one of the key things I've found to playing better (and I'm not a great pinball player but I'm better than I was when I started playing two years ago) was not to put myself under any unneeded pressure and ----> To make sure you enjoy playing. So many people play terrible because for whatever reason they aren't enjoying it usually because they've put themselves under pressure. I saw it at NYCPC where a lot of the top players were finding it hard on the incredibly hard setups that the Never Beef crew had put on. I figured I was the worst player there and had nothing to lose so just played and enjoyed it and from my own point of view did really well. Many of the top players took a while to find their mojo, some, like Elwin, didn't and blasted to the top right away. But I remember watching many players struggle the first day; let me pick two, and two guys that I absolutely love and that are pinball greats - Steve Bowden and Lyman. I saw both put themselves under a lot of pressure, or at least thats how it looked to me.
Steve struggled with some games on the first day, got his mojo on the second day, but I would say was enjoying it more on the second day and he smashed it and made it all the way to the final.
Lyman had to fight AFM and Iron Man (we all did Ryan blowing it up I think the only player that nailed do or die?). But look the scores are all pretty low.
I'm ranked 4000 and something on IPFA I missed qualifying for the B final by 1 point and 20 seconds! But I look at my scores and am happy with how I played with positions above many top 500 players- I went there to enjoy it and have a good time and my pinball was the best I ever played.
I look at the scores for Star Trek, AFM and Iron man and I'm super happy; but I just played it as if I'd never played those games before (pretty much true for Iron man!)
then you watch Bowen, he made a lot of mistakes, but enjoyed it and won from a very uncertain position at more than one stage (watch the video).