Master Free Play to Improve Your Mechanics in Rocket League
Tue 11th Feb 2020 - 7:38pm
We all have heard that Free Play is the best way to improve our mechanics. However, haven't we all had that time when we start it up and feel like we just keep pounding the ball against a wall? No flip resets, it just feels like we are mindlessly hitting the ball around with ourselves. But... if almost every pro recommends it, there must be something to it, right? Let me go through four tips to increase your return on all your hours spent in Free Play.
1) Study the Pros
No matter what you are trying to get better at in Rocket League, odds are you have looked at a pro's gameplay to work on improvement. But have you tried it for Free Play? My biggest breakthrough in Rocket League, not just Free Play, was when I started watching pros stream their Free Play. You experience a different way of playing the game this way, and when you try to replicate the amazing things they pull off, it starts to click in your own head about how to do it. When you see your favorite streamer (I recommend Yukeo, AztraL, and ViolentPanda) pull off a move that makes you say, "Man... I'll never be able to do that," do it. Do it over and over until it starts to click. Rewind the stream a few seconds to watch them do it again and replicate it. You will start to not only understand how they did it, but how you can apply your new mechanical abilities to other situations.
2) Perfect Repetition
One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you don't get it wrong." That's deep, huh? When we finally hit that cool shot we have been trying so hard to hit, we can't stop there. Do it again and again, until it becomes second nature. Once you establish the muscle memory for that shot is when it becomes a consistent part of our game. Don't settle for "close enough" and you will begin to see your mechanics improve faster than you think.
3) Avoid Distraction
Okay, I struggle with this one a lot. Do you ever go in Free Play and put a video or podcast on in the background? Maybe call somebody and talk for a while? I'm not saying you won't improve if you do that, but it's easier to learn when you are entirely focused on the task in front of you (in this case, mastering flip resets). It's easier for your brain to remember how to pull off that shot when you are really focused on learning. Practice with a purpose.
4) Focus on One Mechanic at a Time
Whether it is your air dribbles, flicks, or flip resets, when you practice any given mechanic, try practicing just that shot for a while. Maybe it's just ten minutes, or maybe it's an hour before you move on to the next shot but try sticking with it. You will learn a lot faster when, like earlier, you practice until you don't get it wrong. That first time you hit that flip reset will be great but keep reinforcing that mechanic until you get a good handle on it. Not only will you be able to pull off those shots without thinking about it, but it will make learning that next mechanic even easier.
As always, investing time is the best way to improve at something, but it's important to be purpose driven during that time. I hope this advice will help you as much as it helped me. Soon, those montage shots won't just be stuff you see in videos. Good luck!
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