Discussion Deliberate Practice

Discussion in 'PTCG Competitive Play' started by Madifz, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Madifz Aspiring Trainer


    Hi, I'm a relatively new player that started in late Sep 18. Early on, I read posts on Virbank/HeyFonte/Reddit and watched YouTube posts of popular players to get a better understanding of the game. 5 months on, while I still do keep up to date with the meta shift, latest archetypes (and how to play them), and practice on PTCGO and IRL playtesting or league, I seem to have hit a plateau in my improvement at the game.

    Before coming into this game, I've read on the idea of deliberate practice; a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic requireing focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. (James Clear has a good article on this on his blog, and Malcolm Gladwell also touched on this in his book Outliers). I previously posted a question on this on r/pkmntcg. I got the following advice:
    - Practise on PTCGO
    - Practise with a playtesting partner
    - keeping a mental decklist (i.e. what's prized, in deck or discard pile)
    - watching top players on YouTube and Twitch who talk through their plays and decision-making
    - watching replays of irl tourneys and benchmark personal play VS what the player played
    - Practising solitaire the first few turns of deck
    - Reading current cards

    Despite all this, while I still improve, it feels a bit inefficient and I'm looking to see if there's a better way for me to practice. Was wondering if anyone can share some of the best ways to practice? One way I've been thinking about recently is to record my ptcgo games and replay them to review each play I make. Still trying to get the software right for my computer though to do that.

  2. Otaku The wise fool?


    Unfortunately, I can't think of a better way to practice, at least in an intensive manner. What I can tell you is that you're probably past the early stages of improvement; beginners learn quickly because they're beginners. It will be more difficult to measure your progress now because it is simply going to be gradual. You might still learn a new trick or technique or even way of thinking... but it won't feel like the kind of leap in learning you've been experiencing.

    To be honest, it is something many long-time players may only dimly appreciate, with it being highlighted best while teaching others. Which might be the next step; helping others often helps reinforce the basics at the same time it makes it much easier to understand the more subtle areas in which you have improved. I'd have suggested it as the next step but it is the kind of thing one needs to be careful with; you don't want it to turn into just using others for your own benefit, and teaching can be quite, quite difficult as well. ^^'
    Madifz likes this.
  3. PokeMedic Don't talk to me or my Pokemon ever again

    Articles Staff Activities Staff Member

    It's always best to study what people are using and figure out why. For example you have Macargo for Smooth Over because you can get that card right away with Zoroark-GX. Learned that the hard way.
    Madifz and snoopy369 like this.
  4. Madifz Aspiring Trainer


    You're right, in the initial stages there were several times when I felt I had made leaps of improvement; now it feels very gradual and incremental. I used to play abit of vgc and with battle viewer and pokemon showdown, it was very easy to replay my past games. With ptcg i found it a bit more difficult as you have to set up additional software and/or hardware to recorf ptcgo or irl games. I like what you mentioned about teaching others, it reminds me of the feynman technique where you learn more by teaching a specific topic.
    Otaku likes this.
  5. PlasmaSim Aspiring Trainer


    Delibarate practice is definitly the best way to improve, it's hard though to think about ways to enter that state of "delibarate practice" in every domain.

    I would suggest watching Pros whithout sound, pausing the game and trying to anticipate their next move and then press play again.

    What do you think ?
  6. AngryBokoblin Guzzlord is fun


    I play a certain matchup repeatedly to better learn how my deck functions in that matchup and learn more about what my opponents usually do.
    Being able to guess what your opponent wants to do with their deck helps you make the right plays with your deck.
  7. Otaku The wise fool?


    Another tactic is to find someone who will let you "rewind". Say you have to make a tough choice and option A causes you to lose? You and your opponent rewind as best as you can so you can try Option B. In fact, not just when you lose... but when you win as well. Sometimes, identifying the wrong choice is more important than figuring out the right one (or at least, the "perfect" one).
    AngryBokoblin likes this.

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