Some thoughts on learning new tricks/elements

({John15}) #1

So, this might be kind of a pointless topic, but I was thinking about this this morning.

The stages of mastering a trick or element.

  • first, you break it down step-by-step

  • then once you have it learned, you try to smooth out those rough edges so that it becomes one fluid trick rather than bunch of steps that you do.

Once you start accumulating several tricks, you can start to see how different elements can be pulled from each and blended together to make different tricks.

I absolutely love it when I learn a new trick that opens up a wide variety of possibilities for putting to use random little mini tricks and elements that are in the bucket. This is basically how combos are made. And this is how individual unique play-styles are formed.

I feel like I’m at a point now where I’ve learned just enough to be able to explore and build my own tricks. This is such a strange hobby, isn’t it? Those who get it, get it. There are virtually an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to building new tricks.

What about you? Have you learned anything recently that opened up a new realm of possibilities for trick circles?


I envy you guys who are at the stage where you’re working at building combos. I am so very eager to get to that stage where it isn’t just about building foundational technique, and more about learning new tricks to fold into combos and getting really creative with all of this. That’s when it gets fun, at least to my mind. Until then it’s just frustrating work.

It’s the same as with musical instruments. There’s that unfun phase, which can last years depending on the instrument, where all you are doing is training muscle memory and mastering fundamental technique. Then there’s the part where it’s actually fun, which is when you’ve mastered the craft enough where you’re spending the bulk of your time creating music rather than just doing practice drills.

I never got there with electric guitar, and I’m not there yet with the oboe (after 3.5 years at it), so I’m a little nervous that I’ll never get there with the yoyo either. Not before frustration and discouragement kills my interest in it anyway.

So my follow up question is this: how did you all manage to make/keep yoyoing fun while getting through the basics?

({John15}) #3

I’ve kept it fun up until this point in a couple of ways.

One, is to find a trick that you like, and work all the kinks out of it. Make it smooth and fluid. If the trick that you were trying to learn is frustrating, and you can’t seem to Fumble your way through it, come back to it later. Do things that are in your comfort zone so that you can just have fun. Even if it’s just throwing and catching, or doing binds over and over again.

Second, is actually getting new yo-yos. Even if you’re not very good at playing with yoyos, it is always fun getting a new one to play with. I can be whatever you like, but if you’re in a rut, that might help spice things up a tut,

I know how you feel, it is frustrating not being able to just pick up a yoyo and go go go. But you have to start somewhere, and you might as well enjoy where you’re at. If all you can do is throw and catch, then be fulfilled because that in itself is not easy. You don’t have to be a prodigy to have fun with a yo-yo. It takes time and patience to master.

Just focus on getting more tricks in your bucket, and after a while you will be more familiar with trick theory. It’s all about taking the time it takes to take the time it takes.


When I was starting out I didn’t have the expectation to become as good as I am now. Every new trick I was currently trying to learn seemed amazing to me, even at the very beginning. I enjoyed it from the start, I didn’t see the beginner tricks simply a requirement to get good enough to actually enjoy yoyoing.

I remember I got super excited when I learned forward pass and around the world, and when I first started out I thought the matrix would be about as good as I would ever get. Then I learned it and just kept growing.

At the start, I never dreamed that I would be making my own tricks and combos so I never got frustrated or impatient.

It’s interesting because actually, the better I became, the more I cared about how much better others were then me, and the more I wanted to improve. But improvement gets harder and harder as you get better.

Sure, nowadays I can just mindlessly throw out combos and I’m super glad I’m at this point, don’t get me wrong, but the rapid improvement I had as a beginner and intermediate along with the fact that I was satisfied just doing the basic stuff was what really kept things interesting for me when I was starting out.

({John15}) #5

This. Well said, I totally agree


Just don’t get stuck on one trick. There is so many different tricks out there to learn. You can always swap it up and try a new trick. And new yoyos. I get a new yoyo about two times a year. It always makes me throw more after getting a new yoyo. It just resparks my enthusiasm for throwing in general. I also enjoy teaching others to yoyo. It always reminds me of how far I’ve come and all that I’ve learned. Those are my thoughts.


I kinda enjoy the challenge of this. But it is easy to get down on oneself when a trick seems to take a long time to master. I have no way to gauge how long any given trick should take to master, but I think it is human nature to feel like everyone else is getting it much quicker than you are and that you just don’t have “it”.

Especially when watching YouTube videos and reading forum discussions where nearly everyone makes advanced play look/sound so easy, and you slip into the misguided suspicion that it is all much easier than it actually is, and then conclude that the problem must be you.


The people that are posting on these forums and YouTube and social media have mostly been yoyoing for years :wink:

When I was starting out I wasn’t posting on forums or researching high end yoyos or always watching videos of other players, I was just playing yo.

I didn’t really know who the best players were or best yoyos or best companies were until a few months into it, and I’d say I got into that spectrum of things earlier than most.

({John15}) #9

And you also have to take into account that most of the videos you see online are edited. Like, when I film a trick of myself, it takes me anywhere from 10 to 50 tries to get it clean just the way I want it to be. So, just remember that social media of any kind is usually painting a somewhat unrealistic picture of how things actually are.

I guess you should really ask yourself, why do you do this? What drives you to pursue yoyo? What drives you to hone this virtually useless skill-set? Is it for you? Or are you trying to be somebody that you’re not. If it’s for you, then you’ll be happy wherever you’re at and see the learning process as a joy rather than a burdensome hill to get over.

Just a thought…


Well, I do it to impress myself first and foremost (i.e., “Hey, can I do this really cool, tricky thing?”). It looks like fun once you get to the point where you can do/create combos, and I do like to have fun. :slight_smile:

({John15}) #11

All right then, be happy with your skill-set because it blows your mind, but also remain hungry enough to push your skill set to learn new things.