Thinking Ahead

Sometimes one should question how well you are able see yourself when you play.

There's an aspect of most competitive games that involves looking through the opponent's eyes. Not literally, but preemptively examining the situation from their point of view and "see" what the opponent is looking for in your game. This isn't a mind game, nor is this a mixup, it is simply an aspect of competition that I can only refer to as "thinking ahead".

For example, if you notice that the opponent has a blind-spot or weakness in their midrange game then you might start specifically looking for it in the future, in order to take advantage of it. To elaborate, let's say you notice an opponent's fireball leaves a huge gap in their game, so you might wait for them to toss out a fireball or perhaps wait for a situation where they might toss out a fireball in order to jump in at them. Another example would be; you might notice the opponent has a blind spot or weakness from the knees down, so you do low pokes as much as possible to both take advantage of that weakness and to bait them into jumping which you can anti-air.

Now look at it on the flipside. Did the person with a weak fireball/leg really realize that their fireball/leg left them at such a huge disadvantage, one has to question. Because that person is you. You need to consider your own potential weaknesses because everyone has them.

Everyone gets hit by something eventually, in all of fighting game history there is no one that gets double perfects 100% of the time against everyone. We all get hit. Those moments that you do get hit, you have to analyze why you got hit. A lot of the time it's a wrong guess in a mixup situation. Sometimes it's a bad play in a mindgame situation. But I believe that most of the time: your own damage comes from your own lack of foresight about yourself.

This is, in fact, why I actually even bother recording match videos and posting them on my youtube channel. Clearly it's not for the views/comments/ratings/fame/whatever because I don't get any of that and I don't give a shitdick about that either. It's more because I always watch them. Every last one. And I pay close attention. The first time I did it I only watched myself and only paid attention to what I was doing. But shortly thereafter I realized how tunnel visioned that was, and why I was the one getting hit. It was blatantly obvious that I was not looking at things from the opponent's point of view. In retrospect I could very obviously see that my opponent was waiting for or fishing for a certain situation that would lead to me getting hit. I actually started rooting for the bad guy, to fuck that shit up.

So all I can really say is that I highly recommend the practice of reviewing yourself whenever possible. Nothing feels more liberating -- at least to me -- than visually seeing and realizing "oh, that's why I lost, I didn't look at it that way.". And strengthening up for the future.

Admittedly, doing this in the heat of battle can lead to further tunnelvision, but I believe that in the long run it helps tremendously.


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