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Guide Tips on becoming a better player: Part 1 - How losing helps you get better

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator

Since there's a lot of new players to the MK and Injustice community, and undoubtedly for some players, MK11 may be their first fighter, I would like to offer some advice. This advice applies to every type of player, regardless if you're new or not. This is PT 1 - How losing helps you get better, and it will cover: "Learning to lose" - "Controlling your emotions" - "Don't label things as cheap" - "Playing better players"

Learn to lose:

On my journey to evolving into a high level player (in UMK3), one of the most essential lessons I learned was learning how to lose. Sounds simple right? The most basic things that seem simple, are actually pretty tough when emotions come into play.

"Losing is part of the game. If you never lose, you're never truly tested, and never forced to grow. A loss is an opportunity to learn" - Sirlin

You have to remember, not one single person can win every round, every match. It's just unreasonable to expect that from anyone, even from the #1 player in their respective game. No one is perfect, we're all humans, and humans make mistakes. However, losing is probably the best learning tool that you can have in a fighting game. Analyze how or why you lost! I can't stress enough how important this is. Instead of getting angry or frustrated when you lose, take a step back and ask yourself why it was that you lost. Ask yourself, "What did your opponent do? How were you losing? What could you have done differently? Why were you doing the things you were doing?", etc. Once you train yourself to do this, you will slowly stop getting upset after you lose, and start learning from your loss.

Controlling your emotions:

It's completely understandable if you get upset right after you lose a match. I get that, I've been there. It's better to not get upset, but if you just can't avoid it, it's understandable. What you would do then is try and let it go. The first step would be to not put too much emotion into a single match. Your judgement will be severely crowded if you're too emotional while you're playing. Try not to think about the opponents emotions either. Don't say "Oh, my opponent is just messing with me", or "Wow, they’re turtling just to piss me off!". Another thing is the teabag or fatalities. Yes it’s obnoxious but try to not let it affect you. Your opponent may very well be trying to do these things in order to effect your mental state, but it really only works if you think that's what they’re doing. So in other words, only you can give the opponent the power to mess with your head. Instead, say to yourself, "What's their next move going to be", or "What is my next move going to be, and why". Now, these questions are kinda hard to process for a newer player. But you have to start somewhere. Just replace the negative thoughts into productive thoughts.

The players who excel the quickest and the furthest are the one's who can move past a loss after analyzing why it was that they lost. After a loss don't say, "Man, I'm so bad", or "Wow, I'm a scrub", "My opponent is too good", etc. As I said before, just ask yourself the why/how/what, work on those things, then forget about the loss.

Don't label things you can't beat as "cheap":

When your opponent does something that is working, and you haven't found a way to beat it yet, DO NOT label it as a cheap tactic. What that does is shift the responsibility away from yourself, so you don't have to find a way to beat it. It's counterproductive, and makes you sound like a scrub. Your opponent is going to do everything they can to win, and you should be doing the same. If there's indeed a tactic your opponent is using that you can't beat, go to training mode! MK11 has an amazing training mode, so you can learn a lot from it. There's rarely, if ever, a tactic that is unbeatable. So, try everything you can to get around it, defend it, or beat it.

I've also heard players label certain tactics as "boring" or certain gameplay styles as boring. For instance, I know a very common style that gets a lot of complaints is the "keep away". Not necessarily someone who is turtling, but a player who is basically running away the whole match, being very safe. It could also be a player who is zoning. You have to realize, your opponent main goal is to win, as should yours be. So, they’re going to do everything they can to win. If they’re winning by using a certain tactic, why WOULDN'T they use it? It may be the most boring, cheapest tactic in your eyes, but if they’re winning, what would stop them from using this tactic? The only tactics that are "cheap" are the one's that are banned in tournaments. And as I stated earlier, there's very, VERY rarely a move or tactic that is so good that it's banned in a tournament. So basically, anything that's tournament legal, you shouldn't be complaining about.

I've told this to players before, and a lot of the time they say "Well I just won't play that player who is using that tactic". If you're not trying to get better and just playing to play, I guess I would understand that. However, if you want to get better, that's the worst statement you can utter. What the problem is, is that you want to win. And when a player is doing something you can't win against, you want to give it a label to justify losing to it, or losing to that player in general. Instead of actually putting in the effort of finding ways to beat the tactic, it's far easier to just say that the player was playing "cheap" and refuse to play people who play like that. If you actually do want to win, earn it! Don't just play players you can easily beat, what's the point of that? You can just play the AI if you want easy matches. This brings me to my next point, play players better than you!

Playing better players:

By far the thing that I've done to improve my game the quickest was playing players far better than myself. Of course, I had to learn all of the aforementioned things before I could actually learn from losing to these players.

Playing players worse than you is never a good thing. In fact, in most cases, you'll start performing worse if you play bad players consistently. When you play easy opponents, you start falling into patterns. Patterns that work fine against these players, for any number of reasons, but don't work against better players. You don't play at your best, because you don't have to. You can just go through the motions, abusing things that aren't normally abusable.

Playing better players forces you to play better. It will force you to start punishing your opponents mistakes, because your opponent will make few of them. You also won't be as reckless against good opponents, because good players actually punish you for your mistakes as well. Where as a bad player would let you off free a lot of the time. You will also learn a lot from playing good players. From their playstyle, to what they do in certain situations, to even the combos they use. And as I said earlier, you learn from losing. If you're just beating up on noobs all day, what will you learn from that to better your game?


You will learn so much more from losing, than you ever will from winning. You just have to understand that if you want to improve. Learn from your mistakes, and try not to make them next time. Use losing as a tool. Instead of getting frustrated, analyze your loss and treat it as a positive learning experience instead of a negative one.
 
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Hitoshura

Head Cage
One thing i learned when becoming a better player at any fighter, not just mk9 is loosing. See what mistakes u made during the match and what you could of done. Thats why when I used to play bb and id get wrecked id save the match and watch it over and over again until i realized the 1 or 2 mistakes tht cost me the entire match.
 
I live by these rules when I play! "Playing to Win" is a great read for any budding tourney player.

My goal whenever I join a room is to find someone who can beat me ten times in a row. When you play someone with deeper knowledge of the game, you end up learning a ton just by playing and analyzing them.

Great article.
 

Marvaz

come at me
Wait, so let me get this straight. Are u implying that you are the "high level" player?? LOL if so what game(s) are you high level in?
 
This is an excellent article. I follow this code whenever Im learning a new fighting game, take when I was at powerup for instance. Knoced out first round in tournament and lost a whole bunch of times in casuals; didn't get mad, just took it in stride. came back the next day, played casuals and actually started winning; I felt myself get better as I was playing. Following these guidelines will really help a beginner player improve mentally.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Wait, so let me get this straight. Are u implying that you are the "high level" player?? LOL if so what game(s) are you high level in?
Well, it depends on your definition. Based on my definition, a "high level" player is one with a high level mind set, who plays other high level players, and performs at a high level. So, in that regard I would say I am a "high level player" in UMK3, CoD and Halo. However, my "high level" mind set is the same for every game, which is what this article is giving advice on.
 

ETC AdmiralAugustus

Grabble Frazzled
"...controlling your emotions"
Amen, brother... Rage-quitting gets old real fast, plus it draws attention to the fact you're being incredibly immature

Some great motivational and informative material. Keep up the good work, we'll keep reading.
 

Tim Static

Adminerator
Again, great stuff, Juggs. I asked Jugger to do this, as well with REO, who will be doing some write ups for us as well, because these 2 cats UNDERSTAND the mentality that you not only need to compete with, but to enter the entire arena with. From getting involved, learning, teaching, winning, losing, growing, etc etc. That and because I suck at writing articles, but Juggs and REO are some very good, SMART players that wont just drop knowledge but drop knowledge that will help all you, us, grow as players and as a community.

This is one big part of we keep true to and value under the big tent called TestYourMight.com
 

oZii

Noob
This is very good Juggs you mentioned this in the iPlaywinner stream last night you really are a good guy and it shows through in this write up that you really care I mentioned that to you in the chat last night too. Applicable to all fighters!! Plans to sticky this?
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Again, great stuff, Juggs. I asked Jugger to do this, as well with REO, who will be doing some write ups for us as well, because these 2 cats UNDERSTAND the mentality that you not only need to compete with, but to enter the entire arena with. From getting involved, learning, teaching, winning, losing, growing, etc etc. That and because I suck at writing articles, but Juggs and REO are some very good, SMART players that wont just drop knowledge but drop knowledge that will help all you, us, grow as players and as a community.

This is one big part of we keep true to and value under the big tent called TestYourMight.com
Ah yes, I forgot to mention the idea for this was brought to me by Tim. Very good idea indeed and most definitely needed.

This is very good Juggs you mentioned this in the iPlaywinner stream last night you really are a good guy and it shows through in this write up that you really care I mentioned that to you in the chat last night too. Applicable to all fighters!! Plans to sticky this?
lol Were you "Im_Free"? Yes, part 1 and maybe 2 will be applicable to all games really, not just fighters or MK. My plans for the part 3 and so on are more MK specific like I stated earlier.
 
It's important to realize that there are only two players and two outcomes to a match: a winner and a loser. Once you understand that, even a loser can win.

Even then, the periodic, "KANO'S FUX&%N BALL [email protected]!$!?[1]" is completely appropriate.

+1 article, good fellow.
 

Eazail

Noob
I'm an example of learning more from losing than winning. On MKA, I lost way more than I won starting off but I learned my mistakes and used all the advice given to me
 
Great article juggs, i have to say i was able to beat tom brady 1 match out of 3 and then i lost to LI joe in the losers bracket last weekend and I was thankful to play such great players and all week long the only thing i could think about was WHAT i did wrong and WHAT i can do to fix it, again great article!!!
 
Good stuff...I lost a lot to a friend who is amazing at MK. They stomped me, but the next session I beat them a few times. I'm slowly learning as I go through my losses. It helps everyone, you can't be afraid to lose to get better at the game.
 

Tim Static

Adminerator
I almost feel like this thread was written for me...

._.
it was....for you, for him, for her, for them, for everyone....

Good stuff...I lost a lot to a friend who is amazing at MK. They stomped me, but the next session I beat them a few times. I'm slowly learning as I go through my losses. It helps everyone, you can't be afraid to lose to get better at the game.
you dont learn by winning, in fact winning can dumb you down. Losing is a lesson, and what you learn and take from that will help you win when it counts.