When Is A Trick Learned?


Hey Gang,

I have made a personal challenge to myself to learn all of the Advanced Tricks by Christmas. I already knew a few of them, but I wanted to really push myself to learn the rest as I have gone a month or so without learning any new tricks.

Which got me thinking. At what point is a trick learned? At what point do you move to the next? When you hit it once? Flawlessly? Or a certain percentage? Like 5 out of 10 throws? I have decided to elect the 3 in a row approach. If I can hit something flawlessly three times in a row, I consider that I got the trick and can move on to the next one.

I have also been starting each day with doing the tricks I have learned in the advanced section three times in a row and not move on to learning a new trick until I hit each of the ones i have learned three times in a row. I’m up to slack trapeze now and making really good progress. I have 25 more days to reach my goal and I’ll make a video of them all once I’m finished. But, figured while I’m working on them, it wouldn’t hurt to make a topic about it for some debate. Obviously, there is no right answer. This is just opinions as everyone still misses tricks, even the worlds best.


I’d say three times in a row is a good start, but especially if you can do it again the next day to see if your body remembers it.


Good question.

I think the answer is when you can repeat the trick with a high degree of reliability.

Like, even today, sometimes trapeze is a pain in the butt. But, oddly enough, I’m finding if I don’t pay so much attention to it, I can land it more often NOT looking. I know that sounds odd, but that’s just how it is for me.

There’s three stages:
Once you can finally do the trick, you’re good. This is the first stage, just being able to do it. Not necessarily clean or smooth, but you can pull the trick off properly AND can bring it back to your hand.

Stage 2 is where you continue to work on it to make it much more reliable and predictable and consistent. Once you’re at a point where you feel comfortable with the trick, you’ve learned it. This is where I move on to the next trick. I haven’t put this trick behind me yet, but I have it at a point where I know what needs to be done and I know how to do it, so I’m ready to move forward.

Stage 3: This is where you’re probably going back and working on stuff you already know to make it smoother. At this point, the trick is down and it’s reliable, but you want to make it smooth and more “second nature” where you don’t have to think so much about it.

Right now, I’ve got Rip Cord down and Mach 5. Mach 5 is so easy because the strings have nowhere to go. What I am working on is Atomic Bomb, because the movement of the yoyo requires that you keep the strings close so the yoyo has nowhere to go except back into the strings. I can hit it most of the time, but I’m aiming for smoother and 3 non-stop rolls. My problem right now is that third roll I often end up popping the yoyo out, but I’ve got enough spin to re-mount it and start the trick over again. Double or Nothing I just need to work on a bit more. I can nail that 8 out of 10 times. I usually end up on too many strings, and it happens every time don’t move that first wrap back on my non-throw index finger.

As far as Drop In The Bucket, I’m seeing another issue. I keep moving my non-throw hand too much and there’s too much swing in the yoyo in the wrong plane, which is affecting my ability to land this. I CAN do it, but the repeatability isn’t there yet. I had to move on from it because it was frustrating me too much and holding me back. Now that I have more throwing time in and hence more confidence, it’s time to get back at it.

I’d love to be through the Advanced Level 1 tricks by Christmas, but it’s not gonna happen. I WILL try.


well once you fully understand a trick and you are able to perform it flawlessly, even if it’s only once, then you have “learned” the trick. The repeition of a trick is something a little different.

Don’t move onto the next trick until you understand exactly whats going on. For example: you might hit brent stole by accident when learning how to do laceration. Just because you performed the trick doesn’t mean you understand whats going on.

So I consider myself ready for the next trick after I understand the trick I’m working on, AND I’m able to perform it at least once. Muscle memory and practice will take care of the rest.

Good luck on meeting your goals!


I have remembered this advice from someone who was helping me realizing this same problem, “when have I learned _______”…although it was not about yoyoing the answer is the same.

When you can teach it to someone else and they get it…that is when you have truly “learned” somthing.


You know? I really like this saying. Very well said and thanks for sharing it. However, I don’t have anyone I can teach it to, so for now I’ll have to skip this one, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this saying.


Thanks, and it really is the best answer (not to gloat of course) but it makes perfect sence, If you can teach it to someone else then you yourself have truly learned it. To bad you can’t teach someone though…well tutorials are allways an option but only if you have a camera, hehe.


I think when you can land it at least three times without missing especially on repeating trick (e.g. matrix). then I would consider it learned.


When you can land while holding our breath, blindfolded while being hung upside down in the middle of highway 99.

On a serious note, a trick is learned when you know how to do it but it is mastered when you can execute it whenever you want.

(WildCat23) #10

When you perform it so flawlessly you can impress the yoyo community.


If you want you could always try to show your wife or kids haha and tell them that if they knew what you said like understood it if they would get it.
Or make a video tutorial.

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #12

I feel comfortable saying that I have learned a trick when I can hit about 90%of the time. My goal is to over learn the trick so that I can land it most of the time without really thinking about it. It’s that point in time when you are doing the trick but you are watching something else. I like to dim the lights enough that it’s difficult to see the string. It’s almost like yoyoing blind folded. I love it when I have mastered a trick that well.

(ed) #13

when you can do it on wood.


That’s kind of my thinking too!

Also if you can pronounce the name of the trick.

I’m still working on “Kwijibo”


Thanks for the responses. Very good. The funny thing with my kids. Today I was like alright, let me show you guys McBride Roller Coaster and Rewind. I did them and I was waiting for a reaction and got nothing. Then my 3 year old is like, “Do Eiffel Tower!” Then the other two chime in, “yeah daddy do eiffel tower!” Ok fine, here you go.

Then I’m like, Ok check this one out, it is called wormhole. And I did it, wait for a second. “Daddy, do rock the baby.” … ok here’s rock the baby…now this next one is…DADDY DO CRAZY BABY!!! Fricken A Fine here is crazy baby! lol so showing my kids is pointless haha which is certainly priceless and then every time I show my wife she rolls her eyes and says. “I don’t know why you want me to watch because every time I watch you miss the trick.” lol I do have a camera and going to film on Christmas day me doing all of the advanced tricks with my new Code 1 that I’m getting for Christmas. So that is my goal. And when I’m video taping it I’m planning on doing the trick three times in a row, then moving to the next one. I might to try to do each trick back to back with no cut in the tape if I get a chance to get good enough, but my main concern is doing them and at least landing them. I did a tutorial for Studio 42 on drop in the bucket and he still can’t do it well so I’m putting the blame on my bad tutorial lol.

(Jei Cheetah) #16

Actually, in my opinion. Its when you can do the trick at least 5 times, on both your dominant hand, and non dominant hand.
I usually do this with many of my tricks just to make sure I really understand whats going on.
Plus, its impressive to show people you can do the trick on your left hand and right hand.

(⛷ Noisy Lurker) #17

I found these two responses intriguing!


Great answer. But like TMCertified, i dont have anyone to teach something to. But i feel like if you can land a trick consistently, lets say 7/10 times. Then chances are you can teach someone that trick.



Don’t blame your tutorial, it’s clearly me. My yoyo isn’t just swinging back and forth from left to right, it’s swinging front and back too. Why? I’m moving my non throw hand too much. It’s just a matter of more practice. It takes me a while to get this stuff. I’m starting “late”, it’s not so easy. But I get it, it just takes more work.

I’ve got distractions around here recently. It’s taking time away from other projects I’ve got going on. All I’ll say is my Monday changed rapidily and my week went from looking up to sucking hard. But, the project I landed Monday morning is what’s getting me through this week.

Drop in The Bucket is in my phone. It will be there when I need it.


I try to get to the point where I’m surprised that I missed the trick instead of being surprised when I land it.