Hello Reddit, I’m Primitive and today I am here to present you with the next article of the PokéPrep series! This will (hopefully) be a weekly series of articles focused on providing simple, actionable tips that can be applied to improve your VGC gameplay but don’t involve actual in-game tips! Today’s topic will be Tournament Day tips!
Today’s article is going to be some simple tips to keep in mind the day of a tournament. These tips will help your run go smoother and ensure you can use your experience to grow as a player. As usual these tips will revolve around things you can do outside of the game, so today we will cover what to do in between rounds, after the tournament, mentality tips, and basic health tips.
I would like to start this by stating that although I am working to be one someday, I am not currently a Dietician or Nutritionist. I have done a lot of study in the field and will just be providing you with simple basic energy preservation tips to keep you going through the day.
Breakfast: This is a meal you really don’t want to miss on tournament day, as it’s going to supply you with energy for your first portion of the day until the lunch round. You want to eat breakfast to give yourself the energy so you can properly think and execute your gameplans while playing. Eating easily digestible foods will allow you to spend less energy on digestion and more reserved for the tournament and prevent the groggy full feeling some may feel. Even if you usually skip breakfast I suggest you still try eating something light like a banana or apple slices before your next big event. You can consider eating slow burning carbs the night before to have an energy reserve so you can eat a smaller breakfast if that is what you prefer.
Snacks: Just like with your breakfast you want to eat snacks to keep your energy up and also you want smaller foods that will be easily digestible to avoid burning too much energy digesting. Some examples can be: fruits, vegetables, nuts, pure dark chocolate, or granola. Reigning chess world champion, Magnus Carlsen uses a different approach and uses liquids to boost energy between matches by drinking a mixture of half regular milk and half chocolate milk which supplies him with calcium and protein.
Water: The best way to go about staying hydrated is to drink small quantities at regular intervals opposed to larger quantities at fewer intervals. This allows you to consistently stay hydrated throughout the day as well as avoid any sudden mid-match restroom urges. I will note this is for during the tournament and I recommend you drink 8-16oz of water in the morning after you wake up to hydrate. With the frequency at which animations happen in pokémon you should be able to find multiple opportunities each round to take a drink from your water bottle.
How to best spend time in between rounds
Review with friends: I know what you’re thinking, review with friends = complain about RNG, right? Although that may seem like the best option for some, the truth is that these stories usually neglect to include potential misplays, losing the lead, or poor matchup. Finding a group of friends to discuss games with in-between rounds is a great way to learn from mistakes. Through discussions with others you all can talk through matchups and provide information to each other on the matchups that others may not know and help the rest of their tournament run. Taking notes during your matches can help a lot here as you can go back and confirm their moves and items and apply that knowledge to the discussion. As they say two heads are better than one.
Taking a small breather: In contrast to the first option, the other option I suggest is to go outside and just take some deep breaths. As much as reviewing your games after the set can be highly helpful, it can also be done after the tournament. Taking some time to relax will give you the ability to start clearing your head and not think about previous matches; allowing you to focus on your next match which at that point will now be your most important one and not the ones already played.
Most players will commit a lot of time and money into participating in multiple tournaments throughout the year. When you commit so much to something, your emotions can be amplified. Whether it is a bad emotion or a positive emotion, they both can have negative sides to them. I don’t have flawless tips to give for this category, however I do have tips that have helped me that you could consider.
Negative Mindset: When losing games or matches, it can be very frustrating for the reason I stated above. Reflecting negatively on previous sets will heavily weigh on your mentality and in the process sabotage future rounds. To combat a negative mindset, my suggestion is to commit to a tangible goal before the tournament that isn’t focused on the result of the tournament. What I mean by this is to commit to a goal. For instance; taking better, more in depth notes, reflecting after each round, taking more time deciding your plays each turn for clearer decision making, or meeting new friends. These are just a couple examples but the point is that these are all tangible goals that you can control whether they happen or not. If you commit to a goal like this and you get put in a bad mental state you can go back and take a look to see if you are at least in alignment with this goal and if you are, regardless of win or loss you show subtle improvement which will compound to greater improvements each time.
Positive Mindset: Being in a positive mindset for the most part is a fantastic place to be. It can provide you hope and confidence for future rounds making it easier for you to get into the groove while playing. However, if you don’t keep your emotions in check, it can turn into cockyness, which in my opinion is one of the worst possible mindsets you can be in during a tournament. In a game like Pokemon it is completely possible for a newer player to beat a veteran. No one is invincible and you can lose any match if you aren’t careful. Being in a cocky mindset will make you think you’re superior to your opponent and that they are just going to objectively play worse than you, however, if they are doing just as well as you or not, you need to respect them as if you were playing a world champion. Cockyness can destroy a successful run very easily and if you don’t keep that in control your tournament run may be its next victim. My suggestion to prevent this and to express gratitude for the results you are getting. If you’re having an amazing run at an event and people come up to congratulate you, humble yourself by replying with some sort of grateful comment. This may not work for everyone but I have found gratuity as a solid way to keep my mentality level and my emotions clear and positive. If you have a technique that better suits you then go for it but just keep in mind to not get cocky and just stay focused.
Playing against a “Big Name Player”: Playing against a player of high caliber who has many achievements under their belt can be extremely intimidating for new players. Much like seeing your favorite streamer, or celebrity, seeing your favorite competitors could cloud your emotions to think they are objectively better than you. Pokemon is not a game of skill, it is a game of knowledge, meaning the best player doesn’t always win. So if you play against a big name player keep in mind they are not invincible. One good prediction or a good team matchup can lead you to a victory, but if you are in the mindset of thinking you auto lose to them you won’t have full focus on the current situation. They’re just humans who have done well in a specific video game, so just respect them the same as you would any player round one and always play your round one player as if they’re a world champion.
Post Tournament Reflection
Regardless if a tournament went well or poorly for you, you probably have some accumulated emotion right after it ends. This cloud of emotion may hinder your thought process for a short time after. If you feel you may be affected by this I suggest to begin to reflect after dinner when you have time to cool off.
Reflection is one of the best ways to improve as a player. It allows you to go back and review your decision without the pressure of winning or the pressure of the timer providing you with a new angle to view the match from. Doing this on the same day after a tournament will allow you to review and think about the games with that thought process still fresh in your head. This will allow you to question if the choices you made in game were correct throughout the day as well as identify if the decisions you made during team building were correct or not. Information like this can really supply you with insight to help you in the future making reviewing your games and thought process highly important for improving after the tournament.
Video version of today’s article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wu46Fn9-qg&t
Thank you for reading today’s article! If you enjoyed please give this post a share, or consider checking out my social media for more VGC improvement content. You can find my Twitter here, YouTube here and my Twitch channel here. If you have any topic suggestions for future PokéPrep articles please feel free to DM on twitter! I hope you enjoyed and I wish you a fantastic day!
*Shoutout to @YardstickVGC for being my editor. You are the bees knees