There have been multiple studies into the effects that visualizing practice can have on learning a new skill, or honing one you’ve already learned. It’s the idea that going through the motions in your head fires the same pattern of neurons as actually doing the activity, and it’s used as a way for athletes to practice something, even when they’re resting their bodies.
As it turns out, you can actually apply that whole concept to Rocket League. Now, while you’re not going to be picturing the specific button presses you’re going to be making in any given match, you can replicate it by simply watching other people play the game. In fact, if you’re not watching gameplay as well as practising and playing games, you’re probably doing yourself a disservice.
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Watch Rocket League to get better at Rocket League
There are a few caveats here to get the most out of it, at least in our experience. While watching any Rocket League gameplay can help with your general game sense and familiarity with things like how the ball moves, you’re nearly always better off watching players who are the same level or better than you.
There is an upper limit to this though. If you’re a Plat watching an SSL play, you’re definitely going to gain something from it, but it’s going to be hard to apply anything you learn because you’ll likely lack the skill necessary to do so. So, it’s generally best to stick to watching players no more than two full ranks above you. That means that if you’re a Plat, you should be watching players who are up to Champ level, but not beyond that.
This is one of the reasons that videos where high-level players play as though they were a lower rank, like Lethamyr’s Road to SSL series, are so informative and beneficial. It’s not just telling you what to do and how to improve, but also showing you how you should be playing if you suddenly became incapable of making mistakes. This perfect example of how a player of your rank should be playing, an explanation of the things that you should be doing, and then a demonstration of those things, will seep into your brain and become a part of your thinking process.
It doesn’t always have to informative either. Even if all you’re doing is just chilling out and watching some streamers messing around with mechanics or just playing the game, you’ll start to assimilate some of the things you could be doing into your game. It’s an excellent way to get better at Rocket League, and it’s by far the lowest effort thing you could be doing right now to rank up.