Competing for the first time... any tips or advice?

Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

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Yes! i have a few!

From a competitor point of view, especially for you first contest, i would do tricks that you feel most comfortable doing and hitting. :slight_smile:

I always started my routines with a trick i knew i could hit ALL THE TIME, that way, even while being nervous i at least hit something LOL! I think it also sets the tone/vibe for your routine and gives you confidence throughout the freestyle.

-Also before going up on stage, right before you are on deck, i would wash my hands, and then try to keep them cool as possible bc my hands would sweat like crazy from being nervous lol

-some pros use baby powder, yo-yo gloves, spray, whatever floats your boat!

These are some things that i have done in the past that seem to work for me, hope this helps!!! :slight_smile:



Thanks Eric! This advice is extremely helpful! :blush:


I’ve only competed a few times so I don’t know if these tips are going to help you but they’ve helped me out before:

Practice with the exact same yoyo you’re gonna be using on stage. And I mean like… the EXACT one. If you have three replacement yoyos that are the same but in different colors or something, don’t use the one that looks the best, use the one that you did all of your practicing on. Even if it’s the same kind of yoyo, the string might be more or less worn, the pads might be a little bit more or less broken in, or if they’re a different color even that might throw you off. So always start your routine with the exact yoyo (even if all the yoyos that you brought on stage are the same) that you practiced on and only use your replacements when you have a discard.

Also don’t be surprised if the music is really loud when you’re on stage. The first time I competed the song was suuuuuper loud and it kinda scared me and it added a lot to the stress.

This might sound oddly specific, but if you’re gonna use like an antiperspirant on your hands to compete you need to practice with the antiperspirant on your hands. You might think that an antiperspirant wouldn’t change the way your hands feel, but when I used it for my first competition my hands felt a weird mixture of chalky and moist and I wasn’t used to doing my routine with it on. Same goes for gloves. If you’re gonna use gloves, practice with gloves. Going on stage with sweaty hands is arguably better than wearing gloves that you aren’t used to when you go on stage.

I know everyone says this but you gotta have fun. Especially if it’s your first contest and you’re not super worried about getting a seed to nationals or worlds or something, there’s no reason to get stressed about making a bad performance. Just be chill about it and don’t worry about how you’re gonna place. Just worry about having a good time and making sure the audience is having a good time. That’ll reduce your stress on stage and make it easier to hit your routine. Also I heard orange juice makes you less stressed too… something with the vitamin C…

[Ok this is that last one I swear] Make sure you choose a song that you like and choose tricks that you like. Again, if this is your first competition you shouldn’t be too worried about placement. That means your tricks don’t have to score well and your music doesn’t have to be the super competitive yoyo EDM that supports all the meta speed combos and hooks and stuff. Just pick a song that you like and doesn’t stress you out while you’re on stage. Being stressed out and being tired are like the two worst things to be when you’re competiting so I feel like choosing an intimidating song is a little bit of a bad idea…

But whatever, it’s your freestyle and you should make it yours. Don’t listen to my advice (especially the last bit) if you feel like it doesn’t conform to your yoyo style. Being on stage is your moment to show people what kind of yoyoer you are so make your freestyle as “you” as possible.

OK NOW I’M DONE! Good luck!


I’ve never competed, and probably won’t, but I recommend trying to practice in a scenario that’s as close to the real competition as possible, that is…

  • practice on an actual stage

  • practice with loud music playing

  • practice with people watching (recruit friends)

  • practice while filming yourself and then watch the resulting video


OH WAIT ONE MORE THING!! When you set up your replacement yoyos there’s a good way of doing it. Put the open loop inside the cup of the yoyo so that it’s easy to grab and make sure it’s real big. It should look like this:


That’ll make sure it’s easy to pick up your yoyo. And when discarding a yoyo make sure it’s on the flat side so it doesn’t roll back into the middle of the stage where you’re going to be moving.


Just don’t be nervous and have fun!

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I haven’t competed yet (maybe VA states 2019) but I think the biggest things would be to practice a lot, make sure you’re comfortable with your routine long before the actual competition, and practice while recording yourself or with others watching.

Colin Beckford practiced his routine while live-streaming on instagram, I had never thought about that but I think that’d be an excellent idea


Thanks! This is really helpful advice! Thanks for taking the time to help me!

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Thanks for the help!

Great advice, thanks!

:+1:t4: Thanks I will!

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Ooo I haven’t seen this before, will definitely do this!

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Just a reminder that you can reply to several people at the same time by mentioning their name like this @codinghorror :wink: or quoting their post like so


@codinghorror Thanks!

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