How to pick yourself back up after losing a game

Hello article readers. My name is Rory Toedtemeier.  For those that know me I go to all of the regionals in the Northwest (Oregon and Washington) and I post on many online Yu-Gi-Oh! forums.  For those who don’t today will be a great chance to get do know about me a little bit. Today I’m going to be talking about losing a match early or late on in an event such as a YCS or regionals and how you can still push on through with that record. I’ve been to plenty of regionals and YCS’s in my 8 years of playing and there have been times I’ve done well and times I haven’t but I’ve never let it get me down.  I’m going to tell you a few tips on how to still do well after you hit that mark.

1. Remain confident in yourself

Most players tend to lose their confidence after they go x-2 or x-3 at events. This is easily one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a player. At past events I’ve lost matches that dropped me down to x-1 or x-2 early on and I've felt like a Debbie Downer. Because of this I’ve usually tended to scrub out or completely drop from the event in which I was playing in. First of all you have to remember that Yu-gi-oh! is a somewhat luck based game. There are losses you can prevent by playing well and there are losses you can’t prevent even if you do play well. Sometimes you lose because you drew a bad hand and your opponent drew better than you or your opponent top decks his or her only out like Dark Hole, Heavy Storm, or Monster Reborn for instance. Just remember this happens to everyone. There are times when we top deck our only out and there are other times when our opponents do it.

2. Making the right plays next game or match.

Let’s say you lose game 1, 2, or 3 of your previous match because you accidentally made a minor or crucial misplay. All I’m going to say is that it happens to the best of us. For instance I went to a regional this weekend in Salem Oregon. In game 2 of my round 7 match I was playing against a Hero Beat deck. I won game 1 but I made a big misplay that cost me game 2. Did I beat myself up over it? No I did not. I came back game 3 and won the match. I learned from that misplay and I didn’t feel bad because of it. Good players will eventually realize and learn from their mistakes. You can’t start playing Yu-Gi-Oh! and automatically be really good like Jeff Jones, Billy Brake, or Frazier Smith. If you lose because of a misplay you made you just move on to the next round and try not to make the same mistake.

3. Having the right mindset at events

I’ve gone to events thinking I will go x-2 or x-3 drop because I didn’t feel confident or I would do really well and ended up scrubbing later on. I don’t think you should set up any high or low expectations for any event. If you think you’re going to top and you end up going x-2 or x-3 drop you’ll probably be disappointed. I know this because it’s happened to me. It’s not always your fault though. Maybe something traumatic happened to you the day before the event and you can’t focus to make the right plays because of it or maybe your opponent just got really lucky even after he or she has gone through all of their resources or they top decked their only out in a really close game. Don’t blame yourself for losing after a match.

4. Keep on fighting through

Most players would think that going x-2 or x-3 is a bad thing. It can be but it can also be a blessing in disguise. I’ve personally topped a regional going x-2 but there have also been times I have gone x-2 and missed the top cut. For example I went 6-2 at the regional I went to this weekend and I ended up getting 11th. I was disappointed that I missed the top 8 but I was also satisfied with how I did. I was 3-1 after round 4 in round 5 I had to play my good friend Chris Hentz (he made it to the finals of SJC Seattle 08). I lost that match and now I had an x-2 record but I didn’t let that get to me and I won my last 3 matches in a row.  With that 6-2 record I achieved this weekend I got my invitation to next year’s World Championship Qualifier. If I had dropped from the tournament or felt bad after going x-2 I would have not received the same result.

5. Don’t get ahead of yourself.

The last tip I want to give is about starting well then scrubbing. With starting out going x-1 or x-2 there is always starting out going x-0. But just because you start out x-0 doesn’t always mean you’ll do well or auto top. I’ve been to several events where I have started x-0 but then proceed to scrub out.  This could the result of exhaustion in later rounds, especially when you’ve had little or no sleep the night before or it is humid or hot in the store or venue. Don’t let these things get to you. Make sure you eat a good breakfast and lunch before or during the event and maybe have a small snack to munch on during the tournament as well (trail mix, beef jerky, and literally anything with protein). Also get a good night’s worth of sleep before you head out to the event so you can have a clear mind. I’ve been to plenty of tournaments where I didn’t plan ahead by not eating or sleeping and I suffered (physically and mentally) because of it.

Well I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope to write more of these in the future. Anyways until next time guys see you on the far side.

Rory Toedtemeier


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