mostafa.saad.fci's blog

By mostafa.saad.fci, history, 9 days ago, In English,

We talk a lot about training and problem solving, but much less about Psychological Concerns in Competitive Programming that we face. Meanwhile, these Psychological Concerns slow the progress of many trainees.

I will record soon a video (in my Arabic Competitive Programming Channel). I would like to share with you the slides of this video. It might not be so clear (as they are just slides), but still could be useful.

Feel free to comment with whatever suggestions/corrections. I will record the video in Arabic as usual. If some volunteers provided sub-titles for it, I will share the video link.

Have fun but take care of your mental health :)

 
 
 
 
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9 days ago, # |
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Good Day to you Sir,

My favorite line in the slides we must focus on the things that are in our reach. Thank you for motivating me.

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9 days ago, # |
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Yes! Psychology plays an important role in CP. I participated in 100+ contests till this date, and I remember messing-up a lot of them on even easiest of problems just because I was too stressed or overthinking or there was always a fear of rating-loss in the background of my mind. Moreover there would be kind of panick attack when I start from probelm D and got WA. And many more things like that. It's not that I don't know stuffs. I studied extensively a lots of DS and algorithms and practiced atleast 10-15 on all of them, still I am stuck in cyan due to these psychological issues. Thanks for those slides. I found them very helpful. I'll try to follow atleast some of them.

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9 days ago, # |
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Sometimes I lose track of time while thinking about a problem. If I continuously check time, I feel pressure and lose focus. Could you please suggest me a way to balance between these two?

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    3 days ago, # ^ |
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    ShafinKhadem hard question. I understand how checking time can be a source of stress. All of us do so during the contest. Maybe train your mind to check the time/progress after every ~20 min or use a timer.

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8 days ago, # |
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Wow, you had views from a lot of different perspectives. However, one of the biggest issue of mine is physical stamina. Having to focus for 5 hours straight is hard. I get tired after 2 hours and i become lot less competitive after 2 hours. It would be nice if you could also mention how to keep your form during competitions :)

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    7 days ago, # ^ |
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    Do u mean mental stamina tmw168_orz?

    Stamina is the ability to sustain lengthy physical or mental effort

    For mental stamina, we have 2 things to consider in my opinion:

    • Ability to sustain the effort for 5 hours (contest period in ICPC/IOI)
    • Ability to sustain the effort for ~2 hours in tackling a hard problem (some problems require several observations/thoughts + long tricky impl)

    Tips:

    • First, handle what affects negatively the stamina (e.g. contest pressure & -ve thoughts)
    • Like anything, stamina is enhanced in a gradual manner. Identify your current stamina boundary and gradually enhance it. Don't wait until a few weeks before the actual onsite contest.
    • E.g. maybe in your training, create a virtual contest for 3-4 medium/hard problems and tackle them as if you are in a contest.
    • You don't need all your training contests to be 5 hours. Many of them could be 3.5 hours and push to 4-5 hours before the onsite contest.
    • Take these training contests as serious as the real contests. Same concentration level. Same expected behavior (E.g. in ICPC contest, we get a penalty for a wrong submission. In your training don't just make a dozen of submissions or rush to the wrong test cases)

    NourElRashidy I remember you mentioned the importance of stamina a lot for your college teams. Any thoughts? OreWaFujimiNoKeeDaaa?

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      7 days ago, # ^ |
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      Well, I think that it is more of a physical issue than a mental issue. I dont think that i am much affected by contest pressure or negative thoughts. I get symptopms like yawning or head-ache. I think that maybe somewhat related to my health...

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      4 days ago, # ^ |
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      Another factor is context switching like thinking about multiple problems at the same time, switching between problems or postponing a problem to later phase of the contest. All of these drain the stamina fast but focusing on one problem isn't optimal either

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8 days ago, # |
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Great slides! Help to keep you in the right mood. Also, probably, it would be interesting to add something about how much it usually takes to improve not in number of prblems solved but in months-years of training. For example, to get to high level (mentioned 2000-2400) it often takes 2-3 years of actually intensive training (10+ hours weekly), so expecting a good result after 6 months of hard work in general case may be too optimistic.

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7 days ago, # |
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Last week I put semicolons at the end of each sentence when I was writing my paper. CP has become a part of my life and affects my daily life (accidentally subtracting 1 at the end of everything).

Not sure if this is good or bad.

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    6 days ago, # ^ |
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    Com'on you have only 5 pages of submissions :)

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      6 days ago, # ^ |
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      Submit mostly on uva

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      4 days ago, # ^ |
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      Com'on you just have 200 AC solutions that would take just 4 submission page if you 're not 1400.

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    6 days ago, # ^ |
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    16 years old boy after his first drink: I've become an alcohol addict.

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2 days ago, # |
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Nice initiative