i think a lot of it has to do with focus. at some point, most pros are primarily concerned with one main facet of yo-yoing. the more you specialize, the more you separate yourself from the crowd. later on, what you find is that being good at one aspect of yo-yoing really helps you to push in other directions. it’s definitely not just about hours of practice. you have to pick things to work on which will KEEP you inspired and work on them with a kind of insane determination. it occurred to me the other day that i haven’t gone a day without playing yo-yo since 5/25/05. i’ve just been lucky in choosing paths that have kept me more inspired than frustrated. if playing is a chore, you’re done.
you’ve also GOT to get to contests and events. it’s much easier to get good and relevant and stay there if you have a sense for what your peers are doing and develop those connections.
and then lastly, you have to have vehicles for presenting your original take on yo-yoing. people have to see you and WANT to yo-yo because of what you’re doing. that’s about the whole attitude you convey and not just what you do with the string.
the bottom line, for me, is that if you’re practicing so that you will “be a pro”, then even if you make it, it’ll be pretty empty. if the attention is what fuels you, it really shows through. on the other hand, if you’re legitimately playing because nothing could STOP you, even if you had one yo-yo, couldn’t get on the internet, and lived hundreds of miles from any kind of scene, you’ll be doing it for the right reasons. and AFTER you make it, that’s the stuff that sustains you and keeps you throwing, sweating, bleeding, and and loving every second of it.