FluxWolfs Guide to Stepping Up Your Game: Mental Strategies! v1.0


Smash Lord
Oct 14, 2006
So yeah I kind of went on a random guide making rampage over the last few days/weeks from being bored, and decided to make this guide, which will also be followed up by my Marth guide in the next few days >_____>. This one took me a long time, but was also part of a school assignment LOL, so that helped with a lot of the research part of it.

Basically what this guide will do for you, is help you understand what you need to do outside of the video game (or anything in life for that matter) in order to bring out your true potential and in turn max out your results, but only if you do exactly what the guide explains which not everyone can! If you are really dedicated though, this should be perfect for you. So here goes nothin! (Also, I'll add color and arrange it much better later on and stuff)

FluxWolfs guide to stepping up your game!

>>>Version History<<<

Version 1.0
December 04, 2007
Basically officially opened up the entire thing to the public, everything completed on this day until I decide to add stuff.

March 29, 2014
Here is where I will be adding a bonus section on how negative energy effects you, and how you might be actually be a very negative person without even knowing it, just like I used to be! ^_^

Get the competitive edge with eight success strategies

These strategies focus on positive attitudes and actions, which will help you reach your peak potential through mastering them. I see this as an art that is very hard to master, and I myself and very far from it still.

Use Eight Success Strategies

Look over and use the eight strategies that follow to help achieve your full gaming potential. They will vastly improve your game with every step. I recommend using Ctrl+F and copy/paste each part there and hit search so that you can easily find each part.

1. Positive Thinking and Behavior
2. Visualization
3. Positive Self-Talk
4. Affirmation Statements
5. Dynamic Goal Setting
6. Positive Action
7. Assertive Behavior
8. Self-Esteem Builders
9. BONUS UPDATED SECTION 2014: Getting Rid of Negative Energy!

These eight success strategies and behaviors are major enhancers that help transform your goals into realities. You can use them to:

* Create for yourself an inner drive.
* Increase your confidence.
* Provide mental and physical energy.
* Guide you towards your goals.
* Improve your performance.

Improve Performance Through Positive Thinking and Behavior

Positive thinking is making a conscious effort to think with an optimistic (good) attitude and to anticipate positive outcomes. Positive behavior means purposely acting with energy and enthusiasm. When you think and behave positively, you guide your mind toward your goals and generate matching mental and physical energy.

Positive thinking and behavior are often deciding factors in winning or losing a match. That is because your subconscious is literal, and it accepts what you regard as a fact.

The function of your subconscious is to support your thoughts and behaviors by triggering matching physiological responses. Positive thinking and behavior have a powerful impact on personal performance, and confidence! This is called autosuggestion, which I will explain right now.

Positive thinking causes the brain to generate matching positive chemical and physical responses, such as increased mental alertness and physical energy, improved breathing rates and circulation. Thinking positively actually boosts your ability to perform and project enthusiasm, energy, competence, and confidence--all very important things that will define a dedicated player from a bad one!

Negative thinking causes the brain to stimulate matching negative chemicals and physical responses, such as increased blood pressure, reduced mental alertness, increased anxiety, and decreased physical energy. These responses decrease energy, creativity, and performance and at the same time will eat away at your self confidence.

Follow these steps to form the habit of positive thinking and boost your success:

1. Motive yourself every day. Every time you know you are going to play think of yourself playing successfully, and expect positive outcomes for everything you attempt.

2. Practice this positive expectation mindset until it becomes a habit. Everyone you play with will see this change, and will only see you keep getting better. The habit will help you reach your peak potential.

4. Dwell on past successes. Focusing on past successes to remind yourself of your abilities helps in gaining goals. For example, the first time you picked up the game you did not know how to shffl, or wavedash. Through training, practice, trial and error, etc., you master new abilities. During the trial and error phases, when you are still figuring out how to do that awesome technique, remind yourself of past successes; look at mistakes as a part of the natural learning curve, and continue until you achieve the result that you want. You only fail when you quit trying!

Use Visualization to Your Advantage

Positive visualization is purposely forming a mental picture of your successful performance and recalling the image frequently. Visualization improves performance because the positive picture triggers your subconscious to generate matching positive physiological responses that increases performance.

The act of visualizing successful performance of any skill in detail actually increases learning and skill development. This is because visualization serves as a form of mental practice or rehearsal that strengthens performance. This is definitely a technique that you will want to use while playing in tournaments, especially when things are not looking so good for you!

Use the following visualization techniques to boost your success in tournament sets and when things are getting intense. (When it actually matters, in other words)

1. Relax. Clear your mind of everything. Close your eyes and take deep breathes if you have to!

2. Make a mental picture/video that shows you succeeding in your goal. To make a positive image, visualize yourself doing just that--4 stocking that mo-fo, playing with GODLIKE speed and flowing across the stage beautifully.

3. Make the picture detailed, visualize the success!
Do not let ANY negative visions cross your mind such as fear, failure, and errors. See yourself as perfect, and have already achieved that goal!

4. Be able to recall it instantly.
Repeat the visual image in your head as often as possible before the actual match, event, or whatever it may be.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk means purposely giving yourself positive reinforcement, and motivation. Think of it as something you would do for a friend. Congratulate yourself when you do well, and remind yourself of your abilities and how good you really are. Constantly be making new goals for yourself, and don't just quit after you have achieved one of them. Do not become comfortable, you must want more!

Make your self-talk work for you and stop negative self-talk! You might be quick to get on your own case because you want to be perfect. However, negative self talk is only damaging to your game because your self conscious literally believes what you say about yourself. If you catch yourself using negative self talk, stop yourself and rephrase, eliminating negative words. Focus then on the best course of action and DO IT!

Here are some phrases that will convey both positive, and negative effects on your subconscious:

- I'll try beat him
- I should beat him
- I must beat him

- I will beat him
- I want to beat him
- I know I can beat him

Help Yourself Focus With Affirmation Statements

Affirmation statements are positive self-statements or reminders to help achieve goals. You can think of them as positive reminders with a punch, to motivate your subconscious to work for you. The following things will explain how to use this powerful mental reminder technique:

1. Keep affirmations short! If you can't remember them, how can you use them?

2. Say them positively. The words you give your mind, it accepts as the truth. Use positive words only. Leave out negative words. For example:

* Negative: I will not be nervous during this match.

* Positive: I will be calm and confident during this match.

4. Include a positive emotion. A phrase that triggers a positive emotion strengthens the affirmation. Example: "My goal is VALUABLE and it EXCITES me."

5. Say your affirmations as if they are a fact! Phrase a goal as if it is happening or has already happened (even if you haven't achieved it yet). Your subconscious believes mental messages and works to make them reality. Isn't that amazing!?

* I am making good progress towards the top in the state.

* I am strengthening my edge guarding abilities!

6. Say your affirmations at least once a day. Repetition increases self-confidence, and acts as a reminder, triggering your subconscious to help you achieve your goal.

Dynamic Goal Setting

Goal setting involves recording clear objectives and required actions to achieve them. The main reason people don't achieve goals is because they don't set any to begin with. Take a look at the following things which you should focus on to maximize your goal achievement.

1. Define your goals clearly IN WRITING ZOMG. I did not believe this at first, but writing down your goals increases the likelihood of achieving them by 80 percent! Writing them down actually increases your sense of commitment, clarifies the steps required to achieve them, and helps you remember important details.

2. Focus on the benefits of achieving this goal. This is a huuuuge motivator. Winning that first place money, the feeling you will feel after succeeding in that goal, etc.

3. Identify supporters. Examples of this would be friends, and people cheering you on. Not only do you want yourself to win, but they do too. This is also a strong motivator and something more to work for other than yourself.

4. Practice. Practice new skills regularly. As I said before, do not become comfortable with yourself! Always keep learning new things and get feedback on your progress.

5. Preservere. Stay on the course of your goal until you succeed!

Take Positive Action

When you take regular positive action (no matter how big or small) and make progress toward goals, you create real evidence of achievement. This increases confidence and creativity and boosts your momentum. Action fuels more action! Always plan and regularly work toward your goals to maximize success.

What this is basically saying is, when you make goals.... DO THEM. Making the goal does nothing at all if you are not willing already to go all out and achieve that goal and more goals after it.

Develop Assertive Abilities

Assertiveness conveys self-esteem and capability. You will seem like a much better and more intimidating player to others if you are able to perform comfortably and clearly. You may even defeat your opponent before you even start the match if they are intimidated by you and you control a level of high self-esteem throughout. Another part of this though, is to assume that everyone is equal. This is a huge part, because you must learn to treat everyone the same going into every situation. Always play your best no matter how good or bad they are, and never play down to their level. This is a huge problem with a lot of people and if you are able to develop assertive abilities, your skill will shoot sky high!

Enhance your Self-Esteem

Projecting confidence requires a healthy self-esteem (a strong belief in your abilities, and how much you think you are worth). Think how easy it is to project a confident, competent image when you feel good about yourself. By developing the success habits that have been went through previously in this guide, you will strengthen your self-esteem.

I have found a very effective way of managing your self esteem, and eliminating bad traits from how you play. Start off by describing yourself in writing. You might also want to ask another player/friend to do one for you as well so you get opinions of others and not just your own. Make two lists: one of your positive traits, and one of your negative traits. Which one is longer? If it's your positive list, you have a good self esteem. If it's your negative list, you must work harder to gain confidence in yourself. By doing so, you strengthen your assertive abilities good self-esteem makes being assertive very easy!

Next identify the negative images you want to change (this is why it's good to have some other people make a list for you as well). Begin with the trait you think you should improve first. After you identify the traits you want to improve, develop your action plan. Write your goal in positive terms so that you can look at it and easily eliminate these problems. This may seem dumb and simplistic, but surprisingly very motivational AND IT WORKS!

Negative self-image holds you back by promoting fear of failure. It prevents you from taking risks that can lead you to becoming a better player. The result is unsuccessful development. Have you ever turned down the idea of trying to learn something new, or take something to a different level simply because you were afraid of failing?

I have came to realize that sometimes you base your behavior on imagined fears, not facts. You allow fear to control you and limit your potential. The following are tips for dealing with fears and enhancing your success.

1. Find someone who motivates you, and talk to them. Get fired up!

2. Always come prepared. Know the match ups that you are not as good in, and feel confident no matter what while going into a risky situation. Remember, imagine that your goal has already been completed even though it has not.

3. Act with courage, be persistent!

Maintain that positive self esteem, this is half the battle. You must believe in yourself or you have already lost!

Apply The Eight Success Strategies

Use the eight success strategies that I went over in this guide to reach your full gaming potential. Apply these success strategies regularly throughout your career as a gamer. Remember to always think and act positively and proactively. Success is not a one time thing, you will always be striving to succeed in something and if you master these 9 steps you will have a very easy time doing so.

Getting Rid of Negative Energy!

You know that like attracts like, right? As are Positive people drawn to positive energy; and negative people are drawn to negative energy.

Now of course everyone has some negativity in their lives. But here I am talking about the way you think about things, and how negativity could be so ingrained into you that it goes unnoticed. And how being a negative person, attracts negative things to happen through you, not to you.

Negativity sometimes wears a disguise called ‘reality’. It’s easy to rationalize that you’re ‘just being realistic’ in not daring to act on a dream – and you make yourself believe it!

One might think that positive people are not being realistic – that they’re being naive, in denial, that they put on fake smiles in the face of difficulty and so forth. But are they really happy idiots or is there something to their positivity?

That is because when you view the world from a ‘realistic’ standpoint, you can’t help but be negative IF your version of reality is negative.

If your version of reality is negative, you have conditioned yourself to think that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong and whatever can go right, will probably go wrong too. You can be subconsciously thinking this way without even knowing it!

If negativity is so ingrained in you that you don’t notice it, then how do you determine whether you’re stuck in a mindset that's attracting the wrong situations and wrong feelings? And how can you be sure you’re not perpetuating that negativity? First ask yourself these things:

1: Do you complain a lot?
2. Do you blame?
3. Do you believe that you have no control over most of your results?
4. Do you feel like a victim? Do you talk about people doing things to you? (cheating, lying, etc.)
5. Are you grateful for what is, or are you only grateful when things start going your way?
6. Are things happening to you, or through you?

If you’re not grateful except when things go right, you are negative.
Gratitude is positive.

If you are grateful for what is (including unpleasant life lessons) then you can have more positive energy into your life and your mistakes will become stepping stones to the finish line instead of being things you dwell on. Simple as that.

Believing that things happen to you and not through you also puts you in a negative mindset. This puts you in the mindset of the victim which is convenient in a difficult situation.
Now think about who is responsible when something really good happens. You usually are. Because you worked hard, earned it, etc.

So how come when good things happen its your doing, but when bad things happen its not your fault? Like I said, only because it's easier to be the victim and it takes a lot of courage to accept that you control your own life completely!

If the above things sound like you, then you at least have some negativity within you.
Or are just like I used to be. A very negative person who needs help... hahaha. And you can help yourself through it and change for the better just like I did...

have you noticed that positive people seem to always get what they want out of life, and even if things don’t go their way, they still enjoy their lives… (I get to go to work today)

while negative people whine and moan about their misfortunes and even the good things in their lives? (I have to go to work today ****TTT...)

To change yourself and get rid of negative thoughts like those, it takes practice especially if you were a strongly negative thinker like me, but eventually you will keep catching yourself and it's fun to see the change and results go along with it :)

Some things you can do are:

1. Take ownership: “When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – the Dalai Lama

2. Catch yourself when you think negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones: This is the part that takes practice and dedication, and you truly have to want to change in order to remember to do this or you will forget and start thinking negatively again in your subconscious. You need to make the decision to see the things from the view of "what can go right" instead of "what can go wrong"

You can clear out negativity from your life by visualizing the positive things and not giving into the temptations of being afraid of failure. Overcome past Conditioning; think intuitively instead of from "reality"... Make reality what you want it to be and show it to the world without fear or hesitation.

"Nobody wants negative energy to permeate their lives, yet many of us allow it. But we allow it unconsciously, based on past conditioning that suggests an inevitable outcome to certain situations."
When you can un-condition yourself and realize that the future is not set in stone but that you are in control, you can begin to work on changing yourself.

That is all for the updated bonus section. I hope it makes sense LOL.
Also I tried to make the text that turned out small for some reason bigger like the rest, but it just stays the same lmfao owell zz

>>>Legal Stuff<<<

Basically don't take this and say you made it or some dumb poop like that LOL. If you do decide to put it somewhere or copy it at least give me credit, I check around places a lot so if I see this guide anywhere without my permission itt'l be time to open a can of whoop butt. LMAO. =]
Sources: "Your Career, How to Make it Happen" by Julie Levitt. <- That is what I used to gather a lot of the information.

You can ask any questions by PM'ing me on smashboards my name is FluxWolf. Or you can Email me at Kyle.Herrity@Gmail.com for anything else.

I will be putting restrictions on requests though, so the only things I will tolerate are:

* Questions about stuff I forgot to cover or I haven't covered yet
* Requests to put this FAQ on a certain site
* Additional advice, information, and corrections
* Just plain friendly talk

"If you flame me, send me hate mail, or be otherwise disrespectful to me,
I'll set up a Hall of Shame just for you." Couldn't have said it better LOL.

I think that's it! Thanks for reading my guide guys, and I hope it was nice to see something other than a character FAQ. I would be very glad if this advice helped out all of you, so let me know what you think! byeeeee. =]
Last edited:


Smash Lord
Nov 5, 2006
New Paltz, NY
Hmm interesting stuff here, it's also a unique perspective on improving by focusing on the pyschological aspects, I'm gonna keep some of this in mind for the future.
Mar 1, 2007
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
Wow, this is an in depth view of smash from a psychological stand point, and a good one at that. I like the idea of writing down the list for positives and negatives. Not only does that let you see where you are, but it also sets goals. Two birds w/ on stone eh?

Something I think would be interesting would be to continually make the lists of positives and negatives, just to kinda see how far you have come and further increase confidence.


Smash Lord
Oct 14, 2006
Thanks, and yeah it's good to constantly be doing this. Because the cycle never ends, when you succeed in one goal you must move on to the next, and doing that will lead to a constant flow of improvement. =]


Smash Journeyman
Jun 26, 2007
Napa Valley, Ca
I enjoyed this read, and it applies as such to everything, not just smash. Apply this to your working place, and you can shine and excel quickly. This is a life lesson, not just for the game.


Smashboards Owner
Jul 6, 2003
Bellevue, Washington
Nice guide, and many true aspects, but not stickable. Sorry mangz...]


I may be able to get this into the sticky that has guides. Send a PM to whoever made that sticky (Uncle Kenny).


Smash Lord
Oct 14, 2006
Well, thats a good thing youre not a.... Oh, darn. hahaha. Well it's cool I'll PM that one guy and see if he wants to put it in there.


Smash Journeyman
Mar 31, 2007
New York
Technically, there's only eight step and the ninth step should say applying the eight steps, but that can't really be counted as a step because the whole point of guides are for people to apply them. If you're telling them to apply something that they're reading so that they can apply it you're being redundant.

Other than that it was a nice guide, and a lot of stuff mentioned is what you see pros doing.


Smash Lord
Oct 14, 2006
Oh thanks for reminding me LOL. There were origninally 9 actual steps, but I took one out because it didn't make enough sense and was dumb. I'll fix that eventually and just make it say 8 steps then. xD


Smash Lord
Aug 24, 2005
Naples, FL.
Very well done FluxWolf. I'm very happy that you made this guide, because all of this information is true and I use all of these quite often in tourney and affirmations and such really do work. You nailed everything down. I've been in countless situations where I've been in the gutter, losing, or my opponent has a 3 stock lead, or I'm at last stock high % while they're at their last stock 0%, and when I'm in those situations I always use affirmations telling myself stuff like "Come on you can win, you're better than this. Beat him." or things like "Come on pull off a SmashMac combo and come back.", and they always work. I've been using these techniques ever since I've been maining Doc.

All of these steps are definitely key to being successful. I set a goal to go to big tourneys and place top 10 with only Doc., and I achieved it through these 9 steps. Upon achieving that I got top 10 in the FL. (not to brag). I also find it extremely helpful when you're a humble person and know what you're capable of.

Thanks FluxWolf, and wonderful job on this guide.


Smash Champion
Jan 12, 2007
Manchester, UK
Question to flux wolf: what happens when you have someone who consistantly loses but maintains the attitude of "i know i can win" and others. Its well and all being postive and optimistic, but isnt being realistic important, otherwise the person is in line to get a major disappointment?


Smash Champion
Feb 4, 2007
West Chester, PA
Apply this to your working place, and you can shine and excel quickly.
do you mean downB???


but yeah this was a pretty good read. i think all too often people know that a certain someone is better than they are, or have been at some point, and just go into the match saying "god i just hope i dont get 4 stocked" or "atleast take a couple stock off this guy".

just go in there always thinking you can win no matter how good the player is.


Kinda Sorta OK at Smash
Mar 7, 2004
Umeå, Sweden
LOL, something I noticed here. There are 8 strategies, not 9. It seems the 9th step is to apply the 8 other steps, but even the 9th says to apply the 9 strategies. I also get the feeling that you just took a basic 9 step program and applied it to smash, because this sounds like every self-help book on the planet.

Another problem with the guide is that it only focuses on your esteem, but doesn't go into how you can increase your overall skill in the game. Because of this, it really isn't something about stepping up your game, it is just stepping up your confidence. You might want to consider altering the thread title to match that.


Smash Master
Jul 19, 2006
Portland, Oregon
I liked it a lot, I have been thinking a lot more possitively lately and it is definitely showing through in my gameplay I have been actively improving rather than passively hoping to improve for the last month or so and I am improving so much faster than before it's silly, I really like the writing down your goals and where you are at and your strong and weak points for referense. Good ideas and a great guide if I were a mod I would sticky it, except that you asked for a sticky that would be the main thing keeping me from doing it lol.


Smash Lord
Oct 14, 2006
aiko said:
Question to flux wolf: what happens when you have someone who consistantly loses but maintains the attitude of "i know i can win" and others. Its well and all being postive and optimistic, but isnt being realistic important, otherwise the person is in line to get a major disappointment?
Well first of all, you need to make goals, and goals that you want to achieve and are willing to keep trying at until you complete your goal. You WILL fail a few times, and maybe a lot of times in some cases... I think somewhere in the guide it says "Think of failure as a natural path to success" or something. Meaning that failing will happen, and you shouldn't be afraid or disappointed in failing, because you can only keep trying until you succeed.

MookieRah said:
LOL, something I noticed here. There are 8 strategies, not 9. It seems the 9th step is to apply the 8 other steps, but even the 9th says to apply the 9 strategies. I also get the feeling that you just took a basic 9 step program and applied it to smash, because this sounds like every self-help book on the planet.

Another problem with the guide is that it only focuses on your esteem, but doesn't go into how you can increase your overall skill in the game. Because of this, it really isn't something about stepping up your game, it is just stepping up your confidence. You might want to consider altering the thread title to match that.
Thank you for reminding me once again LOL. But yeah I originally did have 9 steps, and took out the 9th one because it was retarded. I was just too tired to edit it again and change "9" to "8" everywhere you see it in the guide. I will do that right now though.

And I would have to disagree with your opinion on the 2nd problem you stated. In my opinion mental awareness and looking at things physiologically is half the battle. This guide is mainly intended for higher skilled players anyways, so you should have the "in game" things down for the most part if you want to take this guide for your benefit. Maybe I should have stated that, I don't know. I do think that this can help anyone no matter what the skill level though. The whole idea behind the title of "Stepping up your game" was meant to state something like "taking it to the next level" or more so what would separate a pro from a non dedicated player, or getting past that wall which stops so many players from improving around the amateur level of play (in anything). Thats just my opinion and how I meant for it to be though, obviously there are tons of other ways of looking at it so thanks for your input.

Edit: Don't be mistaken though, I do think that your opinion is fair game. So what would you suggest I change the title to, to make it more obvious that it's mainly focusing on the mental aspects?


Smash Apprentice
Nov 21, 2007
*bookmarks this guide*
One of the best guides I have read, amazing guide FluxWolf. Heck, i'll actually check back on this and put it all to good use. Never thought of any of that before...


Smash Journeyman
May 9, 2008
San Francisco
GJ taking all the generic stuff u see in a self-help book and adapting it just slightly enough so that it applies to smash. As cheesy at it is, this stuff does work.


Smash Lord
Jul 25, 2005
Chicagoland (NW Indiana)/Purdue West Lafayette
Sometimes, when I'm getting rocked in a match or at least have been on the defensive on the while, I take some deep breathes and center myself. It really does work. I tell myself, "I AM going to JV 4 stock this guy."

Smash matches aren't battles of reflexes and manual dexterity. Those are important, but they are just the tools. Smash matches are first and foremost battles of wits. It's all in your head.