It’s about a month into In-Depth, and my project is already turning into something amazing. I remember as a kid I fascinated by yoyoing and now is no different. Over the past month, I’ve worked on 3 main aspects of my project.
The first was research. I’ve been going on websites and learning about the history and evolution of yoyoing. You’d be surprised by how much the yoyoing community has changed even since it’s peak in the ’90s. Innovation, creativity, and enjoyment are what drives the community, and seeing that overtime is quite intriguing.
Secondly, I’ve been working on the basics of yoyoing. After my first meeting with my mentor, it was more than obvious that I didn’t remember a lot. We worked on the baseline of yoyoing. How to throw the yoyo, and how to get it to come back. When I started my throws and binds (Definition of Bind: Bringing the yoyo back up)were weak, wobbly, and frankly just had “bad form”. To overcome this I just kept practicing throwing. I did overhand throws, backwards throws, and across the body throws constantly for about a week. Now, I can see the improvement. The yoyo spins longer, it’s easier to perform simple tricks, and everything looks cleaner. It’s important to mention that there are many different types of yoyoing, but the specific type I am doing is called unresponsive yoyoing. Unresponsive yoyoing basically means the yoyo doesn’t come back up when pulled, and you have to perform a trick to get it to come up. Unresponsive yoyoing has become popular in the 2000s and has allowed new and more complex tricks to be created.
Lastly, I’ve begun to practice very basic tricks. These tricks include some I have learned in the past such as Walking the Dog and Double or Nothing, but also new ones such as Around the World, Trapeze, and Two Hand bind to name a few. Currently, my abilities aren’t consistent enough to record a video, but in future posts I’ll attach a video of my progress and my newest/favourite trick. Tricks require a lot of practice and repetition, and I do a lot of work on my own to practice. You might see me at lunchtime in the TALONS room throwing the yoyo around, and I must say that listening to music while practicing is a relaxing sensation.
As I mentioned before I’ve now met 2 times with my mentor, Nolan. We’re meeting over FaceTime, Instagram Video, or whatever video chat service is available at the time. It is nice not having to get to know my mentor since we’re already friends. We hop on a call, and in a super informal, yet fun and educational way, he teaches me how to yoyo. During the meetings, we discuss what I need to work on, my strengths, and where I can improve. For me, the time just flies by. At the end of each meeting, we set a date for next time, and talk about what I need to do. In the last meeting, I was assigned to keep practicing basic tricks, and I was challenged to research a trick on my own and show him next time. So far, everything is running great.
However well my project is going, it isn’t without obstacles. The first is learning tricks. Had COVID-19 not been an issue, I would be meeting in person, and Nolan would be able to critique my exact hand movements and guide me better, as yoyoing is a physical skill. Trying to mimic what someone does on a computer isn’t always easy, and I struggle with that. Secondly, repetition. One of the most discouraging things is messing up a trick over, and over, and over again. You feel frustrated and it’s annoying. I have to keep working through these obstacles, and I think motivation and support will be big factors.
All this said, I can’t wait to take this project even further.
Introduction to Unresponsizve Yoyos: https://youtu.be/s8pmieoAi4I
Tricks Website: https://yoyotricks.com/yoyo-tricks/unresponsive/
World Yoyo Champion: https://www.instagram.com/gentrystein/
In a mentoring situation, agreeing is the easiest thing to do. Your mentor knows more than you, and agreeing is your way to respect that. Agreeing doesn’t have to be verbal, it can be in the form of body language, head nods, and even clarifying questions. Agreeing helps build a starting relationship, and that’s what I’m trying to do. With my mentor specifically, I know how good he is at yoyoing. When I first met with him and he told me that my throws were sub-par, I agreed, because I trusted his opinion. Hopefully going forward this will continue.
Disagreeing is never easy. Disagreeing with your new mentor can be even harder. So far I haven’t had to deal with any disagreements with Nolan, but I’m aware that may change. Since In-Depth is also a self-led project, I’ll be learning from areas other than Nolan directly.This could cause disagreement as to how things are done, and I’m prepared for that. After reading How to Have a Beautiful Mind, i better understand that disagreeing is a crucial part of having meaningful conversations. When I disagreement comes up, I’ll be respectful, but I’ll also disagree for the right reasons; to help both of us, and to build our relationship.
Differing is a very important idea to understand. For the longest time, I thought everything was black and white. As I’ve grown up I’ve realized the world mainly lies in the grey area in between. This is important because often when opinions differ, both sides have reasons to back their opinion. I expect this to happen at some point during In-Depth. Even though Nolan and I are friends, we’ll have differences of opinions. It might be that I learned something about yoyoing online, and he was taught differently in-person. When these differences come up we can address them together and figure out if our difference can be or even if it needs to be reconciled. Differing helps us grow as both mentor and student, and I’m ready for when it happens.