Psychological Mistakes

A quote from The Art of Learning really hit me this morning:

Disappointment is a part of the road to greatness. When a few moments pass, in a quiet voice, she can ask Danny if he knows what happened in the game. Hopefully the language between parent and child will already be established so Danny knows his mom is asking about psychology, not chess moves (almost all mistakes have both technical and metal components–the chess lessons should be left for after the tournament, when Danny and his teacher study the games).

This appears to be a flaw for a lot of people. The first analysis immediately after a game, players tend to focus on the details of the match, “If I had just scouted more, if I build X rather than Y.” This is contrary to what Josh Waitzkin says about paying attention to the psychological mistakes immediately after.

In StarCraft 2 we have the luxury of being able to watch replays. I can look back and see all the technical mistakes I made very easily. This doesn’t retain my psychological state though, which is much more ephemeral. I am going to make this a component of my practice and play. How did I feel, was I feeling rushed, behind, overly confident, was I able to enter flow or not. These are questions I need to start asking myself.

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