Losing is the first step to winning

Crystanium

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,986
Location
California
#1
"I've honed a single attack the same way you've honed your body." - Ryu to Zangief, SFV

I like this quote. It stood out to me when I saw it. Its applicability holds true in anything you want to improve on. The purpose of practice is to teach you how to perform better than you originally would have otherwise. If this means learning how to use z-air more effectively to space yourself at the appropriate time, or even trumping someone from the ledge and following it up with a back air, your brain will alter due to neuroplasticity. This means you might become frustrated at your inability now, but the more you do it, the more you'll become conscious about how it's executed, which will make you better.

Training yourself will not only help you perform better with your character. You will become more confident in using that character. Again, this can be applied to anything, even if you lack self-confidence in a general sense. The more you become confident in yourself, the better you'll be able to deal with stressors you might encounter. Teach yourself to practice for at least an hour on performing a combo, or utilizing certain attacks properly. As a Samus main, I am aware of Samus' jab and its inability to connect, due to its Sakurai angle. A simple jab suffices, allowing me to either walk away or perform a tilt. It can be as simple of a task as this that makes a difference.

Recently, I have learned from a Samus main who goes by the name "Dream" on Discord. In a direct message, he once told me, "I can sometimes hit you before you're able to act again, all because of that one habit." While I became aware of this, I didn't see it for truly what it was until I became cognizant in certain errors I was making. Playing against my brother, I utilized z-air, my jab, and tilts in a different way, making it difficult for my brother to approach me. Yet, he had to approach me because I didn't have to approach him. With jabs and tilts, I built a wall between him and myself when he would approach.

It's difficult for us to see beyond the present when we're struggling to execute a task others make seem so easy. We see others performing these seemingly difficult techniques, so we wonder why we can't do the same. While I don't perform perfect pivoting during actual matches, I can do it to some degree. I'm inconsistent in that regard. I had been performing a particular kind of dash in which a dust cloud would appear. While I flicked my left analog stick back and forth to attempt a perfect pivot, the only thing that kept me from achieving it was performing this flicking at a faster rate. Achieving this would allow me to perfect pivot successfully. I've been able to perform this three consecutive times.

When you are trying to learn something new, you might become frustrated. When you become frustrated, take a break. Taking breaks actually helps you improve and provides better productivity. Not only that, should you achieve what you've been practicing, and even if you have only done it once, reward yourself with something like your favorite snack. You can associate these achievements with rewards. This, hopefully, will keep you motivated and feel confident in what you do.

Often, we want to succeed, and we want it at the present time. We see professionals performing so well, treating them as stars or as talented individuals, rather than understanding that they're like you and me. They have wins and losses, courage and fears. What they have achieved can be achieved by you and me. You just have to work at it, even if you have to work at it a little more than most. You must learn to believe that you can do anything anyone else can do. Perhaps they picked things up faster than you. We call that talent, but we don't know their background or what they've done to make picking up things seem so easy.

I've been using Zero Suit Samus for a while now. I dedicated myself to using her, although I don't use her as often as I do with Samus, let alone feel as confident with her as I do with Samus. Watching Nairo playing in tournaments from YouTube channels like VGBootCamp and 2GGaming, I felt I had to play exactly the way he did. I didn't see any Zero Suit Samus players use forward special, for example. This is a faulty way of thinking. When you decide to pick up a character, you may use what professional players use in terms of meta-game because it works. Yet, you needn't be a copy of whoever it is who inspires you. You are you, and you can make up your own style and play your own way without feeling ashamed like I did.

At the same time, the more you use a character, the more you'll find what works and what doesn't, which may lead you to play similarly to other players. This, it seems, helped Prince Ramen perform well using Palutena. He was aware of which attacks would be effective and which attacks would hinder him. You don't need to limit yourself in the options you wish to use. You just need to realize that certain attacks may not be as useful most of the time.

If you think you're good, move on. There's nothing to see here. If you know you can always improve, then your way of thinking will get you places. You're thinking to yourself that it's possible for you to grow and develop. You're not static. You're not going to let some plateau stop you. You're going to think positively and believe you can overcome any obstacle that stands in your way. What? You keep getting two-stocked? That's just a problem waiting to be addressed through your persistence and good strategies. You are using good strategies, are you not?

No one has ever reached the top without any help getting there. No one. Don't be afraid to lose. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you're concerned about losing, then you're not learning for the right reason. Someone who learns welcomes loss because it's not seen as failure, but rather a learning experience. Losing means learning new strategies. The winner, more often than not, doesn't focus on why he or she won, only that he or she got first. Take that opportunity to improve.

As a player, you should also set goals for yourself. Don't let the thought of having to work at something to be skilled stop you. Quitters don't win and winners don't quit. Keep at it, even if you're not good at it. Practice takes time and effort. If you don't want to put forth the time and effort, you'll remain stagnant while others improve. Be one who is dynamic, ever-changing, always improving. Be like water, which takes the shape of a volume. Do this in your matches against different opponents. Not everyone is the same. After all, no single medicine is used to remedy different illnesses. Why use the same methods on different people?

One final thing. You are allowed to rest. Don't think you must play for extended periods. If you're practicing a lot, take a break. Let your brain do its work by processing what you've been learning. Focus on other things. Perhaps you will come up with a new idea that you can try out. If it works, good. If not, it's no big deal. So, to wrap this all up, practice, watch videos of yourself to see what worked and what didn't, and of others to get ideas on what you can try. Be patient, take breaks, and don't worry about losing because you can keep trying. Set reasonable goals, and don't use the same tactics on different characters.
 
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Crystanium

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,986
Location
California
#5
Yes, it should replace the current background.
I appreciate your thought. I would like to expand more on what I wrote last night, but I was using a tablet, so it wasn't easy for me to lay out more things I could have said. I just wanted to inspire people here and to remind not just myself, but others that if you're trying to learn a new character or even a new combo, or even a set-up to that combo, keep working on it. Last night I was so bothered by jumping too high with ZSS that after I stopped playing in For Glory, I went to Training Mode to teach myself how to short hop and z-air with ZSS. That's all I did before I stopped to type up this thread.

Although Ryu is just a fictional character, whoever thought to give him that line really is inspiring. In my opinion, it helps anyone take a step back and just work on one thing at a time. Those people you want to play against can wait. They're not going anywhere. If it means that you should spend thirty minutes to an hour working on one thing, then do that. I think it'll make you a better player in the long run. I have a year to catch up with the rest of the people who have been playing Sm4sh, but playing against my brother and others has helped. We can only get better.
 

Uffe

Smash Hero
Joined
Jun 14, 2008
Messages
5,195
Location
Fresno
#6
I fought a Marth last night and after the first match, I thought for sure the game should have been mine, but I was dair spiked as I was going for a recover. During each match, I began to ask myself why I was losing. I wasn't getting bodied, but I was struggling to really get in and deal with the obstacles this Marth set up for me with his spacing and pressure. Even though I expected a lot of what Marth's typically do, I still struggled. I managed to get two two stocks in on the guy, but during our matches, I didn't want to lose and it came to the point that I needed to accept my losses and that I should be learning from all of this. I started to catch on his playstyle and played a bit safer, too. Still, it wasn't easy to land attacks on him without trading hits or taking the most damage. He blocked and rolled a lot, so I used that to my advantage, but because he blocked a lot, I'd sometimes get my attacks shielded and then punished. I'm still hoping I learned something through all of those matches.
 

Stoneman

Smash Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
18
Location
Stl
NNID
Wumpy007
#7
when i first joined a crew i got a lot of **** for using true shoryu ALL the time. But yea, i was practicing mastering it, now i can do it consistent. Then from there i worked on getting setups into it. u gotta start somewhere lol.
 

Crystanium

Smash Master
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,986
Location
California
#8
when i first joined a crew i got a lot of **** for using true shoryu ALL the time. But yea, i was practicing mastering it, now i can do it consistent. Then from there i worked on getting setups into it. u gotta start somewhere lol.
Using an attack all the time where it becomes predictable or punishable isn't a good idea. Using it at the right time is. If you're attempting to use an attack while playing against someone else, it can be good to learn to see when using the attack is appropriate. Once you've learned, then mistakes are negligible and you're a better player than you were before.
 

Stoneman

Smash Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
18
Location
Stl
NNID
Wumpy007
#9
Using an attack all the time where it becomes predictable or punishable isn't a good idea. Using it at the right time is. If you're attempting to use an attack while playing against someone else, it can be good to learn to see when using the attack is appropriate. Once you've learned, then mistakes are negligible and you're a better player than you were before.
yea, like i said, i was practicing gettingthe inputs down so wen the situation arises, ill be confident i can pull out a tshryu
 

SneaselSawashiro

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
197
Location
Millbrae, California
3DS FC
2853-0750-5008
#10
"I've honed a single attack the same way you've honed your body." - Ryu to Zangief, SFV
TV Trope: Boring But Practical
TV Trope: Whoring

Cue all the ***holes on For Glory who happen to read your every move and be like "I'm so awesome cause you fall for my **** 24/7, stop playing Smash".

Cause honestly, I can't even improve by myself when most opponents I face feel like they're toying with me always ready to call me a mentally-retarded scrub, especially if they switch characters.

I honestly feel like replays won't really change up how I play if the next opponent does something else differently each time (like how every game in a MOBA is different).
 
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SmolNozomi

Smash Cadet
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
72
#15
This is old as last year, but I hope this can reach some eyes
So, back then, I was fresh off Brawl, ready to tackle the 3DS version. I went for my main, Dedede, only to see how much he changed, both good and bad.
I heard many people call him low tier, a bad character, heck, even the worst character in smash, and advised me to main a better character, like Mario or Diddy. I did what they advised, but it wasn't the same as the King. Two days later I went back to the faithful penguin, and decided if he was the worst character, I was going to make him the best he could.
So I practiced, nearly every day, finding combos, learning his attacks, finding how to counter the better characters. The journey was brutal, with the varied skill in FG either giving me a break or giving me a whopping of my ***.
About 4 years have passed, and I can say i've gone a long way, from punny mallet swinger to the Tier List Clobberer.
I guess this entire thing has made me a better person, and I will keep on going and learning new things
 
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