Learning to Learn


Smash Rookie
Mar 12, 2019
Hello my name is SHA, I am a competitive player from North Carolina. I just started competitive Super Smash Bros. with Ultimate, so im fairly new. But in my time with the game I have learned a lot, specifically learned how to learn. My goal with this thread is for us to share how we learn with those who may be struggling, improving is a difficult thing, and I hope others can learn from my experiences so far and learn.

I have a system for how I learn, and im going to explain each of these steps in detail. First, a few tips.
1. Take things in small bites. Its no use trying to learn everything at once, it just does not happen
2. Patience. Some things take longer to learn, don't be discouraged, I know I struggle with this a lot.
3. Willingness. If someone rudely points out a flaw in your game play, don' be mad, take it into consideration and you may just beat them in the future!

With that out of the way, here is my system for learning
1. Knowing when to learn - This is a weird one, but if you have a bunch of half baked skills, going to the next may just leave you forgetting that skill, remember to have patience! I know I have a skill down when I can effectively use it in my game-play, and if you're taking things in small bites this will be easy to recognize. Such as utilizing a new combo or kill confirm. Once I have "peaked" with my skill, im ready for the next step.
2. Analyzing - Loosing is the single best thing that can happen to you, I know it sucks but its true. Here's a quick story, i'll keep it short, I was egotistical coming out of smash 4, I beat all my friends so I must be amazing! I even placed well at my high school tournament, so I must be good right? Ultimate releases, I enter my high school tournament and I get crushed. This destroyed my ego and everything I thought about myself in smash, and I made a promise i'd either win the next school tournament or quit. Loosing showed me my true place. (And yes, I ended up winning the entire tournament without dropping a set). And I know, winning a high school tournament means nothing, and that's true, but it showed me with loosing comes growth, and I learned to embrace it. Next time you loose a match, save that replay instead of the one with your sick combo and watch it. If you are having trouble identifying it ask your local smash community or beyond, someone is bound to find something. Write these things down, make a list of everything you can improve on.
3. Practice - Just pick one of those things, it does not matter. For me I focused on basic tech skill first, then went back and fourth from neutral to tech. I set goals for myself, I would have to have a skill mastered before entering my next tournament (actual locals, not the school ones). This may seem daunting, but take it in small steps. I remember learning to dash dance, which in turn helped me play more patient. Then I switch to a basic kill confirm, and kept going from there. From edge guarding, to bread and butter combos. And I would refrain from online as much as possible, its hard but if you can get an Ethernet adapter and ask those in your local smash community to play with you via discord, and focus on using that skill. But it can also be difficult knowing how to practice, I spend time doing the action in training mode, even the most simple ones so my hands are used to it, then when I see the opportunity I use it in a practice match.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER - Don't overdo a skill just because you can, when you learn a new skill keep it in your pocket only when applicable, don't just use it to say you can.
4. Rinse and repeat, just remember its important to know your limits and stay patient. I'm not the best at smash, nor good at it for that matter, and I keep that in my mind. Yeah I went 0-2 at my local again, but with time comes growth, and I cant go any lower so we get upset.

This should not be taken as a definitive guide, but I hope it sparks conversation and gets people learning. I know I have much more to learn, I struggle a lot with being able to read my opponent, so I hope others can add on to this to help those struggling.
Thank you.
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