Jenn’s Corner #30: Slump-dog

ImageI’m in a slump. I feel good, play good, even win a little bit. Then I give it all back and slump back in my chair…

The past 2 months have been a bit stressful. The parlor just opened, I’m learning how to raise a puppy and for that I had to move on short notice. Because of that I have no internet connection for another week and that makes for a lot of wasted time each day.

These are things I have to block out as a mahjong player. I need to forget about cut little Luna, forget about the edits in my book, forget about the bills I can’t pay if I lose and focus on the board and the tiles in front of me.

In this business your mind is your most important asset and rest is how to keep that asset healthy. Thats something I need to take care of myself. Anyone can learn mahjong, but the ability to focus and concentrate have to be practiced and developed.

During this slump, I have been asked how to become a strong mahjong player. I almost felt bad answering but I realized that I know how to get good at the game and it was a good chance for me to reflect and get my groove back.

I came up with 4 points:

1. Play a lot.
Well, I have that covered. Besides the parlor and MFC I am playing in 3-4 leagues (Pro League, Womens League, North-Kanto League and maybd Champions League) and at least 5 major tournaments this year (Masters, 10-Tier, Pro Queen and OUI). Thats a whole lot of mahjong.

2. Watch the board
While it can be advantageous to read your opponents hands, whats even more important is noticing what theyre doing. If another player is better than you then you should concentrate on what they’re doing and learn from them. Asking questions can work too.

3. Review and Reflect
You should never do this during a game. If you mess up or lose a hand, shut it away in your mind and forget about it. Until the game is over. Then you should go back and remember. Did you lose because you played bad? Or were you unlucky in a race? All players lose hands. Make your losses small and wins big.

4. Have Confidence
There are a lot of players that think they’re the best. It may be true but there are many ways to make a hand in mahjong. If you find something that works for you then keep it up til it stops working. You might have just beat the game. But don’t get cocky about it like them.

It’s a tough road and takes a lot of time to be good at anything but the struggle means you’re improving.

I can’t wait til I’m done being improved.

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