[Help Thread] Managing high expectations as a beginner?

Discussion in 'Cubing Help & Questions' started by Pestilence, May 20, 2017.

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  1. Pestilence

    Pestilence Member

    2
    0
    May 20, 2017
    So, I'm 31 and solved a cube for the first time a bit over a week ago. I had tried in the past, but always gave up after second layer edges. I saw a post on reddit that linked a video guide (badmephisto!) and I decided to just do it, and I did. Then I started trying to do it without looking at any algorithms, then I tried getting faster... you know how that goes. Couple days later I ordered an Air UM to replace my old uncared for Zanchi.

    I've finally drilled F2L into my head so I can execute the cases fine, but I'm still very slow at them. Often takes me time to find the pieces, pop corners out, recognize the case, move things where they need to be, etc. With beginner's method my PB was 1:26 and today I got a 1:17.

    Right now all I know is Cross -> F2L -> F (R U R' U') F' (or f) -> Sune over and over -> R' F R' B2 R F' R' B2 R2 over and over -> (R U') (R U) (R U) (R U') R' U' R2 to solve. After F2L, even though I often have to repeat moves, it usually doesn't take too long. I'm not super fast, but I've done the algs a lot so I'm not horribly slow. F2L is definitely the bulk of my time.

    I guess my issue is I have a pretty hardcore personality and not even 2 weeks in I can already tell I'm wishing I was further progressed and feel like I should be faster. I have a hard time inserting pairs anywhere but in the front, I'm slow to recognize the cases, I regrip and U constantly, and my average solve is probably 1:30-2 mins (usually 2 if I break a pair by accident or worse, ruin my cross).

    I only have 55 solves timed, and while I have done more for practice, I've probably done less than 200 total solves. I hear over and over practice is the best medicine, but I watch experienced cubers solve at 100 MPH and it's hard to imagine myself getting there. I guess I'm looking for some advice from people who were in my shoes when they started. What has your progression looked like? I really like cubing, I think it may be a long term hobby for me, but it's hard to practice when you feel like you're already behind where you should be.
     
  2. JustinTimeCuber

    JustinTimeCuber Member

    2,797
    528
    Aug 16, 2014
    Webster Groves, MO
    WCA:
    2013BARK01
    Welcome to the forums! Although it's annoying to hear this, at your stage, the main thing you can do is to practice. Using your current method, you will probably be able to get to sub-50 within a few weeks. Another thing you could try is to learn 4-look last layer. You'll have to learn 16 total algorithms, although most of them are easy and some you already know. That would divide the last layer into 4 steps, or fewer if you get lucky. For example with this last layer scramble:

    L U2 L2 B2 D2 R F' R F D R2 D B2 L U'

    You might do
    U2 F U R U' R' F' //edge orientation
    R' U2 R2 U R2 U R2 U2 R' //corner orientation
    (skip) //corner permutation
    U R2 U R U R' U' R' U' R' U R' U2 //edge permutation

    hope this helps.

    P.S. I did the calculations, even the fastest cubers rarely turn their cubes faster than around 2 MPH lol
    For all the nerds on this forum, 1 TPS on a normal-ish (55.5/56/57mm) cube = 0.14 MPH

    e: I just had a cool idea that needs a thread
     
  3. mark49152

    mark49152 Premium Member

    4,021
    2,017
    Oct 29, 2012
    UK
    WCA:
    2015RIVE05
    YouTube:
    mark49152
    Try not timing yourself and focusing on getting smarter with the cube. Learn 4LLL as the last poster suggested. Work on that all week and do as much practice as you can, then time an average at the weekend and be amazed at your improvement. Then continue doing the same - focus on building your skills somehow during each week, untimed, and measure your improvement at the weekend.
     
  4. SenorJuan

    SenorJuan Member

    365
    172
    Sep 26, 2014
    U.K
    That's one of the advantages of starting with a beginners method, and getting competent at it, before tackling a more advanced technique - you learn it easier, and make progress quicker. Trying to conquer the 'F2L' stage will take a LOT of thought, practice, study of the many guides/tutorials/videos etc, and more practice. And regarding this:
    "I've finally drilled F2L ... I can execute the cases fine,... Often takes me time to find the pieces, pop corners out, recognize the case...."
    If you 'pop a corner out' , or an edge, you should do it the correct way, so it forms a pair, either an adjacent pair (2x1x1 block) or the 'distant pair'. There are 6 cases for each (edges / corners) and you should ideally know 2 or 3 different ways of achieving each, as well as recognising and executing them from at least two different y orientations of the cube. All that takes effort, but it's the basis of 'intuitive' solving (as opposed to algorithmic)
    The good news: at 31, you are still capable of decent turn speed, so getting near to the ability of the best solvers is not quite as unfeasible as you think.
     
  5. Pestilence

    Pestilence Member

    2
    0
    May 20, 2017
    Thanks for the replies. I think not timing myself sometimes and focusing on going slower, but more deliberately will help with speed and getting comfortable using less rotations. 4LLL is the next thing I'll learn for sure, but I'm not sure I'm familiar or quick enough with F2L to jump into that, I feel like I need more time getting better at the cases before I really start getting into algs.

    I still pop corners out just because I've only done a handful of F2L solves so I haven't looked into algs for common cases yet. I think maybe the moral here is to do some focused practice and also spend some time without a timer doing free practice. And probably relax a little on my own expectations. I can already do some of the finger tricks fairly well like U2 flicks, the speed in algorithms probably will come with more practice. I may have been expecting too much too soon.
     
  6. mark49152

    mark49152 Premium Member

    4,021
    2,017
    Oct 29, 2012
    UK
    WCA:
    2015RIVE05
    YouTube:
    mark49152
    Yeah you are on the right track. Down to about 40-50 seconds it is really just about becoming a more competent solver - getting comfortable with handling and turning the cube, and with your method, and getting to know the cube well and see pieces more quickly. It doesn't really feel like speed and you don't have to think about solving faster, just focus on solving well.
     
  7. unirox13

    unirox13 Member

    364
    22
    Oct 12, 2010
    Also, don't forget research the other speedsolving methods out there. Roux is my main speedsolving method and I'm a huge fan, it's not hugely algorithm based. I almost quit cubing because I really didn't like CFOP at all, but then I discovered Roux and fell in love with how the solves felt using that method. There's a few different ways of solving the 3x3 and they've all got a little different feel to them. You may want to research them all and see if a new solving method might fit your needs better.
     
  8. One Wheel

    One Wheel Member

    1,501
    641
    Feb 24, 2016
    Wisconsin
    WCA:
    2016BAIR04
    One thing I would add is to look into other puzzles: I really enjoy megaminx and bigger cubes where pure tps and alg knowledge isn't necessary to be decent (although those are necessary to be really good, especially tps) instead what is important is intuition and look-ahead. Megaminx, particularly, has overall probably the strongest correlation between practice and improvement of any wca puzzle.
     
  9. Malkom

    Malkom Member

    499
    146
    May 22, 2016
    Sweden
    WCA:
    2016ANDE17
    YouTube:
    channel/UCSCZ2BsupnT5FoxOMNOf_kQ
    Can you expand a little(correct expression?) on the last part about megaiminx?
     
  10. One Wheel

    One Wheel Member

    1,501
    641
    Feb 24, 2016
    Wisconsin
    WCA:
    2016BAIR04
    Two parts:
    A. Personal experience: steadier improvement, vs. more stepwise on other puzzles.
    B. If you look at how fast the fastest megaminxers are vs average and the slowest, and the same data for other puzzles, the curve is flattest for clock, and, at least for speedsolve events, the steepest for megaminx. The curve is steeper for bigger cubes, but it's not as drastic as megaminx. The most interesting is probably to compare 5x5 to megaminx: mid-ranked cubers have very similar times for the two, but the lines cross very close to the 50th percentile, and the fastest minxers are significantly faster than the fastest 5x5ers.

    It makes sense if you think that basically everything but LL is intuitive (non-algorithmic, and learned through practice rather than rote memorization), and that's a much smaller percentage of the solve on megaminx than LL on 3x3 or especially 2x2.
     
    Malkom likes this.
  11. Solvador Cubi

    Solvador Cubi Member

    62
    9
    May 4, 2016
    USA
    Pestilence,

    Here's a sheet showing the easiest 4LLL that I know. It uses derivatives of the same algs whenever possible, leaving really only 9 to learn. It is set up as a "bring you own F2L" and really just focuses on the last layer.

    http://solvexio.cf/app/#/FIXLL_OnePage

    I hope some of that will help you!
    Solvador Cubi
     

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