Maintaining your Composure

Hello everyone! In this week’s article I want to address one of the things that takes both experienced players and new players’ victim. That one thing is the toughest opponent you will ever sit down and play, and that opponent is the six inches between your ears. In any activity you take place in, you will always do better if you are totally and 100% focused on the task at hand. For example, if you’re the quarterback of a football team and your head is not completely focused on reading the defense, the chances are the play is not going to go as it is drawn up. Yu-Gi-Oh is a game that takes an immense amount of skill and planning multiple moves in advance, and I’m going to give you just a few helpful tips that can help you regain your composure and be ready to take on the next round. I comprised all the things that cause you to lose composure into these three things:

Losing games you shouldn’t have lost

Losing at a top table

Judge calls

Losing games you shouldn’t have lost

One thing players (including myself) get extremely irritated with is losing in a situation where you felt like you had the game. At ARG Columbus in the 5th round I was sitting 4-0 and felt great. I had won game one but lost game two. Game three was a grind game eventually I gained the upper hand and help like I had an extremely good board set up, all I lacked was an emptiness to seal the game. My opponent draws for turn and it happens to be soul charge, he brings back a huge field wipes mine and wins the game because of it. After that round I was beyond dejected. However, I was forced to forget about it and move on because there was nothing I could do about it in the game or after the game. This is where many players face a HUGE challenge within themselves. Next time you go to an event, walk around the arena and observe the moral of some of the players. If you see someone dwelling on a loss, there is a very good chance that he will continue to put forth that attitude toward the rest of his games. This will cause him to misplay and decrease his chances of topping the event.

Losing at a top table

This is one thing many players (mainly new ones) will just completely shut down after it happens. I recently attended a regional an observed this exact case. It was round 6 at table 1. A burning abyss player had just been 2-0’d by a shaddol player and was irate about it. He refused to shake his opponents hand, threw his mat on the ground, and tossed his cards into his bag all while throwing a profane temper tantrum. I wasn’t surprised when I found out the guy lost his next three rounds putting him at X4 and he didn’t get his invite. It was clear to me that he never got over his table 1 loss, causing him to not only miss the top 8 mat he wanted, missing his invite altogether. All of this could have easily been avoided if he just picked up and cleared his head and moved on. My golf coach Terry Hale always told me “always worry about the next shot, because the one you just took is no longer important.” Even though this is a golf expression, it is very relevant in Yu-Gi-Oh. You cannot allow yourself to continue to think about games you already played, you have to use them as a learning experience, correct any misplays, and move on.

Judge Calls

This is the one thing that even recently I struggled with myself. No matter how hard you try, at one point in your Yu-Gi-Oh career you will have at least one altercation with a judge that you feel was not correct. This past weekend at a regional I was at table 4 ready to get my top 8 virgil mat when I was picked for a random deck check. Some less than fortunate things happened while picking up my deck and I received a game loss for having one of my cards in my main deck not turned the same direction as the others. I was very upset, but I did not do what I should have done and moved on. Instead I barely paid attention to my game causing me to lose game two and then scooping to my last round opponent because I already had my invite and was far too annoyed to play the game. What I should have done is took a second to re-gain my composure and simply forget about it and do my best to pretend it didn’t happen. What you always have to do is remember that judges are always there for the enjoyment of the players. They don’t target you or show bias, they just want everyone to enjoy the event. Unfortunately, in any dispute there will always be one side that is not happy. So should you find yourself in this situation simply make sure you understand the ruling completely and then push it out of your head, don’t allow it to affect your play. As I mentioned at the start, the hardest opponent you’ll ever play is yourself. This simple fact separates the decent players from the great players. You will never be able to advance yourself in this game if you always think about what could have been instead of what will be. Yu-Gi-Oh! Is a game of mental skill, and if you allow yourself to lose composure over something mentioned above, or anything else, you’re going to find topping events to become more and more difficult. However, if you use the advice I’ve given you, then the sky is the limit for you. I can’t wait to continue to interact with all of you, and I hope maybe you’ve learned something from me! And as always, Play Hard or Go Home!

Dan Barnes

Dan Barnes

Hey Guys! I'm 17 and go to Vinton County highschool in Ohio. I aspire to do great things in this game and am here to help you all grow along with me!
Dan Barnes
Dan Barnes

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