I see a lot of this in the diabolo community:
“I’ve been doing diabolo for a year and I still can’t do trick X!”
“I could do that trick after three months, it’s not that hard.”
There are three things that bother me about this:
1. A month of diaboloing for one person is practicing two hours per day, every day of the week. For another, it’s only an hour maybe twice a week. Clearly the first person has practiced much more in that same month.
2. People have different practicing methods. I’m not going into much detail with this, but people practice in different ways and different methods have different results.
3. Tricks vs. style and technique
The main emphasis of this article is on the third point. Many people seem to think that pulling off some really difficult trick is a sign of progress. This is often not true.
Lets consider the following statement: “If person A can’t do trick X at his sixth month of diaboloing, he or she hasn’t progressed as much as person B who could already do it after five months.” This is problematic.
I think that there’s too much emphasis on individual tricks rather than style and technique. What I mean is that some people try learning new tricks as fast as they can without caring about their style or technique. An easy trick done with style and good technique often looks much better than a really hard trick done badly. Of course it’s great to be able to pull off some really hard tricks, but that’s not everything. Style and technique are also part of your repertoire. It’s not just tricks that you should practice it’s also the way you do them.
Sometimes, instead of learning new tricks, you could try to polish what you already have. That’s another way of being creative — take an easy trick that’s not innovative or creative at all and make it your own with your style.
It’s not always tricks that show real progress — often it’s style and technique. I’ll quote a contact juggler: “Make easy tricks look beautiful and difficult tricks look easy”. This also applies to diabolo. I didn’t write this article to tell you to stop learning new tricks, I just wanted to show a different point of view. Keep on diaboloing!