Advice for new competitors and Gradient giveaway!


Within our growing community, there are many players venturing into the field of competition for the first time.

What advice would you give someone who’s just about to step into the world of competing?

The contest is in full bloom over on our Facebook Page, make sure to swing on by for details on how you can win your very own Gradient!

For those who don’t have access to Facebook, let’s start a discussion thread to help those who are just starting to compete! I’m sorry if this topic has already been brought up!


A good trick that you can’t hit consistently is not a good trick to use on stage.

Mistakes cost you double. You lose the potential points of the trick you missed and get negative points for the mistake.

NEVER switch yoyos unless you absolutely have to.

Learn how to push/snap start your yoyos. Winding up a yoyo on stage is a waste of valuable time.

Read the rules of the contest you’re competing in, read them again, and then explain them fully to a friend. Understanding how you will be scored is critical when competing.

Study your tricks and find places you are likely to mess up. Learn how long it takes you to get out of the most common mess ups and how you can get back into a later part of the trick while still maintaining timing to the music.

Wash your hands ten minutes before you go on stage.

Get sweaty hands? Use gloves or deodorant spray on your hands.

Preferably own three of the same yoyo to use in competitions. Using two different yoyo can lead to serious issues and less consistency if you switch.

Keep your yoyos well maintained. Put in a new pair of pads and put on a new string before you compete. Triple check that your strings are knot free before going up on stage.

If you’re not an experience competitor, don’t improvise on stage. Go through your performance at least twenty times before you compete.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.


Bring multiple yoyos. Even if you know your routine cold, freeze up on stage and drop a green triangle, and without an extra yoyo, your score just plummeted.


Someone just ended this thread lol. Great job Jake


Everything Jake said and don’t wear white shirts :stuck_out_tongue:


Remember to breathe!!!

(speaking from experience)


Why not?

(major_seventh) #8

Because the string won’t show up and it will be harder for the judges and the audience.


If judges can’t see your light colored strings against your light colored shirt, you’re not going to get as many points as you deserve. You want the judges to see what you’re doing as clearly as possible. Black or very dark colored shirts (and pants) are the best way to go.

Another tip: Be aware of the stage you’re competing on. Orange, white, or yellow strings show up best on black backgrounds. A black yoyo on a black background might not be the way to go. Make your clothing as dark as possible and your string and yoyo as visible as possible.

(major_seventh) #10

I usually use raw yo-yos ;D


Not me…I need at least 30 seconds in the microwave.


Well, I have never competed…


It’s one of the best experiences even if I’m not that good.


I competed once and got second to last place in prelims :-\

I learned the hard way, I was so nervous that i forgot everything, but i had a blast


me too, I get so nervous…I practiced hard but on stage the yoyo has a mind of its own. For some people its natural for others it takes getting used to.


Want to feel less nervous on stage? Practice your performance in your room while pretending to be on stage. Walk around, smile, “sell” your tricks, all that jazz. Really try to imagine that you are in front of a crowd while practicing.

Familiarizing yourself with the performing mindset, even if it’s just pretend, will make you much more comfortable on stage.

(Former National 4A Champion) #17

Act really nervous before you go up so you won’t be nervous when you’re actually on stage.
However, I’m not really sure if it works.

Break in you’re string before performances.

Wash you’re hands 5 minutes before your performance and don’t put you’re hands in your pockets until it is over.

Practice switching out. Make sure you can do it quickly to avoid wasting time. Keep the slipknots of backup yoyos wide open to speed up switches.

Confidence. You’ve practiced your tricks, and you know you can do them.

Wear a black shirt. Tricks show up better.

Time your routine to your music. If you mess up, it will be easier to get back on track. At the least, know how far you should be at various music intervals.

Pick music you like.

Use yoyos you like a lot.

Compete. Experience helps a lot.


these are things I’ve always found helpful… it’s been over a year since I posted this… so it’s due for a re-post:

As someone who still REGULARLY (i.e. EVERY DANG TIME I COMPETE) deals with brain shattering nervousness… here are a few things I’ve found helpful over the years:

  1. Practice. Know your routine in and out. If you know your tricks back and forth, and what comes next… you won’t sweat it (as badly) when a screw-up happens.

  2. Deep breaths. Specifically… About a minute before you go on stage, push your index and middle finger into the artery in your neck (not too hard) and take your pulse… in through the nose… out through the mouth. Massaging the artery here actually helps to slow down your heart rate! I got this tip from Boyd right before the first contest I ever won… it’s helped me out ever since!

  3. Eliminate variables. Wash your hands about 3-4 minutes before you go on if your palms get sweaty (like mine do). If you’re competing outside, use a dry aerosol deoderant (Arrid XX works great!) and spray your hands to combat humidity. Set up your back up yoyos with fresh strings and make sure they’re all knot-free.

  4. Don’t just pick a song that you like… pick a song that you’re REALLY comfortable with. Personally… ALMOST EVERY TIME I’ve won a contest or come really close… I’ve used music from mewithoutYou. I wouldn’t say that they’re a “lucky charm” or anything like that… but there’s something to be said for being comfortable in your own skin when you’re on stage and not worrying about whether your song is going to appeal to the crowd. (within reason… I really like some metal bands… but I don’t think I’d ever use them on stage haha)

  5. Have fun. Remember that people don’t form their opinion of you as a person based on whether or not your freestyle was “good”. People like you for who you are.

  6. If you’re really competing seriously… try not to take the other competitors freestyles too seriously. It becomes way too easy to psych yourself out and go, "oh man… there’s no way I’m as good as player-X… " when I pay too close of attention… I get even MORE nervous. Just watch the freestyles to enjoy them… then tip #5 is a LOT easier.

(Former National 4A Champion) #19


Freestyles always look better in person. Your brain will exaggerate competitors performances. Some people don’t even watch any freestyles before their own.


I got a few

  1. The competing part isn’t the Fun part of a Yoyo competition everything else is the fun part! The venue, the people, Yoyo shopping! So in general remember to have fun! that’s why you came right?

  2. Don’t Yoyo up to the very last minute up on stage and forget to adjust the string tension.

  3. Don’t expect to go to finals the first time you compete or competing in general cause it doesn’t work

  4. Have energy on stage!