The most essential factor for tricking success

May 18, 2015 Training

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.

untrickable_grassi

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.

park_gates_locked_closed_padlocked

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)

soccer_field_being_watered

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.

crowded_public_park

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.

wet_untrickable_park

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?

open_gym_little_kids

Sure, we have open gym. No you can’t film here.

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.
jujimufu_summer_2007_ironclast_field

My favorite tricking spot of all time was some strange field behind a circuit board manufacturing plant, I named it ironclast field, and I always parked my car in the middle of it.

  • 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.

11 comments

  1. Jon says:

    Seeing someone attempt to kick you off a field would make for quite a laugh. Any security would probably pretend they couldn’t see you just so they wouldn’t have to approach the massive half naked flying ninja.

  2. hans says:

    this is so true! there’s a park within 5 mins of walking from my house and i totally get the shyness of training in plain sight, so there’s this spot of secluded grass that i liked to train on. but the thing is i live in a place where snatch theft is rampant and there really is no point tricking without filming yourself like you mentioned above. you literally cant leave a camera in front of you even in a public park without being anxious the whole session haha. so what i’m doing now is i’m tricking in my room. i have to move a few things around but i can gainer with my dong out, so there’s that. space is pretty limited though but i’m trying my best. i can relate to this article so much!

    • Jon Call says:

      I’ve only tricked naked once myself, and after a b-twist I decided never to do it again.

      • hans says:

        hahahaa! the only logical explanation is that your dong is sizeable enough to interfere with the torque your body produces during the spin. a blessing and a curse really. have you tried non spin moves?

  3. Alistair Martin says:

    Took me a while to find a gymnastics facility where it trains adults. As gymnastic clubs for adults are extremely hard to find. And now I have found one. It was a pain in the ass and was worth it. I trained with that club for three years now. Plus I know a tricking community near my house that has access to gymnastic halls that can be hired out regularly so I will never have to worry about going around my city to find a patch of grass suitable to train on. I am very lucky.

  4. STEVE YEAH! says:

    Ahhh good article because I was just thinking about practicing tricking again. There’s a park down the street from my house, but what people don’t know is if you go up the big hill at the park, there’s this perfect flat spot for tricking.. nobody ever goes up there. With the wife home with my son and newborn little girl for the next 5 weeks, I will able to find time before coming home. So it’s on! Time to learn some new tricks and get myself moving around again!

  5. Matt Storey says:

    Excellent article! I never would of thought of using google maps *snacks self in head*. I did have a nice church lawn I could trick

    • Matt Storey says:

      That I could trick at in the country, I even tricked naked there and took pictures and put the moonface over my crotch so msn live users wouldnt get too offended, but I just moved to a new city so this was great!
      Thanks Jon, always love reading your articles!

  6. Francesco says:

    Man your right Arizona is awesome. I guess I’m so used to performing and being around kids that I’m not shy about doing it wherever and alone. Though I do love the sessions with Jacky, Steven, danny, and Spencer. I think Arizona really takes there parks for granted. I rarely see any of trickers here doing grass vids, but that’s also because we have several gyms that love trickers here too.

  7. kobi says:

    Ah well. I am not self concious in the least so anywhere there is grass i will trick. In fact i like tricking with an audience more. Besides for the fact that i have a large backyard.
    But i have never trained even once at a gym, i think there is only one in mybentire country. (Israel)

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