Beginner advise from a beginner: Practice


#1

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.

-Kevin


(Nova) #2

Amen. Smart words, don’t just repeat, RINSE and repeat. Lol, just kidding that made no sense! But ya know what I mean. Don’t just repeat…learn. Oh yeah, no we’re both insightful. ;D Sorry if it seems like I’m making fun of you, I’m just in a playful mood. That really was a well written thread, that needed to be said.


#3

It didn’t until you said that. :slight_smile:

I’d just seen a few posts where people were saying things like “I’ve been trying for 2 weeks and I always miss.” Something is definitely wrong with the way they are practicing. Like I said above, when I was 12 and was just getting into yo-yos, I didn’t understand that there was more to practice than repetition.

It probably should’ve been posted in the threads I was reading that in, but they were old, and there was more than one, so I figured: Why not put it in it’s own thread?

-Kevin


#4

Just so you know. Reviving old posts for something like this is Ok. Don’t worry about the Necro Monster. He’s pretty tame.


#5

Ha yeah. The main time we don’t want necroing is if somebody asks a question and it was answered a long time ago.

Either way, nice job! Really makes sense and should help many people out.


(YoYoBlaze) #6

yeah people hate to hear the word “practice” they want you to give them some magic technique so you’re a master on the 1st trick


#7

yeah! i practiced trapeze on my only yoyo (imperial) , and finally after a zillion times, i could do it. Then i tried it on my friends Fast 201 and i could do it 95% of the time. Working on my double or nothing now


#8

I can’t help but say practice is one of the most important things for us to say. I am working on a difficult trick, one that requires very tiny chopstick segments, and ends in a double GT. I’m having a hard time landing it, so I’m practicing. You shouldn’t always expect a magic formula - Practicing is extremely important when it comes to yoyos.


#9

I think the phrase goes something like: Pactice doesn’t make perfect - practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect. However, sometimes repitition is necessary even if it isn’t perfect. Often I find that tricks I had trouble with at first somehow become easier after an hour of repitition. I suspect my brain is subconsciously making tiny corrections that I don’t alway realize are happening. The last trick I learned was Buddah’s Revenge. At first I could only get half way through the trick because the yoyo would always slow down and go crooked on me. Suddenly it started working though. Looking back I see that the string was not straight in the gap at first. Now it is easy to see where to put my hands to get it right. The muscle memory is there and the I can see where the string is going to land without even thinking about it. Had similar experiences with trapeze, matrix, etc.