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Approach Fundamentals

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Hey guys,

Just like pro athletes, good social artists should periodically brush up on the fundamentals of their craft. In sports the ability to make foul shots, execute open-field tackles, or field a ground balls cleanly can make the difference between winning and losing a championship. In pickup the fundamentals of approaching can make the difference between hooking or not hooking that set with the HB 9. Guys like Mystery, Matador, Lovedrop and Discovery, even though they’ve mastered the game, continue to practice and preach the fundamentals to all of their students. As for myself, I periodically review key chapters in classic works like The Mystery Method and Revelation to keep myself sharp and focused. After all, nothing builds on success like success!

I recently re-read chapter 4 of the Mystery Method…i.e. “The Approach”, and I put together a short collection of approach fundamentals that both newbie and experienced artists can use to measure and refine their technique. There is nothing groundbreaking here, just good solid, Mystery Method fundamentals that will help you develop rock-solid game.


1. Women will often use proximity to signal their receptiveness to approach. They may not even be consciously aware of what they are doing. Mickey Angel – Are you noticing when a woman has moved within 4-6 feet away from you with her back turned? You should be…

2. If you’re socially-proofed, girls will give you approach invitations – such as eye contact. Recognize and act!

3. Do not ignore the 3-Second rule! Following the 3-Second rule will give you social proof, which in turn will lead to approach invitations…just like I described above. You’ll find sets much easier to open. Mickey Angel – To review: the 3-Second Rule states that “upon entering the field, you must open up a set within three seconds. Also if you are later not in a set and you see one, then you must open it within three seconds.”

4. You can create negative social proof with certain behaviors. Avoid them! These behaviors include the following: Standing a against a wall with a drink against your chest, standing around int group of guys, circling the venue in a predatory fashion, looking around the venue with a serious expression on your face, etc.

5. Don’t try to look “cool” or “tough”. It’s better to be comfortable or friendly. Mikey Angel – Smile. Here is the link to a good little article on the importance of smiling by Topcat

6. It’s normal to need two or three warm-up approaches at the beginning of the night. Mickey Angel – I usually warm up on sets that are somewhat below my target range. (E.G. if I’m shooting for 8’s and 9’s, I’m warming up on 6’s and 7’s). My friends who aren’t in the community always ask me what the hell I’m doing, but later that night when I’ve isolated the hottest girl in the venue, my friends are strangely silent…

7. Approach sets with guys in them. Practice gaming the guys. Like Mystery says “Lead the men and the women will follow.” Mickey Angel – Sometimes you can really do a girl a favor by opening a mixed set. An HB 9.5 once number closed me because I sat down at a table and started gaming the guy sitting next to her. They weren’t even talking! I hooked up with her later and jokingly mentioned him and she was like “I was actually glad you sat down. That guy was weird.”

8. Women have Protection or Bitch shield strategies, which they use to screen out men. A good social artist can coax a woman into lowering her shield by conveying disinterest and demonstrating value.

9. Canned material is important because it helps to generate consistent responses which you can anticipate if you have enough experience. You should create a routine stack in order to practice this skill. Mickey Angel – A great stack creation article by Discovery can be found here…tack-creation/

10. The natural delivery of the material, including the body language, facial expressions and vocal tonality is more important than the the content itself. Practice, practice, practice.

11. The use of new material in the field can feel clumsy and incongruent. Only through a couple of days of in-field practice can the new material become naturalized.

12. An opener should have a root, which is anything that gives it situational relevance. Mickey Angel – This is something that is often overlooked in the community. Here’s a couple examples of how you might root some well-known openers: “My friend over there just broke up with his girlfriend because she told lots of little lies, and we were just having this discussion, who lies more men or women?” (Who lies more opener) or “My friend over there just had his girlfriend move in but he’s still friends with his college GF too…and she hates that…tell me, do you think it’s okay to be friends with your ex? (Jealous GF opener). Do you notice how we are tying the story back to someone IN the VENUE at the PRESENT TIME? This is the root.

13. A false time constraint allows the artist the create the illusion that he is just leaving. This is a powerful tool for opening consistently.

14. When opening a seated set it is important to sit with them soon after starting the opener. Use a false time constraint and then continue talking as you sit down.

15. When opening a moving set it is important that they not perceive you as chasing them in any way.

Review your approaches against this list of fundamentals. Are you consistently doing all of the above? Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Sarge on fellows.

– Mickey Angel

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