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YoYoSkills.com – Indefinite Hiatus

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I have been sitting at my computer now for an hour trying to figure out how to write this out. The best way is to just be straight forward and come from the heart… it’s not you, its me.

(ha)

No but really. I really love all of you guys. The readers, fans, and yes even “teh haters.” For 5 years YoYoSkills.com has been my passion and my drive in the yo-yo world. When I started there were only a handful of yoyo web blogs but now…. now there are HUNDREDS. The landscape is changing and the time has come for me to realign my hobbies to my lifestyle. I am a father who is getting ready to add to our family through adoption, I have a full time career that is very demanding of my energy, and I am quickly approaching a few specialty training courses followed up by a Masters program. I am a busy guy and as much as I love bringing everyone in the yo-yo world news, reviews and videos I just don’t have enough time to juggle everything effectively. I have to focus on my family, my career, and my education and to do that unfortunately I have to make responsible sacrifices. That’s right, being an adult can suck.

So I am placing YoYoSkills.com on indefinite hiatus. That is a fancy way of saying YoYoSkills is on hold, and maybe if things align or change I may re-launch YoYoSkills.

A few questions I expect:

Are you quitting yoyoing?
No, Just the website, and its not quitting its just on hold. I still plan to come to contests and be part of the community.

Are you going to sell the domain?
No, and I won’t autoforward it either. There may be a few tweaks to the front page but the main site will stay up in archive mode.

Can we still comment on stuff?
Sure.

What about YoYoNation?
The YoYonation project turned into a giant cluster of programmers rage. I am still picking apart the code to dig for the the online content from the store. If I come up with anything salvageable I will upload it. The forum is at YoYoNation.net is up but in all forms of reality should be considered “For reference use only.”

Will you still be selling the Skill Life Shirt and the Throw Game?
Yes, links are in the side bar.

Was that a shameless plug?
Your mother…

Where will you go now?
Wherever there is new content… I’ll be there. Wherever there is a new video… I’ll be there. Wherever there is El Guapo, the Three Amigos will be there…. I’ll be around also. I may find another role in the yo-yo world that doesn’t require daily site updates, but we shall see. In the mean time there is always Facebook and Twitter

Any other questions, feel free to hit me up. I do really love this site and all of you. 5 years of my blood, sweat and tears are embedded in this PHP and HTML script bag along with a ton of time and dedication but the professional career world is calling, the kids need help with homework, and I have a book report due on Tuesday.

Love you all

- Chris Allen

So you want to enter a contest…

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So you want to enter a contest.

It may be your first contest, it may be your fiftieth.  Either way, the prep is the same.  Everyone has a different learning style, so by all means, embrace what works for you.  Here are a few tips that may help.

1. Song choice.  This drives your performance.  Know the rules of your contest so you know how much
choreography you need to worry about. Don’t just pick your favourite song, as it may not be the best for
your style.  Choose a song that has a beat that is a little slower than your fastest yo-yoing.  When you
get up on stage the stress and nerves will make you rush and make mistakes; choosing the right song
will keep you to a speed where you can land tricks with few errors.

2. Trick choice.  Don’t use your newest trick.  Use the ones you can land Every Single Time.  Mistakes
cost you double, the negative point and the point you didn’t get.  Chose tricks that flow well together as
the smoothness of your routine counts (do your tricks start and end nicely? Are the pauses or
unexpected stops? etc).  If you can, include some variety (some front style, some side style, horizontal,
under the leg, behind the back), but work within what you have mastered.

3. Choreography.  Don’t go overboard.  If its prelim, pick a couple points where starting or finishing a trick
in time to the music works.  If it’s a final, work in some movement, more timing points, try to have at
least one or two tricks where you can make eye contact with the audience.  Again, missed tricks cost
you more than they choreography was worth, so make sure you can land the trick while doing whatever
else you are doing.  I yoyo while walking to work, so I can move and yoyo at the same time.

4. Professionalism.  Find space to acknowledge your audience. If you can be wearing an outfit that
matches the music, all the better.  Those few pauses to indicate the audience should cheer count.  Just
keep them short.

When you practice, make time to run your routine start to finish multiple times every day.      Make mistakes and practice getting past the mistake to your next trick.  Have those spare yoyos ready and run the routine through yoyo changes so you are ready for if it happens on stage.  Practice your audience interaction and choreography, and if you can, do it in front of people.

When you do get up on stage, remember that it’s a contest, one moment in time.  You are there for the love of yo-yoing. Focus not on beating the other guy, but on landing your tricks and sharing what you have created; don’t worry if you make mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes at contests, and we all have a laugh and smile afterwards and move on to improving for next time.  Please don’t forget to have fun!