hold your breath for 10-20 seconds then exhale for 10 or so seconds. Do it a couple of times, it really helps me.


#6

Don’t mind losses, just keep yourself concentrated in the game. When people get nervous their skill drops dramatically and they miss combos no matter how many practice hours they have put in. Just be confident on your skill and play, also no matter what happens always notice and correct your mistakes. This will make you a better player and you’ll be more calm in future events.


#7

Being nervous the whole match is definitely not beneficial, but I personally have small nervous moments at the end of the match when one move from either me or the opponent could either lose or win me the match… it helps me pull of some clutch shit such as reactions faster than what I’m normally capable of or like some god level shit for a short moment…

But I think the reason for this is adrenaline(as I read in some thread)… and if you fucked up prepare to feel ready to toss whatever you are using to play somewhere or hitting something… I’m never bitter over losing but I do get angry after a losing a close match… blowouts… not so much…


#8

Agree with just about every reply.

I’ll contribute the following:
Have you tried marijuana? If not, maybe it’s time you start.
That shit turns a tournament or online room into just a scenario where you feel like you’re just kickin it with your friends offline.

Not interested?
Alright. Just pay no heed to your win/loss ratio. I’ve lost far more matches than I’ve won so far and as long as I learn something from the experience I don’t really care.
The execution thing you speak of happens from time to time. Don’t know if this helps your nerves, but understand that you may not get another set-up for your combo so try to make the hits count. Ultimately you’re just going to want to adapt to and embrace the pressure.

Pot helps with all of that though.


#9

Not to come off as condescending, but are you new to competing in general? I doubt you are if you’re doing any kind of online gaming, but think about how you felt about anything when you were new to it (and 150 hours is honestly very light) and of course you were uncomfortable and nervous early on, but as you put yourself in that situation more and more the nervousness fades as your confidence grows. That being said, the pressure never goes away, people don’t achieve greatness by being oblivious to what’s going on. I gaurantee Daigo knew what was on the line before, during and after his famous parry.

You really just have to muscle through it, keep playing and here’s the weird part: let yourself feel nervous, let yourself feel that pressure and just get used to it… the pressure is always going to be there but the more you find yourself in those situations the more comfortable you’ll feel when they come back up. Michael Jordan has a quote about how many game winners he missed, but without all those attempts there wouldn’t have been the makes either.

This early in your SF career your focus should not be on winning, winning should be one of the furthest things from your mind. Your primary focus should be on getting comfortable by putting in time, learning to identify your opponents patterns and spotting openings and developing your own bread and butter combos and tools.


#10

I’ll be honest, a little alcohol helps too. Not so much that you get drunk, just maybe a little scotch to take the edge off.


#11

Nerves are going to plague for a while more. I have logged at least 300 hours in some sort street fighter game (not even counting guilty gears, tekken, VF) and I’m still learning and still get nervous to the point where my execution suffers as a result. If you watch me play I go in, poke with some normals, try to bait them to whiff a special move, then punish, then back away… and my win ratio is a little better than yours (4/10)

If you read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, he talks about what it takes to master something and the general consensus is 10,000 hours to really master what you are trying to do. How many hours do you think Daigo or Justin Wong have logged in street fighter and they are still trying to get better? I’d be they’re close to that 10,000 hour mark. The way I see it, you’re only 1.5% of the way to mastering the game.

Conclusion: it takes time. Fight, fight, fight, fight - win, lose, or draw there is something to be learned from each and every fight. And if you’re never planning on trying to attempt a big tourney against the best in the world, then maybe you should set a realistic goal for yourself and be happy that you are at that level. Remember, there will always be someone better and always someone worse than you. Try not to over-think it.


#12

A lot of people in arcades smoke… maybe its for a reason :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

Watch your replays and note your mistakes. I cant tell you how many times I watch my own replay and scream at the TV “OMG PUNISH THAT SHIT” or “WTF THROW”, speaking of my own gameplay. You learn alot about your game by critiquing yourself.


#14

Every reply that has been given on here is verry valid and the common denominator that comes up is the more you play online the less nervous you will get cos at the end of the day points dont mean jack they are just a number unless your SG then u betta be holding on to those points baby.

I used to gert really nervous when i played online first and i lost to really scrub tastic players but then i just though after a few games to just be patient with the other player cos 9/10 they are gonna be as nervous as you so they will make mistakes so just punish the mistakes dependant on who you use as your main, unless u are a shotto user then RTSD (rush that shit down) as you have a best friend named PRIORITY…

The main thing to remember is just clock up as much game time as possible no matter what

oh when it comes down to you droping bnb combos just use one bnb combo for every game you fight even if the other player clocks ur combo cos all ur doing is getting it down 100% so u will sacrifice some wins but its good practice trust me as i use M.BISON / DICTATOR not the easiest character out there to use so execution has to be there at your finger tips cos once you get the execution down then you can worry about set ups, baiting, footsies and match ups… and you can use this technique for anything you wanna master.

One more tip if you think you cant handle the pressure of loosing and it getting to you just challange a player online loose the first round on purpose then fight in the second round properly this hepofully should teach you how to controll the stress cos if you dont you do not have another round to come back in. On the flip side this will lull the other player into thinking your are really rubbish or an easy win which will make him come at you so you are going to have no choice but to block and wait till the time is right to counter.
After a few games like this hopefully you should have your nerves under controll


#15

you gotta hit zen duder. I dont generally get nervous more soo worked up or pissed. A friend of mine started telling me to breath normally but focus on my breathing. Like when I play if things go sour or im getting hammered on I will take a deep breath and then count my breaths. When I do that I notice that not only am I myself calmer but I seem to be able to actually get my moves out even if there is horrid pressure.


#16

Calm down, it’s XBL/PSN, not a tournament. There is nothing to lose, so just do your best and try to learn.

It really doesn’t make sense that you’d get nervous over an online match, which most people will agree is just as much luck as it is skill.


#17

Music - try music.


#18

I’m smokin right now!

But I would be careful with this… there is NO WAY I’ll be pulling off a 1-frame link or Sag’s fake kick when I’m high. Newtybar might be onto something… music has such a deep, psychological connection that playing something chill might help his brain associate calmness. Like how McDonald’s paints the whole place REDWHITEYELLOW!!! so you get the hell outta there faster, the Street Fighter music might be causing his blood pressure to rise slightly when he’s playing…


#19

lmao? ^


#20

smoking accelerates anxiety attacks, and being addicted to nicotine causes you to become more anxious when your system isn’t actively ingesting it. So, anyone who smokes for those reasons is making a bad choice.