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Author Topic: Teaching new top spinners  (Read 94 times)

butterfingers

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Teaching new top spinners
« on: February 08, 2019, 10:35:43 AM »

- I am looking for free advice on how to be more effective teaching people how to spin tops.
- The forum has a lot of great information for those of us already up and spinning but there is not a lot of conversation about bringing new top spinners to the hobby. Tops have a pretty steep learning curve and it's a different experience than a yo-yo. Anyone can pick up a yo-yo for the first time and make it go up and down. Not so with the spin top - it takes some technique and effort to make it go - and having someone show you how it's done is the best way to learn.
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- I belong to the Rochester Juggling Club and we have been invited to several events over the last few years. It seems like our opportunities to teach juggling are becoming more frequent so we have the opportunity to reach lots of people throughout the year. Mailman and I have been introducing top spinning at the events and it has been well received. I was hoping that some of you might have tips or advice for me on how to make top spinning accessible to people who may have never seen a spin top before. I have had some success but I am hoping to benefit for your experiences regarding what worked for you in the past - maybe sharing what didn't work would be just as helpful. I am gearing up for a top spinning breakout / workshop for this year's RIT Juggle In. Assuming I have attendees, I'd like them to get as much out of it as possible. I am planning to give each attendee that learns to do a spinner and a skyrocket a top to take home.



- here's a pic from last weekend where I shared some Spintastics tops with launchers at one of our library events. These three and another girl spent at least an hour with us. At one point I had 10 people spinning tops at the same time...some with strings and some with launchers. It was wonderful!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 10:39:53 AM by butterfingers »
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jmadrigal

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Re: Teaching new top spinners
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 12:50:11 PM »

My advice to teaching tops is this. Get a bunch of the same top. I recommend short circuit or cometa Dragon.
Ensure all the strings work for your top. Length of the string is important to get a simple spinner. Tie a loop at the end so the crown wrap doesn’t cause issues. This one thing speeds up teaching period.
Teach the spinner on the ground then have them try for the snow saucer. Battling tops is the best way to get kids (or anyone) to want to play them. All you need is to be able to throw and you are in the game.
When you play with them and they see you do a sky rocket to retrieve your top, they will ask you naturally how to do that. Now the teaching starts.
 
This is my method and it seems to work.
Have fun!

Jose
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Neff

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Re: Teaching new top spinners
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 02:21:59 PM »

Excellent advice from Jose there. Interest inspires success.

Teaching throw to the ground; the main thing I have to repeatedly tell most folks is to pivot at the shoulder and not the elbow or wrist, and to push the top and stop - don't whip it with your wrist or let go early and pull it through.  Most folks I have met can pick up on this within one session. Big Scoop next, then Skyrocket.

I have come across a few who really hit a wall at boomerang. It is always something to do with the release but some folks are really good at hiding what they are doing wrong. Those folks just need time alone to go through the process... or a high speed camera and a clairvoyant boomerang coach.
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butterfingers

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Re: Teaching new top spinners
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 03:27:49 PM »

Thank you, gentlemen! Jose's loop idea is very good - it will speed things up quite a bit. And I always forget about the Big Scoop because I am old and fat and don't do it myself. Thank you for the quick responses and the great ideas!
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