PokéPrep #8 What To Do When You’re On A Losing Streak

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 what to do when you’re on a losing streak.

Whenever you’re on a losing streak it can be very frustrating, demoralizing, and tilting. No matter what you do you just can’t seem to get a win no matter what team you’re using, or playing against. Is this sounding familiar to you? Well let me tell you in my many years of competing I have had to overcome this obstacle countless times, and slowly began to implement a solution for when this problem arises.

Today I will be providing you with my tips on how to overcome the frustration and anger that continually losing can bring. I cannot assure you that the advice I give you today will guarantee that you begin winning, however, I can assure you these tips will teach you how to turn this losing streak into a learning streak.

Take Notes:

Most players when losing a game see it as only a negative thing, however if you look at many world class competitors in all sports/games you will see they don’t see small losses as failure, they see it as an opportunity to learn about why they lost, and how to do better about it in the future. Taking thorough, true notes will allow you to begin to identify the reason you are losing some of these games so you can start taking the steps necessary to win them in the future.

I say true notes for a reason, sure you may lose some games to RNG, but if all of your notes are “I lost to a crit, I got haxed, I suck, My opponent got lucky” then you are not taking true notes and none of those statements help you improve. If you lost a game to a crit then look back and see if you could have done anything better, maybe you didn’t read the team correctly and had an un optimal lead putting you behind from turn 1 and you had to slow down the game to get back, allowing your opponent more time to get some RNG in their favor. Maybe you lost a game to a full para, but did you bring your electric or ground type Pokémon to combat that type of playstyle, or is your team even capable of mitigating that type of RNG? If not then you need to be looking at the team building process again and not blaming RNG.

If you want to truly grow as a player you need to get an unclouded view of yourself and the games you play. Realizing you can take the blame for all your losses will allow you to properly take notes to gain the information that each and every game gives you and begin to grow as a player much faster.

Reviewing these notes by yourself or with a group of friends will give you a better view of how to approach some games in the future and better plan out your game plans.

If you find yourself only taking “bad” notes like the ones I stated above then you may need to look into our next step first.

Learn Your Tilt Profile:

This step is for anyone who competes, but is highly critical to the success of anyone who is trying to be a high level competitor and continually grow. To identify your tilt profile you will need to read a specific book which means you will have to either, buy it, borrow it from a library, or get the book via an online book source like Kindle, or Audible. 

The book you will be needing to read is The Mental Game Of Poker Vol.1, By Jared Tendler. In this book Jared goes in depth about the 7 different types of tilt, how to identify if this is a type of tilt you’re suffering from, and how to go about fixing this issue. Most, if not all players suffer from tilt, and if you don’t begin to figure out the true source(s) you will have an extremely hard time overcoming this issue and finding a long term solution to this.

This book was huge for me personally as I was able to target my type of my tilt issues, which were “hate losing tilt” and “entitlement tilt.” I was then able to start working on fixing it with the knowledge gained from that book and now over a year later after reading that book I am able to identify when I’m beginning to tilt, why I’m tilting, and immediately take action to combat the emotion.

The type or types of tilt you are suffering from is different for each individual and their experiences when playing, so you should do whatever is needed to get your hands on this book and begin to learn the steps to prevent heavy tilt in the future.

(Make sure to take notes when you read this book, that way you can go back in the future and easily look back and see what the steps are you need to take when suffering from any type of tilt.)

Turn A Timer On:

Most players when frustrated tend to begin to think less, and play faster (auto pilot). You will want to combat this by turning a timer on and filling out all or most the time allowed each turn. By filling out this time you will be slowing your thoughts down and allowing yourself to think more thoroughly, and clearly. By turning on a timer whether that be the turn timer on Pokémon showdown, the in game timer, or a timer you set yourself, you will begin to see that your speed of play has likely shot up, meaning your quality of play has shot down. It’s easy to get caught up in a tilt trap and just start clicking buttons on auto pilot but doing so is like feeding a fire gasoline instead of water.

Don’t make the timer rush you, the point of the timer is to show you how much thinking time you are leaving on the table when you are tilted, so if you aren’t playing fast and are still taking it slow and adding the timer adds more stress for you then skip this step.

Take A Break:

This is the most obvious step, but also one of the most important. If you are filled with emotions that are causing you to feel poor then continuing playing and gambling if the games go your way or not, you are putting yourself in danger of not only further damaging your mental state in the current session, but also leaking that emotional state into your next session(s) of play

Taking a break could mean a short break, or a long break of a few days or a week. If you’re reading this then I assume you’re trying to become the best VGC player you can be so I don’t recommend you take long breaks from just losing streaks and only take long breaks from true burnout. As such I will only be talking about short breaks that last only a few hours or the remainder of that day.

Taking a break could be many things, but whatever it is for you make sure it’s something that can clear your mind and allow you to begin to think clearly, and not something that will just distract you from the feeling.

By this I mean do something that you truly enjoy like, going for a walk, playing a sport, doing some art, playing music, reading a book, playing your favorite game, hanging out with friends, or working on a project to name a few. Things like this let you express yourself so that you can get this feeling off your chest and begin to actually see an uplifting effect in your mood.

Avoid activities that only distract you from your feelings like TV, and social media as these aren’t things that are going to bring you true joy as much as they will just be a distraction.

You want to do something that is going to pick up your mood so that when you return to playing you aren’t still in a mindset of “I’m just going to lose anyway” or “here goes the loss train!” If you let yourself just sit at home doing other distracting habits you will sit in these emotions and although they might be muted they won’t get any better in the long run. As to where if you do something you really enjoy like the previous list you will be able to start getting the feeling off your chest and be able to give yourself the best chance at coming back bigger and better.

Find A Motivational Source:

Everyone needs a pick me up from time to time, and for many people motivation is a great place to look. Although motivation is a fleeting feeling and may only last a short period of time, the feeling you get to get back into the game and improve is sometimes all you need to get back to playing and potentially win streaking. You can find motivation for playing Pokémon from many different sources and that will be up to you to find what best motivates you. 

For me personally if I get into a big rut I usually watch World Championship top cut matches, or vlogs from events on YouTube. The world’s content for me reminds me of the level of play I’m trying to be at, and puts into my head that I must get over the tilt and begin to learn from my mistakes if I want to be at the highest level of competition once the next WCS comes. The Vlog style content brings me back to my happiest days being at events, hanging out with friends, and having weekends solely dedicated to Pokémon and friends which for me always puts me in the Pokémon mindset.

It could be some other source too, I also get a lot of inspiration from top athletes or greats like Olympians, Kobe Bryant, David Goggins, Magnus Carlsen, or even great esport teams like 2x TI winners OG, or your favorite League of Legends team. It’s all about getting you back into the winning and learning mindset. The fact is no great competitor got to where they are without learning how to get over tilt, frustration, and loss streaks. If you find motivation from someone great then you should follow the saying “genius leaves clues” and listen intently to your idols and find out what they do to get over the hump, and why they did it even when they didn’t want to.

If you don’t have any sources that highly motivate you to do better in all that you do, then I recommend you spend time finding that motivation. There is nearly endless content about/from people who have done great things in their lives and the gaming communities. If you just put in the work to watch, read, and learn then I’m sure over time you will begin to find sources of motivation to begin pulling out of the back of your mind when you need it the most inside and outside of VGC.

Play With Others:

Sometimes the best way to end a loss streak is to get together with some friends and play the games out as a group. Doing so will prevent you from playing on auto pilot which is the main fuel for most losing streaks. Playing with friends will also provide you with different thought processes when looking at a turn to help you get out of the mindset you’re in which may be losing you games, as well as potentially help you improve your team with your combined game sense.

Playing with friends will also provide you with some support so even if you do keep losing at least you can be on a call with your friends who will be there to support you, joke with you, and talk Pokémon with you. 

If you are brand new into the community and need help finding friends then check out this article here where I give you some discords to join.

Write Down In A Journal/Talk To Someone:

One of the best ways for me to release negative emotions in any area of my life is to physically write it down in a journal. For me doing this act allows me to really go all in on how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking about the situation. Whenever I do this I am able to clear my mind, and begin to relieve myself of stress, not fully, but a large portion. 

Now for me, this isn’t something I write then give to someone, no, this journal I have is for my eyes only, so don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed and hold back with what you write. Now if you want to write it down and let someone else read it so they can relate to your situation then that is perfectly ok and is up to the individual and their comfort level in the people around them. This is why I also add to talk to someone, if you need to really get something off your chest and you believe talking to someone else will help, then find a trusted friend, or family member and explain to them everything you feel about your loss streak, what went wrong, how it makes you feel, and what you’re going to do about it.

This will also work for all areas of life, I personally journal everyday as the last thing I do before I go to bed and it allows me to get any thoughts out of my head to either review the next day or to just relieve myself before I sleep. This may be a habit you should consider picking up if you are having issues expressing yourself to others or just want to track your progress.

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!

Published by Primitive

My name is Michael, but if you know my from competitive gaming you probably know me as Primitive. I'm a life long competitor in various card games, and turn based games who still has the burn to compete and work to be my best. I have been on a health and fitness journey since February 2018 and it is now one of my burning passions, making one of my new major goals to become a personal trainer to help others see the benefits exercise and nutrition can bring!

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