STOP TRYING TO DO THINGS RIGHT.
SCREW EVERYTHING UP.
You're having trouble landing a trick correctly and you're filming yourself for feedback. You look back at the footage and you see your mistake(s) and know what you need to do to fix it. But no matter how hard you try it doesn't work. Now what?
Try this: When reviewing your footage for feedback, don't try to fix your problem. Instead, create new problems!
Here is my dear friend Taegashi back in 2002 b-twisting during winter.
Why did he trick in that weather? Because he kicks ass, that's why.
He had a great lift with the lead leg, look how high it is.
He sucked at coordinating his upper body during the twist. Look at his arm, what's it doing?!
He crashed this because he failed to use his upper body properly, not because of the snow.
And this is where most of us take the intuitive approach: If he's failing to
generate a good twist with his arms and shoulders, then most of us would tell
him to do something like
twist harder, or
use your upper body more,
try wrapping tighter on your twist, etc.
Haven't you had someone give you useless advice like this? Twist harder? Commit? Stall? Wrap tighter? etc. It's not that it's incorrect, it's just that it's bad advice. Yes, Taegashi needs to do those things, but if he just keeps crashing it the same way, then that advice obviously isn't helpful. Because maybe he can't figure out how to apply that advice. He needs a different approach.
If I could go back in time, I would give him this advice:
Taegashi, stop. You just keep failing the same way every time and it's a total buzzkill. I have some ideas. I want you to completely forget about lifting your leading leg. I want you to be like those creeps who b-twist vertical with no leg left. Try that a few times. Okay, next do about five good jump spins so you're reminded of what it feels like to spin well. Now try forgetting you're doing a b-twist at all. Forget about lifting that leg high and lifting with your arms and stalling and getting back behind you on the twist and blah blah blah. The only thing I want you to do is swing your arms hard side-to-side, twist way too early, and crash.
Do you see what I did? I generated a different approach, even if it was
so that Taegashi could experience what the move feels like to fail
in a different way. When you try to fix problems by adding something (twist
harder, stall, commit, etc), you're adding something to a full cup. You have
to get rid of something to add something else. This is exactly what I did for
Taegashi, I subtracted those things he consistently does correct from the trick
and then tried getting him to add what he needed in a ridiculous, over-the-top
It's suggested often to focus on one thing at a time when training a trick. Focus on one limb, one motion, one idea. Variety. I'm simply suggesting that when you do this, to abandon the other things you consistently do correctly, otherwise you'll just keep failing the same way. There is no need to fail a trick the same way more than once.
Taegashi is already in the habit of lifting that leg up hard and stalling the spin, he'll do it unconsciously no matter how he tries this trick. He just needs to focus on that one thing and let his unconscious good habits take care of the rest.
Corkscrew: Bad spin? Forget about lifting up your legs and arms at all, just try twisting way too soon and twisting side to side as if it's a standing jump spin.
540 kick: Can't get the kick over? Keep your kicking leg bent. Train that motion.
Aerial: Try your cartwheel or aerial taking off two feet at the same time. This could help you understand how opening up your body is the key to the aerial.
B-twist: Do it with your hands behind your back! That'll make you realize a few things.
Backflip: Having trouble even attempting a backflip? Forget all those people yelling at you to not look backward. Do it. Look backwards. Just throw your arms up as you do it. You can fix the head looking backward thing later. Looking backward isn't going to make it permanent for god's sake, it might just be what you need to have a breakthrough and land the damn move. I looked backward for years before I decided to fix it, which took only two afternoons. It was easy to fix.
Combos: This goes for combos too, especially ones with tricky transitions.
If it didn't work the first ten times, why the fuck would it work the eleventh
time? So you're gonna try harder from now on? Why not try some things
differently instead? Play with your tricks, you know, actually have some fun
fooling around with them? Stop trying to do everything
correct and start screwing everything up because it's hilarious.
Sometimes we need to fool around to have an aha! moment.
You might notice that this way of playing with your tricks is a microcosm of your overall tricking. Notice that you had to get rid of some things in a technique to allow new things a chance to flourish and a better equilibrium of forces within the trick to develop, just as you must neglect some tricks to allow new tricks a chance to flourish in your tricking arsenal; you cannot maintain everything at its absolute all of the time. Later, when I finish writing about the ecology of tricks, I'll share some ideas about cycling your tricks for maximum results. But today, and tomorrow, and this weekend, go apply the tip on this page. Foolishly crash until you hurt yourself, you wreckless devil you!