Developing the training mindset in fighting games

Okay so WTF is a training mindset?

Shoutouts to JeonDDing.

Self-direction: Learning how to learn

  • Ask yourself: When it comes to your skills, what’s the difference between you Right Now, and who you want to be three months from now?
  • Write down a list. Be as specific as you can, and frame it around things you can learn or practice. “I want to win my local” isn’t a useful goal here because it doesn’t describe a thing you can improve at, but “I want to drop my combos less often” or “I want to get better at playing under stress” are great. (More thoughts on useful goals here.)
  • If you can’t think of anything, then you’ll need to spend some time reflecting. I recommend watching your match replays and pay attention to what you can do better, watching high-level players and take note of stuff they’re doing that you’re not, and talking to people you play with regularly to see if they have any ideas. (More tips on learning from watching here.)
  • Take your list, pick out the one that you want to work on the most, and set the rest aside for later.
  • As an example, the goal that I’m working toward right now is lowering my overall risk profile. I often find myself taking unnecessary risks that smart players will recognize early on and punish, so I need to work on finding ways to engage that are less risky overall.
  • Chipp’s fast shuriken and Find Me (invisibility) are great tools for being aggressive without being risky, so by finding more opportunities in neutral to discard his slow shuriken or use Find Me safely, I can lower my risk in neutral and more safely apply pressure.
  • I get punished in neutral for swinging with big buttons — especially 6P — far too frequently, so by practicing using lower-commitment moves in neutral I’ll get whiff punished less often.
  • There are a couple easy option selects that make certain situations a little bit safer, and by practicing them, I’ll be able to tighten up my game just by changing my execution up a little.
  • Setting the dummy to random block and using each blocked combo as an opportunity to airdash away and throw a slow shuriken
  • Running away from a max-level CPU dummy to use Find Me
  • Playing against a CPU dummy with only P and K buttons as combo starters

Discipline: Improving your mental HP

Discipline: It’s important for fighting games.
  • Get yourself a gym buddy. In general, I’ve found that people generally feel worse about letting someone else down than they do about letting themselves down, so enlisting a partner to hit training mode with regularly and practice stuff with is a great step towards consistency. Even if you can’t practice together, keeping each other accountable with daily check-ins can do a lot to keep your motivation high and maybe even build a friendly rivalry.
  • Keep the streak alive. There’s a simple technique Jerry Seinfeld used to improve his comedy writing once — he just had a big calendar up on the wall, drew a big X on every day he practiced writing jokes, and erased every X if he missed a day. As the streak gets longer and longer, the easier it is to maintain the habit and stick to working toward your goals. (I actually wrote about a modified system I call the Good Life Sheet, which I used to start flossing.)
  • Focus on sustainability and add work over time. Discipline is not masochism! Your goal is to build yourself up into a sustainable fighting game practice. If you find yourself getting frustrated that you’re spiking your stick after an hour of combo practice, then limit your combo practice to half an hour.
Shoutouts to Strikefeld.

Routine: Working toward EX You

Hitboxes by @RealPrismsword.
  • How long do I want to play per day?
  • How many days do I want to play per week?
  • Does this feel consistently sustainable?

This is just good life shit in general

By Irene Koh (ahhh she’s so good)



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