Author Topic: How to teach diabolo class to children?  (Read 2440 times)


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How to teach diabolo class to children?
« on: October 23, 2015, 08:22:48 PM »
I'm teaching Chinese yo-yo at a Chinese school. The students are around 8-16 years old. Some are forced by their parents to take the class. Some enjoy it. Like most children, they have short attention spans and are impatient. They don't always practice during the 1 hour class per week. Most don't practice outside of class. No practice leads to no improvement. They just want to learn new tricks or goof off. Their foundation is not good and they know tricks, but have too high a failure rate. They want to play yo-yo games, but that doesn't lead to proficiency with one hour classes each week.

My mission is to teach them Chinese yo-yo, get them interested so they keep coming, have a good foundation and learn many tricks. However, I find this task very difficult.

I don't like how they use bearing diabolos (from previous instructor). I know they are easier to learn, but many bad habits develop like pulling equally hard with both hands or not learning poor foundation. However, they are discouraged quickly when I give them a fixed axle to play with. I want them to practice, but they don't. How can I force them to practice without it making it boot camp? I don't want them to teach them new tricks until they master the previous tricks, but they just get discouraged or goof off. In Taiwan, elementary school students use fixed axle and practice after school. They are quite proficient at it. How did they do that?

So here are my questions?
1) Which diabolo? Fixed axle or bearing? For beginners?
2) How to keep them interested?
3) Any other advice?

Mr Circus

  • Thanks: 1
Re: How to teach diabolo class to children?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 11:32:27 PM »
You could try showing them some tricks yourself, or like a collab or something. I remember when I just started out one of the first videos I saw was the 2012 collab video. It completely blew my mind and now I'm almost at that level. As far as fixed axle or ball bearing goes, I would definitely say without a doubt that its better for beginners to start on a fixed axle. If they start on a ball bearing they never learn how to deal with diabolos that climb the string in wraps, have bad spin times or how to do elevator tricks. I would start them out on a really cheap low quality diabolo(fixed axle), then move them up to something like a finesse or circus.


  • Thanks: 5
Re: How to teach diabolo class to children?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 08:15:32 PM »
I've been teaching circus in general for 5 years or so and i know your pain. Children are the worst!!!! The biggest problem, as you said, is that not all the kids want to be there really. What I've found working best in these situations is:
1) inspire them yourself (it's hard ;__;)
2) show them diabolo videos (as mr circus said)
3) make it clear when they can have fun and talk and chat and play with yo yo's if they want. I mean it's their free time after all and their money spent on it. But you still have to make sure that they are silent when you talk so it won't disturb other people in the lesson.
4) make up games and friendly competitions (there exists already a lot)
5) talk in the end of sessions with all of them for couple of minutes how they liked it and what did they like about it. Also why do they want to learn to do diabolo and explain your goals to them in a way they understand.
6) after class talk with the problem kids about focusing during the 1 hour of the week during the lesson and sincerely ask for it. Tell them the fact that they are disturbing other people during the lesson and also talk to their parents about it. (especially the 8 years old and young people in general) Make them question if they want to be there. If they don't, they'll leave and you have a peace of mind. If they stay, they'll try to focus and learn to have fun.
7) probably the most important one in my opinion. Realize the fact that they are young and it's their hobby and past time. In the end there has been only a few persons in every youth circus thing I've been to or taught who will continue learning eagerly to become better at their thing and even make it their profession. 8 years young is REALLY young and they will not think the same way as the 16 years old let alone you. Take it as a victory if even one person does diabolo during their spare time. In the end the work will pay off for the one kid and he'll be better at it than the ones using bearings all the time and not giving a flying f*** about your teaching.

and yes. fixed axle for the basics and technique in the beginning and for life! and bearing if they have fun with it.

I'm 19 years old guy living in finland (differences in culture maybe) and started teaching younger kids when I was about 14. I have no real studies about this, but I think I've learned a lot about the subject just by talking with my teachers. take my word or leave it hanging here, your choice.

- Eetu

if someone disagrees please be free to tell me and we can debate and fight over it.


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