Hi all. I’m new here and I’m not the strongest player. I’m still working my way through the intermediate section on this site, but I felt I might have something to contribute. I didn’t want to revive old posts about this stuff, so I’m starting a new topic.
As I look through the history of posts in this section, I see quite a few people who are at or near my level asking for help with simple tricks like the trapeze or double or nothing. The answer is always “practice.” That’s good advise, but if you aren’t practicing correctly you aren’t going to get anywhere. You can do a trick poorly over and over again, and you won’t learn to do it better, you’ll only learn to do it poorly.
So, when I practice, I find that it is as much about repetition as it is about analysis. If I try a trick and fail, before I try again I think it through and try to identify where it went all wrong. For example, if I miss a trapeze it could be any number of problems… I didn’t “just miss,” I missed because I did something wrong. The trick is to figure out what I did wrong, and why it was wrong.
Maybe I didn’t throw the breakaway straight, or maybe I moved my throw hand and mis-aligned the string with the yo-yo. No matter what it is, you need to be aware of what was wrong, so that you can make a better effort on the next throw. If you didn’t throw a straight breakaway, try to figure out where you need to have your arm to throw it straighter and make the change on the next throw. Just throwing over and over, continually doing the same things wrong will get you nowhere.
I’m getting pretty good with the trapeze, myself. But, I still have a little trouble when I first start a practice session. I’ll throw and miss, then realize that I pulled my throwing hand in to my body after the breakaway. On the next throw I’ll over-correct. I may repeat these failures several times, but eventually I will get it. After that, I can usually do it over and over and over again without missing. THAT is when repetition comes into play. Once I’ve got it, I can do it 100 times and start to get muscle memory working for me.
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how long I spent just doing the same wrong things over and over again when I was younger. I just expected that I’d get better by sheer time spent doing it, and to some degree I did eventually get a little better. But, you can really speed up your progress if you think things through and identify where you are having trouble, then actively attempt to fix it on the next throw.
I’m sure there are other “general” practice techniques that I haven’t yet figured out. If any of the more experienced players have any tips, please respond to this post. Maybe we can get a thread together with non-trick-specific tips for practicing.