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Developing a Competitive Mentality: Breakdown by ranks

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This is a series of write-ups, divided by "ranks" as your mentality improves and you open up more room for personal growth because of it. The "zero" rank, E rank, isn't included since it's the base rank, where everyone starts. It's important to note that all of this should be taken as advice, suggestions or even opinion; I am not an expert on this subject, I haven't studied it professionally or to a great degree. However, I personally think that I have a strong grasp on the subject, which is why I'm making these. Also, while this was written while I played mainly Pokkén Tournament, it applies to any and all fighting games. You can even apply these aspects to real life situations in one way or another. Lastly, remember to keep an open mind while reading, and I hope you enjoy!



D rank: Starting off right

D rank represents the beginning of development for your mentality. Being the first rank, it's one of the most important phases since it'll end up being the foundation for what you learn to do later on. By consequence, it includes some rather basic concepts (which are important nonetheless, so don't take them lightly).


What's most important in this rank is to understand that losing a match IS NOT A BAD THING. Drill that sentence into your mind; if you are to learn 1 thing from all of this, let it be that losing is as much an opportunity as winning is. Sometimes, it's an even bigger opportunity, in fact. Opportunity for what, you ask? Learning. This is the second most important aspect to a strong competitive mind. Take every chance you can get to learn something new. It is of utmost importance that you start developing a hunger for information about the game you're playing. Due to the nature of fighting games, there are a near-infinite amount of scenarios you can find yourself in, and there will never be one or two go-to tactics to let you prevail in them. There are even different ways one can "win" in a specific situation. Therefore, it's vital that you know exactly what you're up against, what tools you have at your disposal, how you can use those tools effectively and which tools are better suited to what situations. 
"But Poke, that's a ton of stuff! I can't possibly learn all of that!" Now you calm your horses and listen. It may seem like a mammoth task, but fact of the matter is, it's not that hard to do so long as you know what to do. And that's what I'm here for. One of the best ways to learn at the start is by playing games. And then playing some more games. Just keep playing. Accumulate experience, face diverse situations and don't be afraid to experiment, especially if you're playing friendlies. 


Oh dear, it seems I missed a point of importance while explaining. This would be that, in order to effectively learn, in order to be able to take valuable information from games you play, you need to observe. Don't "disconnect" or go on "autopilot"; basically, actively think during the match. Watch what your opponent does. Your positioning, their positioning, how far their moves reach, how far your moves reach, how fast they come out, how fast you can react, what the attacks look like. I know that's it's really tough at first; you think slowly, you can't balance how much you concentrate on observing and actually playing, and you may start losing games. But be patient. Over time, it'll become a subconscious process. So get started on thinking while playing! It's best to do it during friendlies, since you've no pressure to win, necessarily, and it's usually with a friend you can enjoy yourself with. 


Lastly, is something that some people tend to forget. What you're doing is PLAYING. Playing a GAME. This is meant to be entertainment. Taking it to the competitive level is not a reason to stop enjoying what you play. So have fun! Let yourself be happy with what you accomplish.


Now then, to review what I've covered so far: 
-Losing is not a bad thing, because you can learn from them 
-Start developing a hunger for knowledge
-Be patient with progress
-Play, play, then play some more, and accumulate experience
-Think while you play
-Constantly observe what's going on; don't autopilot
-Have fun!


That's it for Rank D of this write-up. I'll be uploading upcoming ranks in this very thread, so keep an eye out for those if you enjoyed this one. See you then.

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Nice topic! It's general info but it is really helpful. I look forward to the next installment. Maybe I'll be in c rank by then! 

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