Nervous at tournaments

Capablanca

[08] Mercenary
So i wanna ask your opinion about what can be done in this situation.

I play normally online and at freeplay, but when it comes to a tournament - it`s hell for me.
My hands become cold and sweaty and i begin sliding off buttons lol. I confuse directions in game, i forget follow-ups, miss timing in combos, and become very dumb.

I really dont know what to do with it, cause i dont get nervous about anything else in life, i`am ~25 years old and nothing gets me off my hands except playing in tounaments.

Did someone here have similar problem and overcame it?
I would like to hear your methods
Thank you
 

LP

Premium Member
I used to have really bad tournament nerves (to the point where I even threw up once...though alcohol and subsequent energy drink may have had something to do with it). Same as you, I'm pretty laid back and nothing had really gotten to me (I'd been to Afghanistan and really only gotten 'scared' once during a mission). I felt stupid and, honestly, like a little bitch that something as simple as competing in a video game could have me so bent out of shape.

Honestly, I could say a thousand things but none of that ish worked for me. I don't feel like I got over it until I was able to get over possibly my personal feelings as to how well I should or shouldn't do. It just so happens this happened in game once where I was getting beating badly, knew exactly why, and was able to say fuck it and came back from what would've been a sweep to win the whole thing. Now I'm pretty much able to go about tournaments the way I go about everything else.

Other than that, it's normal to feel nervous about playing someone in a tournament, especially if it's your first time playing them. You just have to get confident about your game and be able to stick with whatever choices you make in game (that'll stop you from second guessing yourself and so on). There comes a point where every player knows pretty much every set-up, gimmick, frame and whatnot. All you have to do is remember this and remember it was a reason that you were doing what you choose to do, regardless of the outcome of what you choose to do.

All it all, you just have to get to the point where you realize your nerves are irrational. Take a breather if you need to and just examine how it's affecting your game and then say, "Fuck that" mentally. Take control of the situation and don't let it control you, as cliche as it sounds.
 

MONEYMUFFINS

[13] Hero
THIS REQUIRES SOME EXPERIMENTATION TO FIND WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU, BUT I'D DEFINITELY PLACE A LARGER EMPHASIS ON CHANGING PERSONAL BELIEFS ABOUT YOURSELF, AS OPPOSED TO FINDING CERTAIN ACTIONS TO TAKE DURING THE TOURNAMENT ITSELF.

IF DEEP INTROSPECTION ISN'T SOMETHING YOU'RE USED TO, HOWEVER, THEN YOU'RE GOING TO NEED SERIOUS WORK. A PERSONAL TEACHER TO GIVE ONE-ON-ONE ADVICE HELPS, TOO.
 

Capablanca

[08] Mercenary
Thank you guys!

So, to sum your words up - you mean there is no any other way, than just keep repeating to yourself
"Keep calm, there is nothing to worry about, you know hot to act, etc..." ? and control yourself with will?
 

Silent Joel

[12] Conqueror
Thank you guys!

So, to sum your words up - you mean there is no any other way, than just keep repeating to yourself
"Keep calm, there is nothing to worry about, you know hot to act, etc..." ? and control yourself with will?

Try and play in as many tournaments as you can, even online ones, or even FT5/10 challenges. You'll probably handle it better the more you play. I still get nervous in my first few matches, which is a big step up where I was nervous the whole tournament.
 

Menace

RELINQUISH!
I recently entered my first tourney and honestly the nerves got to me. I kept telling myself "I cant lose to this guy, im better." When it came time to play as soon as the momentum shifted to my opponent, nerves got me. I was screwed for the rest of the tourney, i reverted to auto pilot and was going of instinct alone.

All it all, you just have to get to the point where you realize your nerves are irrational. Take a breather if you need to and just examine how it's affecting your game and then say, "Fuck that" mentally. Take control of the situation and don't let it control you, as cliche as it sounds.

I guess putting that pressure on myself didnt exactly help things. I'll give this a shot, with nerves out the way i can better understand where i need to improve as a player.
 

Juez

DragonPuncher
I used to get tourney nerves as I progressed farther into the tournament which is weird as when people win they gain confidence. Think what it was for me was the further I got the more I had to lose so it would usually screw me over and cost me wins.

I never did anything to get over my nerves and I just stopped caring and focus on enjoying myself. I haven't had nerves affect my playing since.
 

DarkSlayer

[09] Warrior
Don't forget, the other guy is nervous too!

Now a really strange advice...
You could sacrifice the first round by jumping around, taunting, spamming one move, teabagging and just show how much you don't care about that match! Yeah it's dumb and strange to give a free round, but it's worth it, if it helps you to calm down, otherwise you'd be free anyway!

No, i never tried it, but would nice to see if it works! lol

Second advice (more practical):

Try to stay back the first match, don't run in and attack, play defensively - you will automatically calm down , if you don't have to make a lot of decisions very fast. Of course, if you're in his face all the time, you'll get very nervous since you have to make a lot of decisions very fast.

If he attacks you a lot, just block and do basics (AA,BB, Throw).
If you get rushed down, just think about what happens next.
You're knocked down and he forces a Throw/mid mixup, just think "Im gonna duck, and he's gonna get me with a launcher", this way you wont be suprised and think " oh shit! he got me again, what should i do!!!?( = panic)", if you're not prepared to lose a mixup , it will make you very nervous and frustrated.
 

Reptile

Soul Calibur V
I recently entered my first tourney and honestly the nerves got to me. I kept telling myself "I cant lose to this guy, im better."

So I'm not the only one hehe. I only get nervous against people I know or consider on a lower level. "What if I lose here? Against this guy?"

Against stronger players than myself I don't give a damn. It's pretty much like "Everyone expect me to lose anyway, if I win it'll be great I guess."
 

LP

Premium Member
Yeah, I've heard a lot players from all types of communities talk about how they get nervous vs. 'random scrubs'. I think a lot of it has to do with expectation--both from yourself and from your peers. Gotta say fuck it, though; if you were meant to win, then you'll win. Everyone earns their wins the same way, whether you believe yourself to be better than your opponent or not.

Hell, at last NEC and FR, I was under the influence. Was a bit worse at FR because my stomach was cramping due to alcohol but still. I just kept the mentality and managed to due well where I thought I shouldn't.

Honestly, there's this match where Thermidor pretty much HANDED me the games (nerves or giving way too much respect, possibly; I don't think Therm gets nervous):




You can see a lot of "fuck it" moments in it. Had I gotten nervous, I would've started second guessing myself and more than likely lost. But, seriously, I was laughing most of the time and saying, "Shit...who would I have to fight in loser's?" It's just an attitude to you own up to whatever you do and whatever happens, seriously. Just think about it this way, even though I know lots of people change the way they play in tournament or their mentality, if what you're doing is working at home and has you thinking you're hot shit--why would you change that around?

EDIT:

I guess putting that pressure on myself didnt exactly help things. I'll give this a shot, with nerves out the way i can better understand where i need to improve as a player.

In that vid, I took a minute to make a couple of decisions:

1) I knew I wasn't coordinated enough or in the right frame of mind to play Viola, so I switched to good 'n' simple Beta Pat.
2) Beta Pat got scuffed up! So I honestly just picked Viola because Chicago was like, "Well, if you're gonna lose, you might as well lose with your chick." Still, it worked out.

With that being said, you see my consult Hawkeye and HumanTyphoon a lot; a lot of the time, there are things you don't catch while you're playing (they can be really simple or very abstract) that other people do. Don't be afraid to have a friend critique you. Hell, even a girlfriend who doesn't understand fighting games might see something ("Why do you keep running into his attacks?"). Don't be afraid to get input from someone else. Don't be afraid to approach things differently.
 

Pocky-Yoshi

[14] Master
I'm late to say this, but good luck. One of these days, I hope to fight you and win....then we can go chill afterwards.
 

Capablanca

[08] Mercenary
It`s been 2 tournaments in my city, since i created this post

Using all your methods, and i really admit - almost no nerves!

and, matchups knowledge destroys fears, you just know how to behave when match starts and it helps greatly