Developing and Maintaining a Winning Mentality
Written by OldBear on September 08, 2009
Developing and Maintaining a Winning Mentalityby Trotsky1
Before I begin this article I would just like to lay out a few things. This article is aimed at the competitive player with the aim of developing some intelligent debate on the topic’s it brings up. I appreciate that people play magic for many different reasons, and winning is only one of them, but even if winning losing is no big deal to you, the attitude I am talking about converts very well into many facets of life and I hope you will still find this article a worthwhile read. One final thing before I begin an apology to those of you who do not like soccer and sports in general; you’ll see why in a second.
Wednesday 26th of May 1999: Manchester Utd is down 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the champions league final. Having barely created a chance all game, with the 90 minutes up and only injury time left to play it looks like united are not going to do the treble this year. The rest is history: two goals in injury time and Manchester Utd go on to do the treble, in a game that they never looked like winning.
Even more impressive was their win in a prior round against Juventus. Juventus were looking to make there 4th champions league final straight and it had been 4 years since they did not make the final of whatever European competition they were in, and they have won their domestic league for the past two years as well. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg at old Trafford things were looking precarious: ten minutes in and Juventus are up 2-0 a double salvo from Inzaghi. Down 2-0 against the toughest defense in all of Europe away from home, most teams would crumble give up the fight. But not this team: they came back and beat the Turin giants 3-2, a testimony to never giving up.
The same mentality is what it takes to be the best at any sport there are many talented players but the one thing the true greats all have is this mentality, so if you want to be the best magic player you can be, you best learn to develop one. But it’s not easy. It may seem to be when you’re winning every game, but when the chips are down, it’s easy for heads to drop and for that confidence to disappear.
All of a sudden you’re conceding games early because you believe you can no longer win. Don’t do it! You’re bemoaning your luck thinking about quitting, constantly complaining about flood and mana screw- do not slip into this cycle of negative thinking! Negative thinking breeds negative thinking. Analyze your defeat for any mistakes so you can learn from then banish it from your mind altogether. Once again, this is much easier said than done; losing is no fun. You must learn to successfully battle the negative feelings and thoughts losing can create. Try thinking back to the times you have triumphed, that PTQ win or near win, those masters top8s, trial wins, the time you came first in the 100m at sports day-- whatever it is get yourself believing you can win again. If you feel those negative thoughts slipping back into your mind, challenge them straight away what about when I did this that etc. --prove them wrong.
Fight to the death- your opponent may make a mistake as the old Jon Finkel adage goes, no matter how good he is. Just as Manchester united did not give up against Juventus back in 1999, do not let that head drop-- some opponents can sense weakness and will capitalize on it.
Recently I had hit a bit of bad form as well, ending in me taking a week-long break from playing magic and changing my Modo quote to worst run of luck ever, which was an exaggeration, plus an unnecessary cheap giving away of information to my opponents about my state of mind.
Do not worry I’m over my slump now and my quote is back too my favourite Bon Jovi song line, which is just so good I am going to share it with you now:
‘When you say your prayers try to understand I’ve made mistakes I’m just a man,’
Of course, it was not entirely bad luck. I was making mistakes as well, which not in the least of was conceding too early. But mostly my classic error is I leak left right and centre more so when I’m down on my confidence. Carelessness: not the traits of a champion. Errors such as not gaining life of firemane angel. The new m10 system is very straight forward (some might say me included to straight forward), but I have needlessly thrown games by carelessly clicking through and not assigning blockers properly, resulting in gravediggers being sent to the graveyard when they should not have been, only to be returned a turn later by his twin. If you can eliminate these sort of errors which come from auto pilot mode and approach the game with the attitude I am preaching and trying to learn, you can undoubtedly improve your results. I’m sure not all of you suffer from the same problems as me; you have your own flaws. However I know from experience that a lot of people do suffer from the same problems I do and hopefully together we can learn and get better.
Anyhow, I caught myself breeding negativity and did everything I could to talk myself out of it and then entered a CBS draft, a format I had been quite successful at, as it was nix tix to try, and I wanted to relive past glories and to get myself in a winning mode again, another way of overcoming a losing streak.
I drafted an almost mono black deck, which cruised its way to the finals with out dropping a game. However, in the final round I dropped game 2, and game 3 was slipping away from me as well. My opponent was at 12 life, and I had 2 Kami of the Waning Moon, a Scourge of Numai, and an Ashen-Skin Zubera in play, and was at 11 life facing down a Kami of the Hunt, 2 snake tokens and a flipped Budoka Pupil with 2 counters on it. If my opponent attacked with more than one creature, which he should to ensure I do not steal the game with devouring greed, I am probably going to lose. However, he only attacked with the flipped Budoka Pupil, which I let through. I untapped, drew, hit him in the air for 2 with my Kami’s of the Waning Moon, and cast my freshly drew devouring greed for exactly lethal. Thank you, Jon Finkel you wise and brilliant man.
So that is one reason not to concede: your opponent may make a mistake. But there is another reason not to in limited and to a lesser extent constructed: you are giving away to your opponent that you do not have certain cards in your deck and losing the battle of information.
How so? If you’re facing down a board you can never beat and you concede a turn early, you’re effectively telling your opponent “My deck does not have a board wiper such as Wrath of God.” Or, if your opponent’s at 5 life, you’re flooded, and you’re facing a massive board and you concede a turn early because no matter what you draw you can not win, you’re telling him your deck has no X spells in like Fireball, Profane Command etc. Instead of doing this when your deck has none of these cards, do not concede—say “Come on fireball, wrath of god,” and give your opponent a bit of misinformation that may just make him play differently and throw a game he could have won.
In summary, this article is about getting into the right mindset. But wait! Did my title not also include the word maintaining? It did! If you saw the champions league final this year that Manchester Utd lost to Barcelona you probably appreciate just how difficult maintaining that winning mentality forever is. Manchester United never looked in the game after the goal went in. Even the greats lose it sometimes, so my question to all you magic-leaguers is: How do you maintain a winning mentality? I need some tips!
by OldBear on 2009-09-08 22:31 CET
Thanks for putting this up.
by Lynolf on 2009-09-08 23:01 CET
I remember a while ago, I was battling 5c Control with my Doran deck. Eventually it came to a state where I had Gaddock Teeg in play and he had Mulldrifter. After that, I was only getting shitty cards, and a bazilion lands, while my opponent couldn't even sweat a spell because of the legendary kithkin.
by Manipul8r on 2009-09-08 23:41 CET
"How do you maintain a winning mentality? I need some tips!"
by Alvaro21k on 2009-09-08 23:54 CET
Something that happened to pretoriano in PT Berlin:
by Lynolf on 2009-09-09 09:46 CET
Manipul8r: Final Judgement. Man how I love that card! XD
by Nickname7 on 2009-09-09 11:40 CET
by Alvaro21k on 2009-09-09 01:54 CET
by OldBear on 2009-09-09 15:13 CET
Okay thanks everyone for sharing.
by Mr_Eko on 2009-09-10 23:53 CET
shrouded indestructible platinum angel....lol Awesome. I can never lose.
by OldBear on 2009-09-11 09:58 CET
Okay I watched that video do not really understand American football but the music was good:P
by CrushU on 2009-09-12 12:31 CET
Heh. "Never give up, never surrender!"
by Larspcus2 on 2009-09-13 07:01 CET
The one good thing about conceding is that it saves time for the rest of the match. In a control mirror, where a game can last upwards of 30 min if the right things happen, conceding to save time for gs 2 and 3 is pretty common, as a 0-1 result in a match is a loss for the match.
by Jacois on 2009-09-14 10:14 CET
Larspcus "The one good thing about conceding is that it saves time for the rest of the match. In a control mirror, where a game can last upwards of 30 min if the right things happen, conceding to save time for gs 2 and 3 is pretty common, as a 0-1 result in a match is a loss for the match."
by svenihilator on 2009-09-21 09:41 CET
I really wanted to read this article, but it started off very poorly and the grammar and writing style used were quite awful. Winning players are usually intelligent players. If you're going to write something for intelligent people to read, you need to write it in an intelligent manner.
by Shagrath on 2009-09-22 11:18 CET
Besides ppl from north, america, no1 understands american football. Dunno why ppl cheer because one team advanced 2 centimeters in the field.
by OldBear on 2009-09-22 22:00 CET
Winning players also have ratings above 1500 on ml, so do intelligent players i do not know what your problem is but get over it. The article is not my normal long flowing sentances as it was edit by whoever does the ml articles, so send your complaints about the grammar to him.
by on 2009-10-22 16:24 CET
I know this article was posted awhile ago but I just read it today and I wanted to take the time to give you my thanks for posting it. Lately I've fallen into the exact realm of negative thinking that you discuss here.
by Zeph on 2009-12-21 08:48 CET
I just read this article. I liked the attitude part. I disagree with the 'giving away information' part, but only a little. I think that sometimes you can avoid giving away info when conceding soon. The opponent maybe didn't see you to play some cards in the entire game and later those cards can give you the match. Just in some cases :) I mean, the whole giving/hiding info is not so black-white. It has grey zones.
Getting Started on Magic-League
Keep track of the latest casino bonuses and games by visiting deutschercasinobonus.com. Our favorite casino guide online.
If you want a good resource for thrilling, exciting and free casino games, Spelautomater.se is well worth the visit! Also, check out the exclusive bonus offers!.
Rules & Guides
Register an account or share the word
Magic-League on Twitter
Twitter plugin disabled