Regarding Practice


So I’ve been playing SF4 for about a year and have finally bought a stick. It feels great and I can really see that I’m getting better. I work on basics such as how to use normals, practicing fireball and DP motions, and basic combos. The problem is that everyone says that competitive play is the best practice in order to improve, but unfortunately I don’t really no anyone who plays in my area. Being in Philly, I know that there is a huge community so I’m going to get involved in that. But beyond that, does anyone have a set of "drills’ that really help them improve or just add variety to their practice time? Any help would be great.


Practice links and combos. Also cross-ups, setups, best ways to counter crossups, pretty much anything you can think of.


After I’ve practiced a combo, I practice vs CPU Seth in Training Mode. He’s extremely easy to jump in on and he makes lots of punishable mistakes so it’s a cheap way to simulate match conditions. Even though he’s easy to beat, the object isn’t really to drain his power. It’s to land a particular combo (or the next best alternative) whenever possible Doing a combo without any mental preparation is much harder than doing it in training mode against a dummy, especially if you’re sitting in crouch block. Plus it forces you to keep track of your meter, so you can’t go into auto-pilot if you were just practicing EX combos.


i try to have 2 different categories of training, first you gotta go through the basics, hit all your bnb’s and technique’s/setups/option selects. this is just overall work on your offense. generally for combo’s and setups i’m trying to either do 10 in a row or like 20~ total depending on how difficult it is for me to land whatever combo/move. this is helpful to build up muscle memory through repitition.

and then i focus the rest of my training on working on some aspect of defense, like right now i’m really focused on countering fireballs, so i’ll practice dash in ultra, fadc through a fb into ultra, ultra’ing a block string into fb etc. this side of my practice isn’t so clear cut as it requires some introspection to identify where you need the most work.


The main reason i play people that I know are going to clean my clock is to find the holes in my game. any time youre on the business end of a beatting, take a min or two after the fight to break down why you lost. were you falling for ambiguous crossups? tick throws? a character specific shenanigan? find the weaknesses in your game plan first then post up in the training room and sort out a counter. one of the first things i did when i got console was get into the training room w/ the comp as sagat and set the record to TS spamming with a few standing roundhouses in there. getting in on zoners was a MASSIVE problem for me early on so i identified the problem and worked at addressing it. Then once you have that knowledge you can take it back to the real fights where you will learn how and when to apply them.

there are very few people who practice enough (i prolly dont) but you know them because they make an impression when you see them fight by knowing what to do and how to apply it in a match. practice is important but efficient practice is where its at. you should make little goals for you to go for every time you step up to the cab or console. After each session try and break down what you’ve taken from it.

i guess the message is you learn more from a loss than a victory but applying that knowledge is the only way to get ahead.


You live in a city that has people you could play against

You’re in a position to just play people so do that.

Excecution drills are the only things that really matter, practice your moves/links/combos over and over until you get the timing down perfect.


Thanks guys. I’ll definitely take this stuff into account the next time I sit down to practice.