http://www.twitch.tv/neurostarcraft/c/4955941 Mentality WorkShop #1
“The Aim of the Inner Game is to take the unnecessary wide gap between our potential and our actual performance and to open the way to a higher and more constant levels of enjoyment the game”. Josh Waitzkin, The Art of Learning.
The quote above is to do with our mental game we have in our head from day to day. This game either hinders us from our best performances or ruins the enjoyment of a particular task that we do. Thus we must work within ourselves to improve our mental game to improve in performance and enjoyment of tasks.
To correlate this to Starcraft, our own mindset will dictate what we get out of the game each time we initiate a ladder session or participate in a clan war or competition. Thus if a player looks at this current season map pool as awful for a particular race or feels players are restricted to a certain play style, such as 2 base all ins or cheese strategies, their mindset is already in a weak place before going into the ladder session or competition and will blame the current situation on balance or map style. The purpose of this post is to aid in improving the thinking process in Starcraft to help in the improvement of psychology as a player and to increase performance and enjoyment of the game.
From listening to the first workshop, linked above in the post, it will state particular information to build upon the improvement of psychology in Starcraft.
Within the first workshop NeuroStarcraft states about making peace before every ladder session with everything that may happen on ladder. This comment is a key aspect to take on board before a ladder session. Think back to your last ladder session or a time when laddering; your first few games goes well and you are feeling good about the current situation. Then during the next few games, out of nowhere, your opponents cheese and all in you and you lose the next few games. Did your disposition change? Comments ranging from “great first few games” to “oh look another cheeser, why am i trying to play straight up” & “this person can’t play macro so he looks for easy wins”. Take a look at the second and third quote and ask yourself if you have used that type of language during particular ladder sessions.
Starcraft is a real rime strategy game, a Ggme of WAR. In real life war, you wouldn’t expect your enemy to gather all its resources over time and then for both opponents to attack each other at the same time and see who comes out on top. Starcraft is a game where all types of strategies can happen and will happen. Therefore a player must always expect the unexpected and make peace with every little detail about Starcraft. Do not go into a the game thinking that if you are a “macro” player that your opponent must do the same; if that opponents wants to “cheese” or “2 base all in you” they can. It is their right. By making peace before a ladder session this will help you remain calm and on guard during each game. Just like boxing, if your guard is down then you deserve to be K.O’D
Another aspect taken from the workshop that this post will state is the implementation of a log. “A Personal Path of Mastery” as NeuroStarcrfat states in the workshop. Within the “log” or “notepad or “word document” it can be used to store information of ladder sessions, practice sessions and competitions. Thus this is a personal tool for you and the information provided into it is of your own accord. Stated below are the 4 things the workshop stated to add:
1. Indication of a particular plan of action in each match up
2. Commit to learning the plan of action during the whole season i.e. noting down build orders/style
3. Noting areas of where you struggle in each match up
4. Leaks during the game
Above are suggestions for information that could be placed into a log but remember that a log is personal to you and the use you will gain from it will only dictate to how much information you would like to store.
Lastly in this post, the point of staying positive even through the hardest losing streaks is essential for growth. Have you ever experienced a run of losses in a season, where nothing you seem to do works, every player seems to do funky and weird things and the play style you are trying to implement doesn’t seem strong enough?
By having a positive and effective mindset through this stormy period it will help with the psychological improvement in Starcraft. Let me elaborate this point: be thankful for all your losing streaks; don’t run off scared of pressing that find match button. With every loss that you attain you have “gold” at your fingertips with the amount of replays you have to analyse. By looking over the losses, you will be able to note the mistakes you made but also tonnes and tonnes of information about what the opponent did and the timings of that strategy. Take a friend or someone in the Starcraft scene you regard as a player with good game knowledge and go over the replay with them. With a second pair of eyes from your own, this person will be able to give neutral feedback from what he sees during that particular game, rather than a fixed perspective from your own mind. The more information you can attain, the better understanding of the game you have which in time will process into improvement.
Remaining calm and positive is key when fighting in a storm but we gain the most from this situation. If we won all the time, we would learn nothing.
I will be posting a second post on this from the second workshop NeuroStarcraft did soon.