This blog is not entirely about Smash, but more about life. It's about something I'm thinking about right now, and I want to encourage other people to think about. I'm writing it as much in an effort to share my thoughts as I am writing it to try and understand my own. It was inspired by this video, specifically around 1:21: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvOUVil7W5s
What do you want?
Why do you want to be good at Smash? Why do you spend your hours playing this game rather than at your job, studying math, picking up girls, working out, learning guitar, writing your novel? What is your goal? Why is this important to you?
I've asked people what their targets are when they play, I've received lots of different answers. Some people just want to make it out of pools, some people just want to avoid going 0-2, some people want to be the best with X character, some people say "I want to be a top player." One answer I liked was "you know how when people play you they're like, 'oh shit I have to play Wobbles.' I want people to say that when they play me." Nice one.
Though I didn't ask him directly, my favorite answer came from Soft when I went to Alabama. I told him, "I'm traveling a lot because I want to get as much practice as I can, since I want to win APEX." You know what his response was?
"So do I."
I guarantee you that Soft will improve faster and rise to higher levels than most other players. He didn't manage to make it out of 2nd round pools, but doesn't that make his goal more impressive? People say, "I want to make it out of my pool," "I just don't want to get last." Soft wanted to take home the whole damn thing.
Remember this. Whenever you stop to pursue a goal, in that time you exclude everything else. When you sit down to play Smash, if you have some goal like "I want to have an amazing Falco," and you don't work towards that goal, then you are failing yourself. You only have so much time in your life. You absolutely MUST spend it pursuing whatever goal is most important to you, and if you're going to spend that time, do not spend it carelessly because you are spending it at the expense of the other things you could be doing.
I wanted--I don't know if I still do--to be the best player in the world. I did not care how many Mangos and Armadas and HBoxes and M2Ks and other top players I would have to surpass to do it; it was my goal. It was stupidly ambitious and audacious to believe it was possible for me, a player who demonstrated no recognizable talent when he started. But it was my target.
And to be honest, I did not have the dedication such a lofty goal deserved. I screwed around, I trained poorly. I've made johns and cop-outs and settled for less than my best. I not only picked a goal that I didn't work my hardest for, I did it at the expense of other things in my life, so I wasted time on multiple fronts. By some weird combination of luck and bursts of obssessive motivation, I've become one of the top players in the country. But I'm damn sure it's no stellar example of how to play and pursue your Smash career, or any other goal in life for that matter.
Don't mess around. Don't give maybes and don't lie to yourself about how you're trying your hardest but other stuff comes up. If something matters to you and you're going to spend your time on it, then don't waste that time. Every moment wasted is irreparable damage to the potential output your life could be creating. If there's something that gets in the way of your goals, then sit down and figure out how to make that obstacle fuck off. No johns, no "it's too hard," if you want it, then go for it, and crush anything in your path.