Personally, I think the main thing for that first competition is finding out how you react to the adrenaline and setting personal marks to beat at your second one. I had no idea how adversely I'd be affected under comp conditions until I experienced bizarre OLL and PLL amnesia in my first couple solves. Everyone is different: some people thrive at comps, some see little difference from any other session, and some find themselves significantly slower than at home. I've been a lot slower at comp so far but I was much closer to business as usual at my most recent one in Sept. The two most important things to prep for IMO: get comfortable solving in front of people and with distractions. There is a lot of motion, noise, and chatter going on than the typical practice environment.Ok, I have been inspired and motivated to start tracking solve times and preparing for competitions
If I had a really good day right now under comp conditions I might hope for a mid 20s average and a low 20s single on 3x3. From a competitive standpoint that might as well be 2:00, I'm just another also-ran, but I'd go home very happy. "Sub Me" is my primary goal.
I'm a firm believer that if you've decided on a method/substep to use then you should always be working to incorporate the next most important piece of it. I think the faster you get the harder it is to accept the regression something new will cause. You're as slow as you're gonna be right now, so now is when it hurts the least and the sooner you learn new things the sooner you'll trust them in timed solves. I know lots of stuff that I completely ditch when the timer is running (looking at you, COLL H and Pi).One wrench in the works: when I'll have to learn a new method to break a barrier. Most of my solves are kind of a mishmash of intuition, beginner algs/steps, and the like. When to pull the trigger, bite the bullet and just do it?
It really is all about what you want to get out of it of course. Some people are happy just learning to solve if it takes them five mins. Some are more interested in bigger cubes and/or blind events without much regard to 3x3 progress. I'm primarily interested in 3x3, 3bld, and mbld right now so my 4x4 and 5x5 rarely get picked up but they're here for me if/when I get the itch. So go for the variety if that's what strikes your fancy or focus on a few events if you're more inclined to maximize progress. If you change your mind next week, do thatAnd then, just going to have to accept the fact that the going will be slow, cuz I won't be able to lay off the non-WCA puzzles entirely, just learning a solve for the fun of it. For instance, I'm pretty sure my next purchase/project is going to be a 3x3 mirror. I really dig the 2x2 mirror.