On some nights when I’m lost in the profundities of life, I find myself unable to sleep because of an undying urge in me to find answers to questions that have remained unanswered since the beginning of time itself.
One of these questions is “What is this life and why am I here?” the other is “Why do I whiff so much in Rocket League? And when will I bloody stop?”. That first question is so pointless that it never gets objective answers. Therefore let’s focus on Whiffing in Rocket League.
To not whiff as much as you normally do, try slowing down and playing at your own pace, work on better positioning, and practice playing with a calmer more relaxed mindset.
What is Whiffing?
Whiff is an onomatopoeia – the word comes from the sound you make when you attempt to do something but end up missing. The origins of the word whiff are unclear but it is commonly used in sports and video games.
In Rocket League, a whiff is when you miss the ball while you intended to hit it – this is me most of the time.
Why do I Whiff so much?
It’s hard to pin this down to a single cause or reason. I’ve analyzed plenty of my replays so I can tell you about me.
If you too are in the lower ranks like me then you may find some of these reasons common to you. Some of these may even be true for players at higher ranks.
I whiff a lot when one or more of the following is true:
- I’m going too fast
- I’m badly positioned for the shot
- I’m trying too hard and being overly self-aware (mainly about how much I suck)
How to stop Whiffing?
If you watch intermediate to advanced level games, you can see experienced players whiffing while trying to hit something as simple as a hook shot.
Honestly, I don’t think players ever stop whiffing. Rocket League is made in a way such that there is always something new to learn for players at all levels. Therefore no matter how good you get there will always be some whiffing.
However, if you begin addressing the causes we just spoke of in your practice you may begin to see some improvement. So, here are three solutions on how to whiff less or how to hit the ball consistently.
If you whiff over 50% of the shots you attempt then it is likely that you are trying to play the game faster than you can manage to. Slow down or useless boost than what you typically do. Wait before taking shots.
Often, the pressure of winning in online games can be overwhelming for a lot of players. This causes them to run around like their head is on fire. Try not to do that.
Instead, slow down, take a moment to see what’s going on in the game, and learn to play at your own pace. This approach will make you a better player overall.
In Rocket League good positioning solves a lot of problems. And whiffing is certainly one of them. You’ll find yourself whiffing a lot when you are trying to take shots from bad angles which most likely means that you were out of position in the first place.
This in turn means you shouldn’t be even attempting to take some of the shots that you are missing and instead rotate or move to a better position and let the ball come to you.
This last point is more about the mental aspect of playing the game. Don’t get in your way.
Trying too hard can get you overly excited or anxious in the game. So many of us are bad players because we try too hard. We try too hard because we desperately want to be better.
It is paradoxical – we suck because we want to be better and we get in our way. A better approach would be to play the game with a carefree mindset. What if ranks, wins & losses didn’t matter?
This doesn’t mean deliberately throwing away games, but rather being ok with sucking, whiffing, and fluctuating ranks. When you play like this, to your surprise, you will score goals, win games, rank up and your performance will improve.
Like I said it is a paradox, but it works. Don’t ask me why.
Closing Thoughts: Keep at it
The final point is to not get disheartened if your progress isn’t visible to you yet. Just make sure you keep playing the game regularly or keep practicing. When you do that you keep getting better in very small yet unobservable increments whether you know it or not.
A rocket league sage once told me that the secret to getting good at the game is to keep sucking at it with all your commitment until one day you wake up and realize you don’t suck as much anymore.
Before you leave, here is the clip with 3 different takes of me whiffing. Enjoy!