The first tournament I participated in was a disaster. I couldn’t pull off anything and my execution was terrible. It was shear nerves that killed me, and I know I could’ve done a million times better if I hadn’t been so nervous. I obviously got bodied and went 0-2 in that tournament.
So my question is, what are some ways you guys handle tournament pressure? Any helpful tips that may aid some newcomers to the tournament scene, such as myself?
other than the obvious “Play in more tournaments”, some people like listening to music to drown everything out. I for one like to hear the ambient noise/game sound, so I just focus on the screen, take a deep breath and play. Just make sure you’re prepared. be fed, hydrated, and well rested.
Also, Set some reasonable goals for yourself. Don’t think that you have to be in top 8 all the time, especially when just starting out. Start with something manageable. My first tourney. I went 0-2 and got perfected once by each guy. So my goal for the next one was “Don’t get perfected”. After that i went to “dont go 0-2” I Feel that having a goal like that takes a lot of pressure off. I’m not worrying about making my way through the whole bracket. I’m focusing on doing something i know im capable of. the rest will flow from that…
12 years ago I participated in my first tourney. I was nervous as all get out cause I wasn’t nervous of my opponent I was nervous of my execution and being viewed of my peers. Its going to take a few more ‘outside’ touneys to remove these jitters. You can play all day at your local scene cause your familiar with your surroundings AND the locals are familiar with you. I suggest when taking it to a higher tourney level you get some casuals in first to remove the hand to eye coordination jitters that most don’t pay attention to. Once you do that you simply have to calm yourself to a level of your confident with what you KNOW an CAN DO. You have to ignore your opponent as a person, ignore the character selection, and ignore the crowd (if any) that is watching. It has to become a notion of this is the local scene an I know everyone here… my focus has to be on the match particulars.
This is going to take a few rounds and don’t be afraid to ASK where you went wrong or could work on EVEN if you win. This helps greatly… especially from gaming buddies. So ask someone to watch your match. There is other levels but I would like you to get yourself mentally and physically prepped first.
Continuous exposure to tournament environments is going to help calm the nerves. You have to realize that this is entirely a mental obstacle, and one that can be changed once you change your mental state while being in a tournament. A lot of it is having confidence in your skills and abilities that you’ve developed through training and constant practice. Constantly tell yourself that it’s just like a casual session back at your house…because realistically, they are one in the same. You are playing the exact same game, presumably on your own controller, and the only thing that’s changed is the pressure that YOU tell yourself that you’re under. You have to believe that you can win, and that it doesn’t matter who your opponent is, you’re going to beat them like you’ve beat SO many other previous opponents in the exact same way. Try to pay attention to your own mistakes, and try to analyze your opponent’s strengths/weaknesses. If it helps, take a pause between games to give yourself some time to think, and come up with a solid concrete game plan to either continue your wins, or to bounce back from your loss. For me, it helps to constantly mentally talk to yourself, like a coach would, to keep yourself in a positive mindset.