Everyone comes to a point where progress seems to level off. Repeated defeats against the same players confirm this sentiment. Frustration boils and there seems to be no answer for the problem.
Will alone can’t help players “get good” quickly. People need to be smart in how they handle their progress. To fine tune a playstyle there is a multitude of elements to take into account. This sounds scary and complicated but once understood it can streamline the process. Its all about using time wisely instead of entrusting potential progress to randomness.
There are many ways of playing the game, but the route to evolution can be broken down in different techniques. These are just like job aids. They tell the player the correct course of action to take on way to glory.
Eliminating poor habits
In the neutral game, there is a mental battle between players. If one of them instinctively performs an action, then the enemy player gains the advantage for a fraction of a second. These instinctual habits are not always blatantly obvious, but if left unchecked they can lead to heavy punishes.
Even the best players have some habits in their play. Becoming aware of them leads to some level of consciousness that allows the player to make a decision. It’s important to take action from this and implement the necessary adjustments. These habits also have the potential to evolve over time or change the defined course of action.
There are multiple ways to identify these bad habits.
Having footage to go over after a match is very important. Without it, all the player has after a match is his memories of the previous encounter. Adding solid evidence of what happened in the match provides 100% accurate information. It helps spark clarity on some unrecognized mishaps by looking at the different engagements and identifying patterns.
Unconsciously players could opt for unsafe options. If this issue is not identified it is only a matter of time until the opponent takes advantage of this. Replays help give a definitive representation of the habits the player possesses. They aren’t always obvious and require multiple views of the footage, but if noted the player gains a sort of boost that helps skyrocket momentum.
Third Party Assistance
An extra set of eyes can do wonders. A player that’s not heavily involved in the heat of the moment has an objective view of what’s going on. A fresh view that provides insight, and gives objective observations over the player’s bad habits.
An opponent can provide information, but because he is playing it won’t be as exact as a third party provides. When playing for a while then its possible to identify the opponent’s bad habits, and communicate them. This approach takes a lot of time and isn’t recommended over the previous options.
Smash as a game has a very rich amount of options. Dashing, jabbing, grabbing, abusing the ledge, these are some of the various actions a player can take. However to select the optimal ones the player needs to have in mind what opportunities are provided by the situation.
To have a clear picture of this a player needs to premeditate the multiple scenarios that could possibly happen. This is achieved by listing the scenarios and then adding the possible options. Then its all about analyzing, and deciding the optimal ones.
As an example, here is a list of the options a player has after using Captain Falcon’s down throw in low percentages.
- Up air
- Dash attack
- Side Special
- Knee of Justice
Some of these options, like jab and side special won’t really work. They are still added in the list and taken under consideration but they won’t work on most scenarios. Its all a process of proposing a hypothesis, and then experimenting to see what works.
These two major tools are ways to proactively use time in Smash. There is no harm in mindlessly grinding at times, but most sessions should have a goal. That way improvement is steady, and the motivation to grow stays constant.
Everyone has the potential to become the greatest. However, the extra work needs to be there.
Featured image provided by Nintendo
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