My number one piece of advice for anyone interested in pursuing tricking as a hobby, (who is already in half decent shape), is to pick just one trick and to work only on it. Forget everything else. Give it as much time as it needs. The backflip is perfect for this, because everyone loves the backflip. If you can’t backflip, and you want it bad enough, train it 3 times a week until you get it. Nothing else. Go.
Now, it’s true tricking has an unforgivably steep learning curve for beginners, so advice like this isn’t always helpful, because people get discouraged and then give up. It can take months to learn any one trick whether you’re experienced or not. In the past, this was the only reason any aspiring trickster would give up. But today, the modern novice trickster will give up not only because of this discouragement, but also because of distraction. For those outside looking in, trying to make sense of modern tricking is like trying to make sense of a cluttered desktop.
When I started tricking there were only about one dozen tricks. I’m actually serious! Getting into tricking was really easy back then because you could learn the names of every one of these tricks and know who was who in the tricking world in like half an hour. It’s hard to believe, but this was what the tricking world was like back then. It was small. I mean, there was actually no such thing as a swing through! And corks were a rarity! Back then, new tricks were invented at the glacial rate of, oh, I don’t know, a few per year? I want you to think about all of this for one moment, think about this pretty hard:
If you lived in the kind of tricking world I just described, how would you train?
Clear your desktop
I have a lot of respect for new tricksters these days, there are just too many tricks to learn. Too many styles and niches. It’s a lot harder getting into tricking nowadays because of the sheer number of choices. Discouragement walks hand in hand with distraction now. My advice to anybody outside the tricking world looking in: pick just one, basic, popular trick and learn it. Don’t pick some weird trick like a donut boy or a spyder. Pick a back flip or a 540 kick. Don’t pick more than one trick. Because failing two tricks turns into failing three tricks turns into failing five tricks turns into failing twelve tricks. This doesn’t mean just keep crashing it the same way: break it down into prerequisite movements and work on progression drills, but make sure they are all leading up to that one trick. Be very disciplined about all this. Because if you can’t even do that one trick, you can’t do any tricks. Diversify? No, don’t do that, it won’t work yet. Diversification doesn’t work until you can do lots of tricks very well, at which point it’s essential. But when you are just starting you need to get past that steep learning curve before you diversify. You’ll get past that steep learning curve when you can actually do one trick well. Then another trick. Then another trick. You’ll have fun and succeed with tricking not when you continue failing one hundred at a time, but when you begin owning one at a time. So clear your desktop. Get to work.