Yo-yoing is hard. (Looking at throwing as a sport)


#1

So. This is my 400th post. I want to make it “big”. And It just so happens that this weekend something hit me.

Yo-yoing is hard.

In comparison to other sports, this one is way harder to get good at. And I don’t mean just “good”, as in impressive or something. That’s easy. I mean that it is hard to get good at the sport aspect of it.

For instance, with a sport such as basketball or soccer or something like that, you simply have to work hard at practice and at games, and do what your coach says. That is simple. Not particularly easy, but it isn’t like you have to figure everything out.

With yoyoing, you are your coach. There isn’t anybody telling you what to do. You have to figure out EVERYTHING for yourself. There isn’t ANYBODY telling you that you should do a certain trick in your freestyle. Sure, there are people to help you out along the way, such as here in the forums, and people that you meet who know a lot more about it. But they don’t make any decisions for you. You have to make your own decisions.

Now, it might be weird to bring this up, but I think of yoyoing as somewhat similar to dance, since that is my sister’s passion. I can’t help but kind of compare the two, LOL. She simply does the moves that she is told to do, and when she competes, she executes them to the best of her ability. Again, not particularly easy, but fairly simple. It doesn’t work like that for me.

I really want to be successful at this sport. It is my passion, I absolutely love it. So far, I have won three medals at Worlds 2013 for Sports Ladder. Good first step, in my opinion. But now comes the hard part. Freestyles. This is where all those problems come into play. I mean, how do I know what would score well, and what wouldn’t? I guess that that is all reliant on experience. Something I don’t have yet in that arena. So now the whole “I’m my own ‘coach’” thing comes into play. My ‘coach’ is a total newb in this competitive freestyle thing. Great.

Now let us carry on into the future. With hope. And a desire to be great.

EDIT: This is what I was really trying to say with this post. GregP worded it PERFECTLY:

"In traditional sports, there’s a clear path to take, expected steps to take, and particular skills that all top athletes will need to develop. And development is supervised by coaches as a ‘given’.

With yoyo, you have to figure out the path on your own, the steps aren’t always clear, and the particular skills can be quite varied. Development is really supervised by yourself, so it’s up to you to figure out that path, which steps, and which subset of skills to develop.

To top it off, top-tier players MUST demonstrate creativity not only in the execution of the skills, but in the choreography of the routine and the selection of music and attire. You don’t have a coach’s playbook or a studio’s choreographer guiding you towards creating a world-class routine. You have to figure it out on your own.

Or in short: traditional sports have a formalized structure for play and development."

I am sorry if you misunderstood it, or were offended by it.


#2

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#3

LOL. Is that a good period or a bad period?


#4

Well, it’s harder for you than me. You help me a lot with my stuff.

As for freestyles, I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


#5

find a coach. then it’s easier.

I put myself through grad school playing poker. In order to be able to make enough money doing that, I had to get a coach. If there is competition, there is always a coach available. Even internet coaching is possible with the common availability of web cams. I once had a weight lifting coach help me over the internet.


#6

That’s hilarious, I was sure you were a poker player judging by your sick obsession with acquiring yoyos (no offense intended, I am also a very sick individual) and the fact that you were young and had money. I assumed jasonwongzero was too until he made some posts that suggested he was just a normal working dude with a job that payed well and there is another user with a massive and impressive collection that I have my suspicions about. Then again I assume every young moderately-extremely successful person is.

As far as the topic goes, although yoyoing is a solo venture for me, if I wanted to improve rapidly and had any aspirations to compete, I would find someone else with similar interests so we could bounce ideas off each other as much as possible. I think having this interaction be live would be beneficial, but I suppose it could work online as well. While there may not be coaches for yoyoing in the strictest sense, having a peer around that pushes you to exceed your boundaries is invaluable. Internet videos are certainly an incredible help but once you reach a certain level of competence I feel like they won’t allow you to progress into your own fluid style like learning from/with another person hands-on would.


#7

I just googled “yoyo coach” to no avail. I wasn’t really complaining about the lack of a coach, I was simply stating that this lack forces you to be independent and dedicated.

Honestly, I think that a sponsorship would probably help. I mean, if you were to get sponsored and there was anybody good on their team, you would more than likely get a lot of help. And the brand itself would probably help you to become better, to promote their brand better. Of course, this is all guessing, maybe sponsorship wouldn’t bring about any “coaching” at all.


#8

I think the difficulty can be largely influenced by your preferred learning methods. I learn best by myself, figuring things about for myself, with a visual representation of what it should look like.

Because of this, yoyoing is easy compared to juggling in my experience, however it has been 25+ years since I was serious about juggling. I didn’t have internet and juggling videos back then. When I was learning to juggle, you had to learn it from a book or hope to know somebody which still limits your ability to learn at will due to the lack of information that you have to fill in for yourself.

Now I can just download a video, slow it down and figure out what each hand is doing at each moment. Just like learning to play a piano piece, take it one measure at a time, one hand at a time. Still don’t get it? Watch and analyze that video so many times you dream about, and you can’t help but learn it.

I still haven’t met any throwers in person yet, and I’m still able to learn whatever I want. Its a good time to learn.


#9

Actually, I’m now in my 40s and have a both a high paying job, and a high paying consulting business on the side. Poker is just a hobby now, and doesn’t make hardly any money. IK haven’t kept up as the game changed over the last 5 years.

This is a great way to get coaching. It’s how I started in poker. I studied with a friend. We read books and analyzed hand histories together. Eventually we wanted to take it farther, and I got a coach who could tell me where my biggest leaks were. Same thing in yoyo: get a friend, learn with him/her. When you need a higher level coach, you find someone better than you willing to give you advice and help.


#10

I’m sure there are no yoyo coaches advertising, but sending an e-mail to an established pro, or former pro, and approaching them with a an opportunity for paid coaching, and you might find someone willing to do it. It would take effort, but I bet there are people both willing and able if you really looked hard enough.


#11

I agree. It is the you tube videos that dragged me back in. Learning the basic tricks (beginner through advanced) so far has been a matter of watching and doing. I am hoping to make my first club attendence later in the month, maybe I can get some pointers on things I am doing wrong that I don’t even realize…


#12

You have not played much traditional team sports have you? I assure you; there is much more to it than you “simply have to work hard at practice” to become good".

When I arrived at the University of Illinois on a Soccer scholarship; the thing that shocked me was that everyone could kick the ball 50+ yards and trap it with one-touch on a dead run. That is when you learn that high-level sports is 99% MENTAL.


#13

Thanks for the advice, but I think I am good. I was just talking about how yoyoing doesn’t have a “clear-cut” path for people who want to be great at it. I don’t really want a coach. Not to mention, unless there was a yoyoer good enough to coach in the Southeast, it wouldn’t really work out, LOL.


#14

I have actually played “traditional team sports” since I was really little.

I didn’t mean any offense at all. I know that “normal” sports involve a lot of mental work. Now, you obviously know more about it then me, since you played at a college level. I am really sorry if it offended you. It was just my take on comparing yoyoing to other sports.


#15

I think you hit the nail on the head here. If you think of all of the people that attempt to play sports at any time in their life, and compare that to those that make it to the top tier, it’s miniscule. Most people that play sports for real are at the level that most of us are with throwing. They can make it look good to someone that doesn’t really know the sport. It takes MUCH more work to become an upper echelon player in most sports as compared to yoyoing.


#16

My mistake guys. Sorry if the part about yoyoing versus other sports offended you.


#17

The message was a little bit unclear, but at the end of the day, what I took away was this:


In traditional sports, there’s a clear path to take, expected steps to take, and particular skills that all top athletes will need to develop. And development is supervised by coaches as a ‘given’.

With yoyo, you have to figure out the path on your own, the steps aren’t always clear, and the particular skills can be quite varied. Development is really supervised by yourself, so it’s up to you to figure out that path, which steps, and which subset of skills to develop.

To top it off, top-tier players MUST demonstrate creativity not only in the execution of the skills, but in the choreography of the routine and the selection of music and attire. You don’t have a coach’s playbook or a studio’s choreographer guiding you towards creating a world-class routine. You have to figure it out on your own.

Or in short: traditional sports have a formalized structure for play and development.


I don’t think it was a comment on the skill and time it takes to be good at traditional sports. :wink:


#18

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT! If I could, I would have thanked that post a dozen times. That is EXACTLY what I was trying to say. Sorry for the confusion everyone.


#19

I was in no way offended, just pointing out that sports are not just about physical talent. The reality is that the physical talent gets you to the next-level. But to stay, you have to prove that you have a brain to go with the brawn.

Does yo-yo require brains? Hmmmm. ???


#20

My take:

For me, yoyo is very hard. I lack the coordination and being older, perhaps my brain is more hard-wired, slower to grasp new concepts. What is driving me is sheer will power, drive and self motivation. It doesn’t make it any less hard. Yoyo is hard for me.

However, are you alone? I’m not, thankfully. I am trying to run a skill toy group, but I’m too busy to run it. I have friends who throw. I have friends who teach yoyo. I attend another regular meet group. If I want help, I can get help. If I need help, I can get help. If I just wanna hang and be casual and just goof around, I can do that too. I can go as far as to call some of them coaches if I want to. One of them is a fantastic coach. With his time and experience, he knows what it takes to design strong routines. However, not all of us have such opportunities. It would be great if more of us did have such strong community near them to learn, grow, share and experience with others.

Practicing and working hard is SLOW progress. I just hope to get better than I am now. That’s my only objective.

But, are you alone? There’s tutorial videos and freestyle videos. While it’s not as good as being with others who can see what you’re doing and help provide more solid direction, it’s at least something. Videos don’t always work for everyone, and not all videos work for everyone. More videos, more angles, more takes on the same trick. Connect with what you can.

Still, are you alone? The forum can certainly helps a lot.

Is yoyo a sport? Sure. Why not? I can’t argue for or against. What I see at contests, that’s sport. What I do, it’s hobby. What some other guys do, that’s art. For many of us, it’s seriously integrated into our lifestyle. It is what it needs to be for us. Maybe it is sport for me, but I’m not going to compete. I have no desire or drive for that.

If darts can be a sport, so can yoyo. If horseshoes can be a sport, so can yoyo. If cup stacking can be a sport, so can yoyo. If formation parachute jumping is a sport, so can yoyo. If bungee jumping is a sport, so is yoyo. Granted, with things like cliff jumping and bungee jumping, there’s really only two categories: grand champion and “stuff on a rock”. There’s not a whole lot of middle ground!

I guess the argument that if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth. For me, this is clearly the case. I suck at this. It’s very hard. My progress is SLOW. Then there are others who are significantly better than me with significantly LESS time being put in. That’s just how it goes because some people grasp things better than others. I’m never going to be an elite player. I’m never going to be a great player.

Whether you’re coached or alone, you’re on your own path. You do get out of it what you put into it, regardless of the sport or activity. At the end of it all, you have to look deep within and ask yourself if you’re having fun doing this. if you can say “yes”, then the rest really doesn’t matter.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna go get my workout by chasing down 4A yoyos after bad throws, missed whips and other mistakes I’m gonna make. This has to be a sport, I’m sweating! Now, where’s my gatorade?