What do you do to make sure you're getting better with each match?

Title says it all really. I play and I play, over and over, but I don’t know that I’m actually getting better each time. I want to ask those out there, how do you make sure (or is it even possible) that with each match you’re learning something new, or getting better in some way?

For example, currently with each match, I’ve been experimenting with different game play, and different goals…currently it’s spacing. I try extra hard with each match to keep my opponent a half screen away (I play as Guile). So I’ve been trying to break habits of jumping, or moving when I’m at a half screen, and instead just stay there, and at the same time working to get to mid screen, and stay there. And with each match I try to get better at this one aspect.

How about you guys?

I try to figure out why I got hit.
Then I work on those habits.

E.g. If I’ll watch a few replays and note down, say Monday, I lost a lot because I kept having my fireballs punished.
Now, Tuesday, I’ll work on that, again take into consideration the replays and see, have I improved my fireball game, or do I still get punished for being predictable?

And I do this for everything. If I get thrown a lot, I’ll work on my escapes; if I get swept a lot, I’ll work on blocking low, etc. If I lose a lot to Akuma, I’ll watch replays of fighting Akuma, and then watch videos on Youtube of matchups with Akuma and see how other people get around different strategies.

This applies to all games that I play.

That said, I don’t play SSF4, but I’m sure it can work in a similar way.

One useful strategy I find is to announce every single thing I do wrong as it happens literally as I’m playing a match. Hardly a few seconds go by without me having to say something along the lines of: “Input error”, “improper anti-air”, “poor reaction”, “crappy punish”, “going autopilot”, “cowardly reversal dp”

You’d be surprised how good you can recognize your own faults right as they happen.

If you want to step it up you only need to do what those that are already at the top of the character skill like top 5 players of your character on the console you play on and follow them, as you get their replays watch how they respond to different situations like how they get in and how they keep away and what setups they are fond of using. Add them to your friends list and ask questions on what you do not understand. Then when u get to a point you will be able to develop your own style of play and then progress from there.

I like to analyze the hell out of every match while I’m playing it, then analyze the hell out of it in the replay afterwards.

I mostly do it on the go during a match, I know very well when something feels off or when I fuck up a combo real bad and if I notice way too many mistakes during a game I hit practice mode for a while.

This is actually an incredibly good idea. I’ll have to start using this, thanks.

Lots of great ideas, thanks! Keep 'em coming.

I do this often in my head,it really helps until you know your being outplayed

Seeing what moves I’m susceptable to, since these are what other people will be exploiting.

Also, it sounds obvious, but always play to win. If you’re getting stuffed and you just give up, or panic, or mash you’ll have much less to watch back and much less to learn from. Even if you’re on a pixel, keep playing like you’re even and often you’ll surprise yourself.

  • when you start thinking about a particular gameplan versus a specific matchup instead of an overall approach (punish specific moves on block vs don’t wake up dragon punch)

  • when you start thinking about what moves/techniques you can abuse or have advantage versus the specific matchup versus an overall approach with a generalized cut-and-paste strategy meant for all matchups

  • when you start picking up on patterns and tendencies during the match versus after

  • when you start knowing what the opponent is going to do because it would be the most obvious and advantageous thing they could do with that character (knowing to block high after a certain distance and block string from fei and chun because after a while, all they can hit you with is overhead/hazanshu).

  • knowing your opponent’s options with their character versus your moves

In short, when you start doing your homework and becoming a student of the game, versus someone who only expects to learn and get better while playing the game. That’s why casuals will always bitch about the game being too hard…because they don’t want to put in the extra work that happens away from the screen and joystick.

Pretty much this

Check if me losing involved playing a Blanka/Deejay

If it did, disregard it as obvious online lagtics of half screen blanka balls and sobat kicks countering me walking forward (you cant jump at them if they have charge and you better believe they will turtle their asses off, and online you cant even walk towards them… fucking online Deejays/Blankas), if it didnt, check why I lost. I tend to be kinda free to command throws (not the butter churn kind, but the ones which they set up, especially Abel and Gief) so I think thats what I need to work on the most. Also I tend to lose a lot when I give people too much credit and go ‘he cant be this fucking idiotic to try that again’ and of course they end up throwing me for the 5th time with jab jab throw ;-;

As mentioned before by learis1, I try to keep track of my mistakes during the match then if there’s a recurring pattern in some mistakes I note it down in evernote under my list of improvement points. Then after I’ve noted down everything, I usually end up with a huge list, so I pick out the most important points and start working my way down the list from there.

Understand where the holes are in your game, then understand how to eliminate those holes. The only way to really understand your weaknesses is for them to be exposed through losing

For example if you wanted to be an offensive Guile player, you would need to understand what parts of being an offensive Guile player are causing you to lose matches.

For example I play Yang. I notice a common counter strategy for my dive kick offense is for people to neutral jump or focus and use my own dive kicks as a chance for them to start their offense. So I have a hole in my game. The answer is for me to look for that neutral jump or focus and react with a DP after I have dive kicked under/into them

Another example. I run a lot of delayed offense on my opponents wake up. I want to whiff punish throws/crouch tech attempts, and avoid getting hit by wake up uppercuts. I notice that I run into problems when i fight someone who jumps in these situations instead of staying on the ground and hitting a button. As an answer I have started to use more meaty palms and meaty low shorts to convince my opponent that wake up jump is a bad idea

So figure out what portion of your strategy causes you to lose matches, and adjust accordingly.