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Becoming a Pro - The Steps (updated with Step 6)

Discussion in 'Melee Discussion' started by Myztek, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Myztek

    Myztek
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    Smash Ace

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    I wouldn't call myself a pro, because I don't win tournaments often or anything, but after playing for the passed two or so years, I think I know what all it takes. These steps aren't necessarily in order, but step 1 is definitely the first thing you need to focus on.

    Step 1 - Tech Skill
    This is what you need to acquire first, and the only way to get it is through practice. Once you've mastered SHFFLing, L-canceling, wavedashing, up-smashing out of your shield, etc.. (tons of tricks to be learned), then your arsenal and options become greatly expanded. If you're unable to use these techniques without thinking about them and worrying about messing up, then keep practicing. Without near-flawless tech skill, you'll find yourself frustrated because you could have won the match or gotten the kill had you not missed the fast fall, or whatever it may be.

    Step 2 - Game Knowledge

    I'll try and make this brief, as it's a simple concept. Having knowledge of the workings of the game, what move will out prioritize what, and so on, is a vital part of being pro status. The more you know about the game, the less you have to risk and wonder about.

    Step 3 - Reaction
    Reaction. Reacting to what you're opponent is doing with the appropriate action is a major key to winning. Whether it be reacting to a missed tech or reacting to a roll, it can be the difference between getting in that extra hit or starting that game-breaking combo. The more you play, the better you'll become at reacting to actions. Some people have faster reactions than others, but it's nothing that can't be improved.

    Example: Your opponent is about to land on the platform above you after being hit. Your opponent has two options: Tech or miss the tech. Be ready to react to either promptly. If the tech is missed, quickly take advantage of it before your opponent is able to get up and receive invulnerability. If your opponent does tech, react to whether it was in place, left, right, whatever and take the appropriate action.

    Example 2: Your opponent rolls behind you. Turn around and grab, attack, whatever you wanna do. Rolls usually lead to just enough lag time to get in an attack or grab. Don't just stand there and do nothing. React.

    Step 4 - Prediction
    Predicting your opponents movements is something that really separates some players. Predicting a roll, side step, air dodge instead of an up B, whatever it may be, this is something that you'll need to be good at. Most people have habits, only the most experienced Smashers won't show signs of some sort of habit throughout a match. It might be that your opponent always side steps after a tech, your opponent always rolls towards you when you run in for an attack, he/she always ledge hops with an aerial. These are things that pros notice and will promptly take action against. Not only do you need to become good at noticing things, but you must also become good at noticing what you are getting punished for. Are you losing the match badly? Take note of when and why you are getting hit. Learn from it. Fix it.

    Example: Your opponent uses the get-up attack after missing a tech at least 80% of the time. Run up to the fallen opponent, shield, and wait for the get up attack and take action. Shield grab, jump out of your shield with an attack, or whatever you like.

    Step 5 - "Mind games"/Manipulation:
    One of the most talked about topics is mind games. Mind games are simply performing an action that leads your opponent to react to that action in a way that you can take advantage of it. Mind games are used by pretty much everyone who can play at least competently, but it's something you need to master and use efficiently. This could be discussed in different ways all day, but that's the gist of it. I'll give a couple examples.

    Example 1: Player one is standing on a platform and player two is in the air above him. Player one waits and based on prediction, or possibly waiting to react, knows that player two will try and land an aerial on him if he continues to stand there. Player one stands there until the last possible moment and drops through the platform to avoid the attack and jumps back with his own attack to take advantage of his miss. Now this is a very basic example, but it's the essence of a "mind game"

    Example 2: Player one is standing at the ledge waiting for his opponent, a Marth, to attempt to recover. The Marth is intending to go for a sweet-spotted up B, but player one jumps off the ledge backwards as if to attack the Marth causing the Marth to up B prematurely in an attempt to prevent what he thinks is about to be an attack. Player one instead double jumps back to the stage, avoiding the hit of hte Up B, and takes appropriate action to abuse his early attempt to recover.

    Step 6 - Confidence
    Confidence is very important. Being able to play your best despite your surroundings or who you're playing against is very important. Even if you're up against someone as Ken, for example, don't go in expecting to do poorly. Everyone is beatable, and you need to believe you can beat that person despite who the person is. Believe in your ability to play just as well as anyone else can, and never give up because you "can't win." If you're persistant and confident you will become better and improve at a faster rate than someone with a bummed-out attitude.

    Hopefully I worded those examples to be understandable enough. It's early in the morning.

    This concludes what I have to say... for now. I can't think of anything I'm really missing. I'm going to bed. Enjoy the read.
     
  2. TakeTwo

    TakeTwo
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    Smash Cadet

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    first. Myz for brawl.
     
  3. Dark Iori Yagami

    Dark Iori Yagami
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    Smash Lord

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    i am secound, take two and iori for brawl
     
  4. Volvagia

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    Smash Apprentice

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    Good guide of you. I gotta improve my l-canceling and my mindgames.
     
  5. Red Exodus

    Red Exodus
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    I can just see the wave of mindgame/metagames non-believers raiding this thread. I just tell 'em mindgames is just a fancy word for tactics or strategy, if you don't play Smash with strategy then you're probably one of those people who just learned how to get back to the stage.

    This is a good thread though, I agree with everything.
     
  6. fr0st2k

    fr0st2k
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    id like to add ... mind games + game knowledge. The easiest way to learn these 2 concepts is by realizing there are only so many things a person can do in any one situation.

    in example 2. What is marth going to do to get on the stage? if hes below a certain point, he will HAVE to do an up+b. There is no other move he can make. if you do a smash, and miss ... youre vunerable for a very long time.

    obviously in 64 throwing was the best thing you could do. In melee, id argue its the best way to open up a combo, as it can't be deflected by shields, and shileding is the easiet way to avoid an attack (aka the quickest)
     
  7. Zgetto

    Zgetto
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    you forgot one very important thing and thats spacing.
    in my opinion its one of the most important things you should pay attention to in a match.(i think its more important then techskill)
     
  8. Myztek

    Myztek
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    This goes in hand with tech skill in a way. It's also part of being patient.

    You could rush in with attacks and get yourself shield grabbed or abused for acting aggressively with no real thought behind it (which may work against lesser players), or you can attack/grab/shield at the appropriate times and wait for openings and apply shield pressure when you know it won't lead to you paying any consequences.
     
  9. ~Tac~

    ~Tac~
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    One day at a time.

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    Agreed. Although I think all skills are equally important in a match as long as they're all used when they should. But teching in my opinion is a type of proof of reaction speed and gives your opponent an idea of how fast you think. Thus him/her getting nervous or defensive in tense moments.
     
  10. Starzonedge

    Starzonedge
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    Straightforward, well-written, helpful.

    Similar topics have been posted, but this one gets straight to the point. Good job.
     
  11. btk Ace

    btk Ace
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    Nice post
    you called all of the main points very well

    I think the in going of terms of most important would be

    1.Tech skill
    2.Reaction
    3.Mindgames
    4.perdiction
    5.game knowlege

    thats just my opinion though
     
  12. AS Money

    AS Money
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    fixed it for you
     
  13. choknater

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    short and sweet. i like it.
     
  14. L5LM_Gtlink

    L5LM_Gtlink
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    Smash Apprentice

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    Very good read
     
  15. Fade016

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    very good this will help me inprove thanx
     
  16. Myztek

    Myztek
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    I added one more step. Step 6: Confidence.
     
  17. choknater

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    xD!! very good add. it's so true, and it works wonders in high-placing tournament situations moreso than all the other steps.
     
  18. ºOblivionº

    ºOblivionº
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    I like it, And agree.
     
  19. Handorin

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    Myz for president. Loved the post.
     
  20. btk Ace

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    thats actually more important than all of them
    so nice step
     
  21. h1roshi

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    i thin the last step mentioned i one of the most important. confidnece/ positive attitude during a match can greatly affect your match in a positive way. it seems so simple but it works. i was having trouble with a friend for a while. i kept telling myslef "i got this ****'. whenever i got screwed over or lost a stock. at the end of they day. i wa playing a lot more agrresively and was making comebacks i would have never made before...peace

    -hiroshi
     
  22. RedYoshi92

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    I found this guide to be very helpful.thx for making it :)

    edit:what I need to work on is confidence because I get nervous sometimes when I go to a tournament.
     
  23. Myztek

    Myztek
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    I think this thread could use a bump. Some newer players could still benefit from the information, even though it's a bit dated.
     
  24. Dark Hart

    Dark Hart
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    Rejected by Azua

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    Hey Myztek, we were in the same pool back in TO6

    I like this thread
     
  25. Myztek

    Myztek
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    Oh, awesome. You gonna be at ShowMeYourMoves12?

    Also, I may revise some of the information in the first post later to make it more current. Feedback is very welcome. I want some intelligible conversation!
     
  26. Marshallmallowlol

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    Nice guide. Teching is hard to do, but is fun and useful once you get it. I still need to practice
     
  27. Ranmaru

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    lol at hiroshi post. I noticed it was an old thread after that, cuz hiroshi banned.
     
  28. TheZhuKeeper

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    I think confidence should be higher, but confidence is a result of a lot of the above things so it's ok.

    !!!
     
  29. shakestea

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    this is nonesense. if u wanna go pro u just have to make the annoucement to the smash community.
    for example, i have officially gone pro
     
  30. boardsmash

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    I Agreee, but slightly dissagree with you The Zhu Keeper!!
    i too believe that i get the confidence from being able to do those things listed.
    HOWEVER!!! I more strongly believe that You Also Need Confidence To LEARN those things and PERFORM them in matches.

    well thats my two cents :)
     
  31. Ranmaru

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    Hmmm, I think you need confidence for everything, therefore it should be higher.
     
  32. joeplicate

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    this guy's got spirit :bee:

    i like that
     
  33. Prince_Abu

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    ATTENTION SMASH COMMUNITY:

    COOL has just gone PRO!!!!!!
     
  34. Renth

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    I remember someone explaining a long time ago what in my opinion would still be today the best way to get good at smash.

    The Noob, The Peer and The Pro.


    The Noob - The guy who is terrible you just beat up on to learn basic things that could potentially work and to practice your general game knowledge.

    The Peer - Your rival, the guy you want to be better than. A friend who pushes and motivates you to stick with learning and to get better.

    The Pro - Your teacher, the guy who if you have any questions he can answer any basic question. The guy who beats you senseless I genuinely believe getting destroyed helps you learn over time.


    It was something on these lines, I think it was Cactuar who said it I do not remember.
     
  35. Myztek

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    @Ranmaru
    Confidence isn't step 6 because it's least important. It was just a last-minute, but important, addition after the original post had been made.

    @Renth
    Yeah, there are different tiers of player types. And yes, playing someone better than you does tend to make you better, but those aren't specifically ways to get better at the game.

    Overall, it seems most important to enjoy the game. If you have a passion for playing and find the game to be entertaining, you will learn faster. Loving the game is the foundation for being good, because it will branch out into you searching for information, practicing more, trying harder etc.

    Tech skill, experience (learning situations and matchups, spacing, etc), and confidence are three huge and key factors. A lot of people lack confidence, though. They reach a point where they think they won't get better, and they put a mental road block in front of the path to improvement. Satisfaction with what you have achieved kills the hunger to reach for more.
     
  36. Cactuar

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    Yes, the Noob, Peer, Pro theory is 100% my contruction.
     
  37. Mythek

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    you dont even put this much time in teaching me! D8<
     
  38. boardsmash

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    Kinglit is my Pro. Hes taught me everything I know about smash!!!
     
  39. a tree

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    same here!!!!!!
     
  40. TheLostHylian

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    This. This is GOLD. THANK YOU.
     

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