Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekly Question, February 10th

For this week's question, I am inviting my wonderful, intelligent, attractive, and charismatic readers to share stories.

Have you ever had an experience where you felt immense stress or pressure in competitive play, and overcame it? What was it like?


  1. My first tournament was this past october. I was inspired by evo to attend a legit tournament (I had been following the scene sporadically in youtube before), and like many I thought I had a legitimate shot and doing well. Because of this, when my first pools were called my hands were already dripping with sweat. here it is.. I can do it

    I get 3 stocked twice my first set and my confidence completely goes down the window. When I moved my character if felt as though I was moving through molasses, like a bad dream. What could be worse? The next set I play I get JV 5-STOCKED by one of my regions top players. Everyone at the tournament is going crazy. I unplug my controller immediately, walk away, and sit my sorry ass down in the bathroom.

    How did I overcome this? After some reflection, I just concluded that I was way over my head. My only option was to get back out there and mess around.. just try stuff and have fun and never show up again. I went back out and later ken-comboed another sick nasty player from my region. good enough for me.

  2. I know my answer to this question will be misleading, but no – in my 6 year long smash-career I never experienced something like that, I never overcame the stress I produced all by myself in though situations.

    In serious sets I got the worst attitude. If I´m behind I´m like “Sh*t, I won´t make it, I will lose this set. That means I will be Xth place and that´s so bad but I deserve it anyway if I play so bad I might just quit as well etc etc etc…” When I got the lead I´m like “I hope I can hold on to this advantage... Oh no, I got hit, damn, I have to hold this percentage lead, better run away…”

    It is like while I´m playing I´m fighting a second enemy in my head who always gives me the most negative impulses possible.

    My game gets thrown off especially if my opponent hits me with something I wasn´t expecting at all. Like I´m approaching and he hits me in between - I´m like “Oh sh*t, I lost control over the situation, gotta retreat completely and try again…and after a while I get hit by the exact same maneuver.”

    It got to a point where I had to play a guy I beat multiple times in the past and I was actually scared -because if I lost to him, that would´ve been just a big shame for myself. I ended up 3stocking him with no problem whatsoever – but again I thought the most negative way about it “Well, I´m glad I got lucky this time”.

    I really do hate my attitude, but through reading this blog I´m aware of it more than ever. I hope I can overcome all this crap in my head and just…play my game.

  3. Never have quite done it. One time recently was close; I was playing very well most of the match in spite of being very nervous. Still, in key spots I made mistakes I don't normally make. I've won lots of matches where I've been really nervous. I wouldn't say I overcame there, just that me playing poorly was good enough (probably they were very nervous as well).

    I normally try to take time between stocks to shake it off, calm down, or just to evaluate what went right/wrong last stock. It helps temporarily, but symptoms come back once I return to the stage. I plan to try out the reframing ideas you posted recently, maybe that will help. I almost only get nervous when I'm winning against people better than me; I think if I could calm down I could really press the advantage more often.

  4. I only have problems with stress if I am out of shape because my body can't physically handle the adrenaline/tensing and I have less control over the physical manifestations of stress. I think this is the reason all the best players are in shape and in fact most of the best players of any game, with rare exceptions (and even the people who are out of shape are almost never awkward looking, they're biomechanically sound looking and probably have good physical control over muscle tension and other manifestations of stress even if they are out of shape.)