Mental fitness and Tetris training

Thread in 'Discussion' started by colour_thief, 30 May 2008.

  1. As some of you may have noticed, Amnesia is really frustrated at his lack of progress right now. Personally I feel this is because he creates psychological conditions for himself that hinder progress. This is absolutely stuff that everyone can eliminate with a bit of practice and discipline. I'm hoping we can talk about this kind of stuff in this thread and hopefully Amnesia (and others presumeably) can benefit from the discussion.

    Some psychological barriers to progress and training include:

    1. How rested you are.

    2. How sober you are.

    3. Keeping anger under control when you perform poorly.

    4. Keeping stress under control when you perform well.

    I think Amnesia might have low scores in all 4 categories... And it's all stuff that doesn't have to hold back your progress.

    1. Being rested

    This should be self evident. While it is possible to play well when you aren't rested, you will play more consistently well, and also learn faster, if you get a good night's sleep.

    2. Being sober

    A beer or two never hurt anyone. But if I get drunk, even if I'm not hung over the next day, I find I can't concentrate 100% for the next couple days. With a clear head you will play more consistently and also learn faster.

    3. Anger

    When you get angry while playing, you play without truly committing yourself to playing. You're likely to suicide at the slightest mistake, essentially giving up if the game actually makes you think. In this case, forget about learning faster or slower. You're instead not even giving yourself the opportunity to learn at all.

    4. Stress

    If you're doing everything else right, you would get you some nice consistent results and a good pace of learning. But getting too stressed about things when you approach a record (or are even just playing well) is a sure way to end your best runs prematurely and prevent a new record for an extended period of time. This is perhaps the hardest psychological thing to change... All I can recommend is being so concentrated on playing that no other details matters. Easily stressed people should definitely avoid looking at the time or level or any other thing that is likely to stress them.
  2. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    First, thx you very much for this topic..

    1 : I agree, I only sleep a bit over 5 hours per night, and I am always a bit stressed for school work..

    2 : I disagree, when I did in the same day, recently, M6 and sudden ti 483 @ 2:23, it was after a hard party the evening before..And strangely, my DEATH 634 has been performed after a drunken evening..

    Ok, surely some coincidences..

    3 : It is a big defaut I have, and the more I struggle, the more I become excited and angry..It is a vicious circle.

    4 : easy to say..I don't see how to remove this defaut..It occured this evening again, in preventing me to perform my fastest M rank at ~3:06-07..
  3. Udy

    Udy Unregistered

    Good tips, although I may have to concur with Amnesia. I've blitzed my Tetris Zone challenge score by aroun 15% today and I've had a stinking hangover all day. I get the theory but sometimes when I'm a little out of it I find it easier to drift into the trance where I can just play without thinking. The second I think physically about what my fingers I doing it the second it all goes wrong for me.

    I'll agree with the stress stuff though, I find if I start getting angry a nice cup of English tea does the trick [​IMG]
  4. I sometimes get surprisingly good (read: better than average) games right after karate. I don't know if it's because I'm physically tired and thus more relaxed or if it's because I'm more alert than usual (not being alert in a combat is a bad thing).
  5. Nice topic!

    1. Sleep: I'm mostly rested, but sometimes I'm <i>too</i> rested, when I've slept too much and feel like a zombie all day... Those days are really annoying, because I don't know if I can do anything about it during the day, to feel less like a zombie. Those days it feels like I can't do anything at my full potential and just think "maaan!! now I have to wait a whole day.. ;_;".

    2. Alcohol: I don't drink. I've never been drunk either, hehe.. [​IMG]

    3. Anger: When I've played for a while I can get angry, but I will calm myself down as soon as I notice (but sometimes, it can take a while and I'll just zombie train <_<). One funny thing though is that if someone says I suck at a game, I'll get angry and really give all I've got and play really serious, to prove them otherwise. I don't like it because it hurts my feelings, but it has repeatedly shown that in such times, I perform better in a game. But still, I'd rather not get hurt and play sucky than get hurt (and not having a good time) playing awesome...

    4. Stress: Wow, this really is my Achilles' heel. Even if I don't look at the level counter or the progressed time, I'll still hear the level up sound (no, I won't turn off my sound) and <i>feel</i> when I'm about the break a record. I can get that feeling really early in the game, messing it up early. Which sucks. Because that means I'll reach my record not so many times, and when I do, I'll be even more hyped up I'm there. .. gah, damn evil circle. I do think I'm better at controlling my stress in Tetris now than in the beginning, but I still suck at it.
  6. For the last few weeks I've not had school. As well as meaning I have more free time to actually play, it means I'm not getting up before 7am every morning as well. I wouldn't be surprised if having more than enough sleep each night is responsible for my recent improvement (as well as my good mood) on top of just being able to play more often and for longer.

    Your mind learns and functions better when you're more awake, as well as the fact that sleep is crucial to solidify the learning. Especially for repetitive thinking which is the case for Tetris.

  7. I didn't say you can't break a new record under such circumstances. But you will play less consistently and you will not efficiently learn. There are definitely only disadvantages.

    If you want a practical comparison of our mental fitness, simply recall when we were playing together and you would often become mentally exhausted and need a break. When you would do this, I would often keep playing without lowering the quality of my play (in fact I think I set a new personal best in Doubles with DeHackEd). Whatever the reason, it really seems to me like you are mentally out of shape (pas en forme). While I am comfortable to keep going, you have to stop and catch your breath (reprendre ton souffle). If you improved your mental fitness I feel your abilities would really skyrocket... Few players here have as much passion for successful as you do.

    DIGITAL Unregistered

    1. Rest. I definitely believe this is the biggest factor. After a good nap, I find that I'm able to focus my attention on the game more easily without zoning out. Unconsciously zoning out from distractions is the worst thing that can happen during training. You may not even notice that you're thinking about other things while playing and seemingly perform worse without knowing why. You may feel that you have the energy to play and concentrate but try playing after a good rest a couple of times. You'll magically improve.

    2. I don't drink or do drugs and the like so I wouldn't know. [​IMG]

    3. Yeah, this is another one of those unconscious distractions and is one reason why playing for prolonged periods isn't a good idea. A good break or rest will calm you down. Peak performance tends to be achieved when you're not aroused to an extreme.

    4. Same as number 3 in that you're too aroused to fully concentrate. Your excitement may make you become more "aware" of your placements and then you start to over think...then blank out when something unexpected happens. The decrease in instinctive placements will cause you to make more mistakes than you would have otherwise. For me, it seems the only way to extinguish this feeling is to hit the same point over and over. The repeated attempts gradually lower your excitement as you near your peak. Unfortunately, it's a cycle that has to be repeated every time you set a new record.
  9. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    It is amazing...Every time I leave a stagnation period with a new record, like this one currently, I always think :

    "No I have not to be worried anymore..I still finish to improve yet.." [​IMG]

    Tetris is not the only one domain where I easily lose my confidence..It is the same with school work, girls, etc..

    A question I have right now in my mind, what should I practice if I really want to increase my effective speed ?

    - DEATH 300 with manual lock ?

    - DEATH 500 with manual lock ?

    - sudden ti 300 with manual lock ?

    - sudden ti 500 with manual lock ?

    - sudden ti 1200 ?

    - lockjaw 40 ?
  10. Altimor

    Altimor a.k.a. Ghett0

    DEATH 300 locking : Come on Amnesia, you've seen speeds faster than this on ti sudden. Go for it!

    DEATH 500 w/ manual lock : Yes. Death 500 is basically the equivalent of Ti Sudden 300.

    Sudden Ti 300 w/ manual lock? I can see you playing at that speed.

    Sudden Ti 500 w/ manual lock : When you start locking at 300 and break the torikan.

    Sudden Ti 1200 is out of your reach. Only DIGITAL and kotetsu are that good.

    LJ 40L : Yes! This is a good speed trainer.
  11. ^ this post fails, ignore it

    1200 teaches you to pay the HECK attention to what's going on... other than that, it's not worth much if you can't keep up in the first place...

    I really don't like 40 lines, to me it's more of a challenge of how fast you can clear 40 lines, nothing carries over from here to anything else.

    Honestly if you want to become faster in one area then you have to practice in that area... "Overall" is just too vague.
  12. jujube

    jujube Unregistered

    i think a good way to avoid anger and frustration is to give yourself as many sidegoals as possible. when you have a specific ultimate goal in mind (like reaching a record high level) you're just playing pass/fail tetris and a vast majority of the time you're failing. there are all types of other things to play for (section times, tetrises, T-spins, seeing a naked picture of a hot chick, cools, bravos, high TPM without a record time).

    multiplayer gives you many chances to win on your way to the ultimate goal (consistently beating strong players). even if you're having a bad day you'll still win a few games. as long as you're not adjusting your self-worth by your adjusted rating after every single game you'll have fun.
  13. Amnesia, if breaking the torikan on Shirase is your aim, then my suggestion would definitely be to practice Shirase 300 with manual locking.

    I didn't train for it as such, but it was being able to do it that let me break the torikan. The single run in which I did it shows just how much difference it makes. My 0~300 speed was poor, and my second section was awful, yet locking frantically past 300 allowed me to still scrape under the torikan time.
  14. cdsboy

    cdsboy Unregistered

    I think the stress is a huge deal. With my current record (i got it tonight 492 @ 2:44:85) shortly after breaking 300 i told my little brother who was sitting next to me it was going to be a good game. It turns out thats not such a good idea. By 400 i was almost sweating and the look on my face must have been pure pain because i had psyched myself out so bad.
  15. Don't focus on specifics too much. Like, don't just play death 300 in hopes of improving your 300 game. Just play a bunch of normal games of Death. Same goes for any other mode. You improve more evenly.
  16. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    hmm my god..You are comparing Zidane and Ronadinho..

    Thank you for advices anyway !
  17. Ai


    1. I try to sleep at least 7 hours every night and it's just like Meroigo mentioned. Sometimes too much sleep isn't that good either.

    2. I don't drink either. My friends think it's weird, but I'm happy I'm not the only one over here.

    3. I don't get angry quite easily and I don't think I've been all that angry about games before. It's more frustration and losing confidence when I keep messing up early on or near my personal best. In the past I would just give up and try again when I messed up early on. But now I try to finish every game with the thought that it's useful practice.

    Maybe I should start getting angry instead of losing confidence when something just won't happen the way I want it. Look at where it got Amnesia! ^^

    4. This is clearly one of my biggest problems. That's why for a while I've been playing without sound in some games and just trying to focuse entirely on the game. I have improved a bit but clearly not enough yet. At least I'm not shacking like hell anymore when I feel I'm nearing my personal best.

    What is very difficult at the moment is getting in that "trance" state where I feel one with the game. When I start thinking during play it hinders my game. Most of the time I start thinking about the rotation of tetrominoes which is not really surprising if you now how many times I tried to adapt to a new way of playing (new button mapping, changing hands, using different input methods etc.). Or when the ghost piece disappears I start playing more carefully in order not to make any misdrops. It's plain simply fear to mess up. But once the gravity goes up a bit I don't have the time to worry about misdrops anymore. :p
  18. Death 500 is not the same as Shirase 300. They're both fast, but I know just from playing they're not the same. I can lock manually on one with mild success, on the other I'll make mistakes pretty often and die quickly.

    I actually find anger helps my performance. Maybe not when I'm just in a completely rubbish mood, but when I'm a little frustrated I find it helps me take a step back and refocus my concentration.

    Best Tetris is played though when I'm in some weird Zen zone mentally. I don't think about anything or even seem to focus my eyes on the playing field. I'm just staring almost blankly into the middle and my mind and hands are working instinctively without any concious effort.
  19. Shirase 300 is faster than Death 500, by about 2 frames of ARE and DAS.
  20. Muf


    This is usually how I practice. When I'm bored and need to kill time I just fire up texmaster or ndstgm and blankly stare at the screen while my hands instinctively press the buttons. The only time that I "wake up" from this state is when I've just done an awesome recovery or some cool move that I hadn't been able to properly pull off before. Other than that, if you put a camera to my face you probably wouldn't be able to tell from my expression that I'm playing one of the hardest games in the world [​IMG].

    For me, new records come when I:

    - haven't taken my Tramadol (painkiller with adverse effects on reaction speed), and haven't had alcohol or pot

    - have mostly played rubbish games, and have motivation to "at least get to section xxx this session"

    - am not cranky for any reason at all (be it lack of sleep, or annoyance, or stress), cause else I'll blame the randomiser and/or input faults for every little thing (input faults don't apply for ndstgm, as it's the most responsive Tetris game i've ever played and even when cranky I don't have anything bad to say about it)

    Interestingly, whenever I play good games random phrases pop up into my head that have nothing to do with me, my thoughts, or my interests. It almost seems like telepathy of sorts. The annoying thing is whenever a really random one pops up, I start wondering why the hell I'm thinking about it, which messes with my concentration.

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