Phases to a good practice/ways to learn faster while practicing?

Hey all! So I just got thinking about my practicing habits and about how I’m generally very happy with them! And how I’d like to explore what makes good practice and bad practice! And what makes a practice good or bad :slight_smile:

First off a small amount of background on me: I was home schooled/unschooled my entire life. In other words I’ve always guided my own education and have gotten pretty damn good at learning in general. I’ve also always looked at learning as something to be improved on, and pay attention to how I’m doing it. I’ve also been juggling various arts since I was very young, not sure exactly how young but very. So I’m generally talented in terms of stuff like yo-yoing.

I’d like to first state that the goal of practice for me is to have fun and learn as fast as possible. (Without sacrificing depth of learning.) Do any of you have other goals around practice?

The first phase of practice, learning the fundamentals, whatever they are. For me I found the first was learning to throw a good strong and straight throw. I recently started seriously practicing 5A and found that catching the counterweight was the fundamental I needed to learn here =P.

I find it’s best to look at these fundamentals and see that they’re something that will take you longer than everything else, because they make learning everything else much easier. Every time you approach a new kind of trick there will be a larger hump than usual, but then every other trick in that area will be easier to learn after that.

The next phase that I will talk about is the mastery phase. You know how to do it, and can most of the time, but need to get to doing it every time no matter what. Something that can help here is developing a routine, practicing the same tricks in the same order that you think would look good on stage. That way you know what you’ll do next and can work on flowingly transferring between them. Finding multiple ways to do the same trick. Can the yo-yo stay completely still the entire time? Can it move up and down or side to side at different parts? Can it go faster or slower? (I feel that basically every yo-yoer far far far underestimates the power of slowness in their performances.) And then of course, practice, practice, time, and more practice will always help.

That’s all the wisdom I have to offer on the phases, I know there are more, but I don’t think I’d have much advise for the others other than practice.

I’d also like to say that I will switch yo-yos every five minutes or so while practicing, and I think this helps a lot. It makes me be versatile and it makes what I do matter more than the thing on the end of the string. I believe it helps me a lot.

What do you all think? Do you agree or disagree with any of my advise? Do you have any advise to add?

The big thing these days is new kids busting through tricks fast. 2 months in and already on the master level tricks. However, when you see them play, they are very ungraceful, not smooth and you wonder why you left your safety gear at home when you’re going to be within 20 feet of them throwing.

A lot of people are all about just banging through it. Fundamentals? No need. I can throw down, sleep it, pull it back up. Then they keep progressing with their non-existent foundation not supporting their forward progress. This is where you figured it out right: get the basics down so you have the foundation solid.

There’s nothing wrong with going fast, providing you’re truly mastering the trick. It took me months to get the Matrix. Months again for Kwijibo. I have been delayed in learning Spirit Bomb, and at 2.5 years in, this is something most have already gotten a long time ago. In my case, being “grown up” with “responsibilities”, I don’t have the same time to dedicate.

So many people are “if I’m not learning at least 1 new trick a day…” they get bored and quit. Or they get frustrated and quit. New people learning new tricks is easy, relatively speaking. Learn to gravity pull, sleeper, rock the baby and walk the dog in a day. Most can usually get dizzy baby, creeper, jamaican flag and Eiffel Tower in a day as well. Then the stuff starts getting a bit harder. Things keep getting harder. At some point, people will hit a level where they can’t progress because they don’t have the fundamentals down to take them further. It’s critical that these people keep working in any direction, be it trying to push forwards, or learning to do what they already know better so they can work forward again, or just stay put until there’s some break-through.

My goals at practice are to simply try to improve a little bit. Since I’m slammed this week(next week is better), I’ve stopped working on spirit bomb for the time being. First, I can do a wrist mount, so I’m not worried there. Then the next step is the underpass, which is no big deal and I can do that. Then the double-on after the underpass, I’m sure I can do that. Once I get that down, then I know that first pop will be a challenge, but since I can get to the steps before it easily, it’s less frustrating. Until I can get that first pop down, I won’t be making further progress. The second pop is gonna be a pain in the butt and that is what will be the element that will take up a lot of my time.

My goals aren’t necessarily to learn as fast as possible. My goals are to simply learn. Faster is better in many cases.

While I have a sizable collection, I will often stick with a very small set of yoyos(if not just one) when learning a new trick. I need a consistent element. I will often choose something I have multiples of, such as DM2’s(I have 6), Classics(got plenty set up right), or others I have at least 2 or more of. If I can control at least one element, I can control things better overall. Once I get the trick down, I will change frequently, including diameter, width, weight, and where the weight is. The idea is similar to what you do: learn it on anything, do it on anything. I don’t think this makes one more versatile, but it makes one forced to learn the trick better and cleaner so the yoyo itself isn’t as much of a determining factor. Plus, in my case at least, I don’t compete, so having a competition set or just being hardcore on a specific model isn’t something I need to concern myself with.

If people would have some patience as they progress, it would really help. A lot of people forget that this is a skill toy. You must develop some SKILLS to use this. It takes time and patience. Some get it faster than others. I am exceptionally slow at this. However, if you’re not enjoying this, then it’s time to do something else.

Studio strikes again.

I love his long posts! He’s a smart guy with a lot of wisdom who is very willing to share it.

I’ll respond to you tomorrow studio, it’s too late for me to right now :slight_smile:

I agree with everything both of you said. I have been throwing for about 8-9 months now. I know a fair amount if tricks but when really helped me, like studio said was practice the basics. I practiced double or nothing so much I can throw it with out even look and then bind. I have fun trying to smooth out what I know and then move on to a new trick or two.

I agree with a lot of what Studio42 said, but it should be noted that I’m a grown-up with responsibilities, too… didn’t stop me from knuckling down on Spirit Bomb, Superman, and a few other pretty tricky tricks. :wink: Just like Studio, I find a few moments to throw here and there… coffee break, waiting to pick up the kids, or a bit at night while watching TV with the wife.

If anything, I may have been busier as a college student. Probably busier now than as a high school student, though. :wink:

So funny, I am the exact opposite of this. First of all I have very little time to sit staring at a video of a trick rewatching parts of it in slow motion to figure it out so the vast majority of my yoyoing time is also my tv watching/wind down time for a few minutes here and there or for a medium chunk at the end of the day so I will just be working on making what I know a bit more smooth. Second of all I’m an insane perfectionist and I’ve accepted that I will never create any insane out of this world combos or anything bonkers when it comes to yoyos, but I will practice the things I do know until I hit them nearly every time in as smooth a way as possible, plus I enjoy trying to mix together tricks and elements from stuff I do know in new ways as well.

My rule before I pass on to the next trick is I must hit the trick I’m working on at least 10 times in a row before I’ll try and learn a new trick. I’m almost to the 2 month mark and I have only made it through advance 1 and still need lots of work.

I do however think it is important to keep things fresh and look forward to trying new and exciting things, otherwise you will get bored and want to quit. I would find it amazing to see someone blast through to master level in 2 months, maybe I just suck lol but wow that would be hard. To me if you are going to slow…your not enjoying it, your just beating yourself up because you want to be perfect, and if your going through to master level in 2 months, your not really enjoying it either. However I will say, just because I feel there is a happy middle doesn’t mean that is how it should be for other people. I am in the fitness industry and work with crossfit clients. Just like yoyoing cross fit is a SKILL. Practice and fun and dedication are all needed and what makes a good crossfit trainer is taking a client and helping them find their best way to practice, each individual is different and there is definitely no perfect way to tell everyone how to practice.

The only aspect of practice that I will always tell EVERYONE no matter what level or style of practice or training they are at is that fundamentals are key. Don’t lose your passion for the fun of what your doing just because you want to be the most fundamentally sound person around, but save a little time every practice to work on those fundamentals. If you lose your passion and excitement for what your doing it will make your game suffer just as much if not more than if you had terrible fundamentals.

Great posts you guys, hope mine adds a little depth to the topic.

Mrjack, I like the idea that you have to hit it 10 times consistently to consider yourself having “learned” it. But I usually allow myself to work on another trick if I’m not there yet. I don’t abandon that one, I just learn another trick (generally an easier one I haven’t gotten around to yet) and then circling back. Part of that “keeping things fresh” that you mentioned.


In all seriousness.
Just have fun. Turn practice into play.

This is the only advice that counts unless you’re in crunch time for a competition. And probably even then.

Nobody should ever… ever… (in my opinion) pick up a yoyo and think, “I need to/should practice.” If your thought isn’t, “I’mma play some yoyo now!” you’re probably doing it wrong.

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Don’t take yoyoing to seriously. Otherwise you’re turning play into work and that makes Jack a dull boy… Or something like that right :wink:

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