Madden Daily is here to show case several mistakes people make during a Madden Tournament. It is important that you feel confident and comfortable on what your running on offense and defense. What you’re doing on both sides of the ball might not be as flashy as the guy next to you, but that doesn’t mean it will not work.


     There is nothing wrong with being simple. The more complex you make things, the harder it will be to succeed in a deep tournament. This holds true especially when you’re nervous. When the jitter bugs are moving around in your system, you don’t want to do anything crazy. Taking too many risks, especially during instances when not necessary, will terminate your tourney chances earlier than expected. Players that just want to user catch their way up the field every play, regardless of the defense, will wind up losing in the long run. Take Texas Holdem for example. You must pick your spots when taking a risk. You need to be familiar with your surroundings and position before taking a chance. You can’t just bluff or go “all in” every play. Educated risks are essential, but try to set your opponent up first. Your offense must be well designed and thoughtfully planned out. You should be familiar with the popular Madden defenses and already know what you want to do against it. If you’re facing a new style of defense, being able to run the ball is the perfect counter.

     Having an effective run game helps slow the game down and puts you in easy to achieve, short 3rd down conversions. Remember though that being one dimensional makes it that much easier for the defense to stop you. You must make your opponent respect both the pass and the run. Same applies in a defense; you must make the offense respect the fact that with the same look, you can be blitzing up the middle, to either side, or max coverage. On defense though, you don’t want to have a million steps when setting up a defense. The quicker it is to setup, the easier it is to use and adjust. This is especially true when majority of the community quick hikes every play. 

Be Proactive not Reactive 

     You want your opponent to adjust to you, not the opposite. Your opponent has you right where he wants you if you react to his every move. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people do at Madden Tournaments. Everybody thinks they are the best at adjusting. If the flats are open the first play, “player A” will react right away and make sure the flats are covered. Then the following play, that person gets beat deep up the seams. This might be effective against a novice madden player, but a skilled veteran is probably attacking the flats to set you up for something else. Obviously if your opponent keeps hitting you with the same route or play, you need to do something about it. I’ll tell you what I would do. After getting hit in the flats, the following play I might move someone on that side and make you think I made an adjustment. However, all I would be doing is making you react to the movement, and will thus make you think that the flats are covered. The flat is still open, but the movement made you not look their right away. You get sacked and say to yourself damn he didn’t even cover it. Of course the very next play, I will do the same movement, but this time I can either leave it or put him in coverage to stop the route. Player A now has to guess what I’m doing. That’s being proactive.

     Running the ball is also a pro active offense. Someone may have the best nano blitz anybody has ever seen. But can it stop the run? Running the ball forces your opponent to react and change their defense. When creating an offense, you have to assume someone good is going to have some sort of run defense. Usually people play man cover 1 or 0 to stop the run. Knowing this, you should have a play in your offense, in the same formation that you’re running out of, that kills this type of defense. The reason why Nickel 155 shake is such an effective defense is because the blitz comes fast and you don’t know what side it’s coming from. It also stops the run and makes you change the way you play offense. This is also being proactive. Eric Problem Wright is the definition of a Proactive Madden player and this is why he’s considered the Greatest of All Time.

Play to Your Strengths 

     Another mistake I see being made is with people that think they know and can do everything in Madden. Realistically though, your going to develop certain strengths and weaknesses when playing. Some people are better at running than passing, and vice versa. Some people are better in spread sets, while some have more success in bunch/tight formations. I personally know that I don’t have the greatest stick skills in the Madden Community. However, I truly feel that I have one of the better Madden minds. So my goal for every game is to make sure I outsmart and out coach my opponent. There are a lot of times I make the right call, but I don’t have the stick to make the play. I already accept and know that. Lil Man, for example, has arguably the best stick skills in the nation. That is his strength. He solely wins games off of his user play. He accepts the fact that reading defenses isn’t his forte, but he always finds ways of working around it. As long as you’re aware of your weaknesses, they don’t have to work to your disadvantage.

Mental Toughness

     The Tournament is Saturday Morning at 10am. What does this mean? It means every body stays up the night before and either plays or watches money games. You’re with all of your friends from across the United States that you’ve been talking to all year on XBox and Ps3. Of course everyone is having fun hanging out, possibly drinking, and playing the game that they love. But is this smart? It truly depends on the person. I make this mistake every single Madden Tournament I go to. I never get enough sleep and by the time the playoffs start, I am completely drained. Only someone that goes to tournaments can understand how much mental toughness it takes to stay focused. You need to be fully aware in order to notice minor details that are going on in the game. By staying up all night, you are hindering your overall chances of winning. Thank god for Red Bull right?

Be Fully Committed to Winning

     At a tournament, you can not be lazy and inattentive. You need to pay attention to what your competition is doing. If you have time in between games, you should go from T.V to T.V and scout. This will save you from coming across something that you have never seen before. Preparation is important, but it’s impossible to prepare for something that you didn’t know existed. Talent only gets you so far; you need to be committed on doing whatever it takes to win. Even if it means sacrificing hanging out with your friends at the tournament to watch some game play of your opponent. Once the brackets come up, and you know your road to the championship, you should gather as much information about them as possible. Many successful Madden players actually tape their online games, with a capture card, to scout potential tournament offenses and defenses. There’s nothing wrong with watching some “film” before a big tournament. You are just proving that you work harder than everyone else and that leads to success. 

Think of the Big Picture and Strive for Perfection 

     Your main goal is to obviously win the tournament. Along the way you are going to go through bumps and challenges that are going to make you lose confidence. Although it’s impossible to play a perfect madden game, by striving for perfection you can achieve excellence. You have to believe that no matter who you’re playing against, you can win. You can not accept the fact that you had a good run but lost to the best player at the tournament. NO… unless you played to the best of your abilities, never accept losing to anyone.

     Don’t ever let someone throw you off your game. If you are having success with something and your opponent can’t stop it, don’t abandon it! That player might call you a bum for doing what your doing, but that’s because he knows he’s in trouble. Also, people are going to try to talk trash to you when you’re playing. You have to just let them talk. The worst thing you can do is start talking back to them and engage in a conversation. Thats what they want.. they want you to lose focus. I see people in the madden community lose faith in a game so quickly and just give up. This is where being mentally tough comes into play as well. If you throw a interception or fumble, it is not the end of the world and you have to keep fighting. A minor shift in the game is not worth quitting for. Eventually you will make a play and re-navigate your road to winning. There is no better feeling then when someone is talking all game and you get them to shut up by solely your madden play. You have to let your game speak for its-self. 


That doesn’t mean you can’t have your Madden Crew screaming and rooting you on while you stay locked in. The lack of support is the last mistake we feel like some people make when going to a tournament. Never go by yourself. Having buddies there with you will make you feel comfortable, as if you were back at home. It’s always better to have someone by your corner cheering you on. The more support you have, the better you will feel about your game. 

What other mistakes do people make during Madden Tournaments? Let us know what you think about this article by commenting below. Also make sure you follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Take a look at our other Madden blog discussions as well.



  1. I do have arguably the best stick skills in the nation! I love this article. This will get you ready for any tourney anyone attends too. Good work litez

    • Lil Man you know I am the best legit Madden Playa on line! I dominated three tournaments last year. I do go in well rested and with only two friends( they are my scouts). I never eat until after the victory. I win, eat, then go home and sleep happy!

  2. Real nice job with this one. Can’t argue with one thing you said, but I will emphasize – BRING A SUPPORT GROUP! Having your friends there makes it so much easier to play at a tourney.