Practice the Things You Hate

Generally things like training and practice are not things you enjoy.  Maybe it’s because we wouldn’t call it practice if we enjoyed it, we’d call it play.  Training is a huge part of any serious competitor’s climb to being a better player; it’s where you hone your physical and mental skills between tournaments and serious matches.  It’s good ok? Trust me!  So you sit down to train, what do you do?  Practice some combos? Some movement? Jump online for some For Glory?  Some of these things are WAY more fun than others and you probably spend a disproportionate amount of time doing the fun parts rather than the other stuff.  BUT THAT’S WRONG and here’s why!

People generally like aspects of a game that they do well, and dislike aspects that they don’t do well.  Do you enjoy comboing someone? Chances are that you practice comboing someone!  Do you hate timing someone out? I bet you’ve not put a lot of time into timing people out!  By looking at what you enjoy and don’t enjoy you can learn what parts of your game may be weak and in need of practice. The best players are the ones who see in themselves a weakness or a hesitation towards a certain aspect of the game and do something to change it.

For example a player I know has some stages that he hates to play on.  So when he practices he makes sure those stages get picked a lot.  He even goes as far as to tell people that he loves those stages, and brings people there during tournament matches!  That’s a great way to get over your fear of a stage or anything you might dread.  Telling yourself that you love a stage can help a lot too, acting as if can change your mind! (!) It can also make your opponents scared to pick a stage that they may normally counter pick you with.   All of this gives you a big psychological edge on the competition.

Turning a weakness into a strength can also be a source of pride for certain players and be downright fun.  As a Dedede playing in Brawl, I had a lot of trouble playing against Falco players.  But I lived near a great Falco player and traveled to his house to grind it out for hours, getting way better at it.  While I was never quite on his level and frequently lost that matchup to the great Falcos, I took a lot of pride in destroying anyone who thought they could counter pick the character against me without a lot of practice first.  A matchup that endlessly frustrated me suddenly became one that was really fun and dynamic to play.

Many weaknesses are only weaknesses if you let them be.  Work on them; turn them into points of pride and revel in the challenge instead of dreading them. You are in control of a lot more than you give yourself credit for!

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