Hey Codeforces Community!
When it comes to defining the most important factors of success in programming competitions, we often agree that experience prevails. However, the purpose of this post is to draw our attention to a not any less important factor — our psychological state during the contest.
How can one deal with stress? Should it be dealt with separately, or maybe enough experience can just put it off?
How often does it happen that we know how to solve a particular problem, but due to either distractions or a panic attack we just cannot get back on track, cannot get back into 'the flow'? I have seen people getting stuck in such a state, and therefore not being able to finish the task. The frustration that comes after such experience is daunting.
Let us address the most experienced participants of this community:
- what do you do before/during contests to ensure staying in the right state of mind?
- what strategies for dealing with stress would you recommend?
- how often does it happen to you that during the contest you are getting stuck in some weird (=inefficient) thinking patterns, which prevent you from performing at your max?
- do you perform any kinds of 'rituals' before the contest to 'tune in', 'get into the flow'? Some world-famous sportsmen are also well-known for such 'rituals', e.g. here is what Rafael Nadal does.
In any case, thank you all for your feedback! ;)
This community has truly become a talent hotbed, where world-class performers can grow.
Edit: it is totally fine to say that experience is the only factor of success in your opinion — the point here is to collect opinions from experienced participants, even if they are very similar!