The most essential factor for tricking success is having good places to train, that you can train at regularly. Coming in second to that factor is being part of a tricking social group (team, tricking friends and rivals, whether online or offline). But the social factor always depends on the former: you and your friends can hype each other up about tricking but it won’t matter if you’re all in a prison cell of a town. And that’s how a lot of people feel as tricksters: their hometowns feel like a prison. No places to trick!
All you need is a patch of grass to trick? Right?
Those huge fields you drive by in the country? It’s up to your knees I guarantee that.
Probably private property too. You need “trickable” grass that’s open to the public. Parks are good, parks are everywhere right? With soccer fields and what not? Well, many parks are padlocked for non-organized sport use.
Spare me any story about you and your buddies hopping fences. That’s like trying to succeed at bodybuilding by sneaking into fitness facilities. Nonetheless, even if you find an open field, sometimes they’re closed for maintenance (herbicide spraying, watering, construction)
Maybe there are some very well maintained public parks in a city, but then again do you really want to trick in places where you are always watched by non-tricksters? Good luck learning some awkward, basic trick like a b-twist, aerial, or 540 here without feeling a little self-conscious.
Even if you do find a more private, open, well maintained field, it can still rain or something… Days after the rain you may still be standing in a marsh.
What if the only time you have to trick is night time? Not every field is lit up at night. And we haven’t even begun to talk about winter tricking difficulties or the sometimes unbelievable difficulty of finding a plyo gym facility to trick at! What about open plyo gyms?
Gyms with open plyo floor are still often inaccessible
I may have written about finding an open plyo gym to trick at with a positive note previously on this site, but the truth is it’s not easy at all to find a good gym to trick at. Sure, gyms are mainstream, and tricking and whatever-other freestyle mixed acrobatic practices are more known today than they were 20 years ago, but they have a long way to go in terms of acceptance in mainstream plyo facilities. I’ve walked into two gymnastics/cheer facilities in my new town recently and have still been met with bewildered looks when I asked about “open gym” and how I needed a place to train my “acrobatic martial art” … And it has gotten a lot worse with age. When I was 18 they’d be more open to listening and believing that I may be telling them something true about what I do, now at nearly 30 years of age they seem to suspect pedophilia (since 95% of these facilities cater to people in their teens or younger). I’m discriminated against because these activities are for younger folks. And I’m not joking about the pedophilia thing, why else do some of these facilities have very strict policies about filming?
What the fuck is the point of tricking if you can’t film? Sure it still has feel but ultimately the purpose is to show it off to other people and see your moves for yourself. Period. And if that wasn’t enough, most of these open plyo gyms still have severe time restrictions (ex: Saturday morning only). Anyway, despite the difficulty in finding an open plyo gym with good hours and management and availability, it’s something we all must do to succeed at tricking. We have to try our best to find something. Some place where we feel at home. Some place that works for us. And the more places: the better! You can be the most motivated, disciplined, gifted person on the planet but you won’t be realizing your tricking potentials at all if you’re failing to find places to trick. So if everything I’m saying here resonates with you, then you need to make accessibility a goal in your tricking.
The accessibility tricking goal
Framing a situation in a way where you see it as something you can improve with a developed skill is a big key to improving things that seem impossible to improve. To improve something with a skill, you need to establish a goal to give the skill something to practice on. See the accessibility of tricking in where you live as something that can be improved with skilled practice. Make goals and take actions to increase the accessibility of tricking.
Goals and/or actions like:
- Spend two hours per week for 2 months exploring your local area. Back roads, neighborhoods, industrial drives and all. You’ll be surprised what you may find.
- Trick two new places each month.
- Google search for gymnastics facilities near your area once per month.
- Google search for gymnastics facilities not near your area (a great one) and plan to make the pilgrimage regularly.
- Look for fitness facilities with yoga rooms or dance rooms. Sometimes they’re equipped with good flooring and are open to all patrons anytime.
- If you’re really bold, make it a goal to get kicked off of an ambiguous field once a month. (This puts pressure on you to really test whether or not a location is really off limits.)
- Actually write down and catalog all your tricking locations. Take note of time of day it is accessible (ex: elementary school sports fields are a no-go when school is in session, you will get escorted off… but they are almost always abandoned on weekends).
Accessibility is the most essential factor for tricking success
You can make it your goal to trick 3 days per week and learn advanced tricks like super-duper cork and triple whatever and plan to make videos and become awesome through tricking… But if you don’t find a good place to practice at regularly, then you will never succeed like this in tricking. So if you want tricking success, look. And don’t just look, find. And don’t just find, get good at finding. Become an expert at digging up places to trick and accept that often the best places do require regular long distance traveling.