You can’t play the game without knowing how to, well, play the game. It’s like driving. You have to develop the coordination and muscle memory in order to drive. As such, you must have coordination and reflexes that allow you to physically produce the right moves. This is as basic as doing cr.forward xx Hadouken or as advanced as your 1-frame links. Execution, however, is the first tenet that separates the competitive player from the mashing scrub. Once you have the game’s basic execution down, it’s time to learn your character’s execution.
These three go hand in hand. Now that you know how to make each move/combo work, you must apply it to where. You’re not going to land that super from full screen (with some exceptions, obviously). That cr.forward of yours only goes so far. The player must understand the range of each move as it pertains to the opponent.
- Patience, Patience, Patience!
A lot of inexperienced players believe that, “If I smother the opponent with a flurry of punches, he won’t be able to escape!” Hence, you get mashers. Either because they believe that their attacks should just come out all the time, and that the opponent won’t be able to hit you. Or, they’re making sure any move comes out in the hope of hitting their intended target. This goes further, to the guy who has learned how to execute his moves, yet randomly throws out the Shoryu in the hopes that you’ll blindly run into it.
Hence, you, as the player, must learn to hold back until the moment is right to strike. Whether that means your opponent has left you an opening, or you, uh, better do something before you lose, stay cool! Every competition talks about how great players never crack under pressure; how the blood in their veins is ice-cold. An example. I was playing 3rd Strike at a tournament (using Alex), on the verge of defeat. I rushed in and, as a result, the guy, on wake-up, did EX Tatsumaki. From there, he tried to chip me by doing fierce SRK with Ken. Instead of panicking, I opted to stay cool and, well, staying cool paid off. Fierce Flash Chop, then close s.forward xx Boomerang Raid.
Patience also requires that you trust in what your character can do, and what you can do with your character. If your execution is crisp, then all you have to worry about is pinpointing that exact moment where you should attack and not worrying about when it will come.