re: Poker & Downswings VS Playing Poorly.
I dont know how long of "running bad" to be considered a downswing. I do know that when you are playing well and getting a string of bad results, especially in cash games, you can start to modify your game and make things worse by playing to loose or tight. For tourney what i usually do is reflect on the spots I may have missed, or how I busted out. For ex. If I was 10bb on the button and moved in with AKs and the BB calls with AQo and I bust, O well. I made the right play, I got unlucky, move on.... Sometimes you cant control the outcome.
I think people feel that way. Like oh should have not went all in there, or min raise, or whatever, which isn't necessarily the best play. If you make +ev moves you will get +ev results. If you are making some good, lot of marginal and some bad plays your results are going to vary. In the long run it will be -ev.
Practice and studying helps to make you better and give you the edge... just an opinion.