You’re in ecstasy. Your hands are shaking, heart pumping. The final echoes of the sensation of victory slowly fade away. You crave more. Before you know it, your cursor soars over to the “Play again” button. Welcome to the ladder grind.
After the next game, you see red. This time, there’s no ecstasy. You feel only the twitching of your hands and a slight sickness deep in your stomach. You deserved to win that game. You should have won that game. You know this to be true. To prove to yourself that you are the better player, before even regarding the events of the last game, you launch yourself into a new game. You become sucked into a hopeless cycle of losing, playing and losing and playing. What was once a single mere game has turned itself into a multiple loss streak.
This is the unfortunate thought process that leads to the loss of a potential treasure chest of self-improvement and self-betterment. It takes a certain person to play Starcraft, one of a ruthlessly competitive and determined nature. For this reason, the sweet taste of victory often becomes more desirable than actually reaching the solemn realisation that you are not infallible. You are not, as a matter of fact, the best player in the world. You can be defeated. And you should have lost that last ladder game, because you were in fact the worse player. Your opponent was better than you.
So now here’s your opportunity to improve. Your opponent has helped you by pointing out your weaknesses. The ability to quell your emotions, sit down with a level head and regard yourself with harsh criticism is one that is invaluable among Starcraft players. It’s what separates players. It’s what makes you incredibly useful and wanted by Starcraft teams.
I understand that there’s a lot of hype around your mental state with regards to Starcraft. Though sometimes it may be too heavily emphasised, it’s not without reason; it is very important. However, it’s only the beginning to self-improvement. The other half of self-improvement is the quality of training and practice. Magico’s previous blog post highlighted some great methods and ideas to use in order to get better at Starcraft. And so from here, I’d merely like to forward you onto his article, as I’d hate to repeat things: http://forgedforce.com/improving-ones-psychology-capabilities/