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How Many Events to Focus on at 1 Time

3ACuber

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Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
50
I recently have been getting back into cubing after a 1 year break, and I was wondering.

If I like OH and SQ1 more than all of the other events:

Is it worth getting new cubes for the other events?
Should I also practice the other events? (Re-memorize the algs)
If there is a comp (COVID) should i sign up for those events.

(IK these are dumb questions but just I need insight)

thanks!
 

3ACuber

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Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
50
It's all up to you. I only really practice megaminx and 3x3, so if you want to just get really good at OH and SQ1, by all means go for it. But if you want to be more of an all-rounder, you can do that too and there are plenty of cubers known for being all-rounders.
yeah your really fast at megaminx. could you give me an example of an all-rounder, and a spesific event cuber.
 

GenTheThief

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I recently have been getting back into cubing after a 1 year break, and I was wondering.

If I like OH and SQ1 more than all of the other events:

Is it worth getting new cubes for the other events?
Should I also practice the other events? (Re-memorize the algs)
If there is a comp (COVID) should i sign up for those events.

(IK these are dumb questions but just I need insight)

thanks!

1. IMO no. I have never been one to hop on the bandwagon of new hardware so keep that in mind, but after I've gotten a reasonable puzzle for a WCA event, especially one that I don't practice too much, I'm probably not going to upgrade it. For example, I have a Moyu skweb with ball bearings instead of magnets since I got it in 2016-2017. I don't practice skewb, but I might try to get some reasonable times (sub5) eventually. People have gotten sub 3 with that cube, so I don't see a reason for me to buy a newer cube thats only going to be marginally better.

2. I do to maintain the ability to solve the puzzle, but not anything beyond that. I still know Sarah's beginner's algs, but I'm not going to actively learn intermediate or advanced algs since I don't practice it. When I do pick it up, I might, but not now. I know big cube parity, but I don't know any fancy L2E tricks.
At the moment, I'm not even practicing other events outside my main ones (3x3, OH, Mega), much less learning algorithms for them. But I've also been cubing for a couple years, so I've already tried all the other events. Since you still seem pretty new, I would probably try out the other events just to see what they're like and learn the algs to know how to solve them, and then decide if you want to learn any more specific algs for that event.

3. If you can solve the puzzle and can make it under cutoff, I would probably sign up for the events. For me, I don't sign up for all the events anymore since I've been to a lot of comps already. I mostly focus on my main events and stay warm with maybe a fun side event like 5x5, but I don't expect to get good results in that.

These are all my opinions, as always, it comes down to what you want to do and how you want to spend your time.


Jayden McNeill (@ottozing) also had a post on his newsletter a couple years ago about all-rounding and dealing with practicing multiple events:

*there are some links in his email, but I can't be bothered to manually translate them all back in*

A question I got from Tyler, one of my readers a few days ago


"Hey Jay, first, I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the things you do. As a cuber who finds improvement difficult and has a hard time creating solutions to those problems, its relieving to know there's someone as knowledgeable as you who makes such informational and engaging videos.

Anyway, back to the point. I think an interesting topic you could discuss either in a video or a newsletter is the idea of being an all-rounder. Since you have experience in this field, whether you currently pursue it now or not, I think you could have a lot of useful insight to share on how to manage effectively practicing all or almost all of the events.

Once again, thank you for what you do, and thank you for your time an consideration"

~

I figure it makes a lot of sense to write on the topic of being an all rounder, since it's something I'm a lot more experienced with than 99.99% of cubers

Before I get into too much detail on my history as an all rounder, I want to briefly touch on the subject of my last email which was about making time for cubing when you have a busy life...

IF you don't have 2 hours or more per day to cube, I would not even try to be an all rounder in the sense that you practice multiple events at one time

EVEN IF you have 2-3 hours per day to cube, practising more than 2 events at any given time is going to significantly stunt your progress

If you're someone who can't/doesn't practice more than a few hours a day, AND you still want to be an all rounder, then the best approach is to practice one event at a time for a period of time until your progress seriously slows down despite your best efforts

This is pretty much how I approached being an all rounder in 2015-2017. I would do one event very seriously and 2-3 others casually (though I had quite a lot more free time on my hands)

Now for some more practical advice, PRACTICE RELATED EVENTS if you're practising 2-3 at a time. For example, if you're trying to get better at 3BLD, it makes more sense to work on MultiBLD and 4BLD as well, rather than Clock and Feetsolving

It's also smart to practice events that will have CARRYOVER skill for other events. For example, if you improve significantly at 3x3 solving, your One-Handed, Feetsolving, 4x4+ AND Megaminx average should all improve slightly as well with minimal to no practice

Clock on the other hand doesn't really give you any skills that will carry over well to other events, especially not to the extent that 3x3 does

Some time ago I posted a video on YouTube explaining why I quit Square-1, despite being the World Champion for the event and ranking as high as 4th in the world for average at my peak

For some people this came as a surprise, but truth be told this isn't the first time I've quit an event I was "good" at (or at the very least, taken a very long break from since quitting isn't always the most accurate term)

Over the years my "main" event changed quite a lot. If I were to plot it as an overly simplistic timeline of my main event...

~

2011: Learned to solve a 3x3, could also do big cubes. Mostly gravitated towards 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 and one handed solving without specifically having a main between the 4 events

2012: Became even more interested in 2x2 and considered it my speciality event. This was the year I first got top 50 in the World at any event with a sub 3 second 2x2 average

2013: Still mostly focused on 2x2 but had learned how to do all of the events other than the 3 longBLD events. This would be my breakout year where I got 3rd in the World for 2x2 with the 3rd ever sub 2 second 2x2 average done by anyone. I also recall doing quite well in some other events that year, such as One-handed and FMC

2014: Skewb became an event, and my taste for OcR's was strong. By the end of the year I would become the World Record holder in Skewb average, and have 2 World Records in the event under my belt total. I also dabbled in some new events such as Square-1 where I got my first OcR for that event, and later in the year would come close to my first Pyraminx OcR (wouldn't quite achieve this until early 2015)

2015: By the end of 2014 I was frustrated with 2x2 due to how difficult it was to compete in the event officially under pressure. After Worlds 2015 I would slowly begin gravitating away from "short" events entirely. My focus this year moved much more to 3x3 with my first sub 8 second official average

2016: This year I had just finished high school and took a gap year to focus on cubing. I would spend the first half of the year focusing a LOT on 3BLD, going effectively from a useless 3BLD solver to a 27 second official single. This was the first year I became #1 Worldwide in Sum of Ranks for both single and average, as well as #1 in kinchranks

2017: With Square-1 hardware improving so drastically, I decided to focus on the event more than I had in years past since I effectively quit in early 2014. I ended up getting a ridiculous number of OcR's in the event, along with peaking at 4th in the World for average, and eventually becoming the World Champion

2018: Due to frustrations with balancing so many events at bigger competitions, I started gravitating back to 3x3 like I did in 2015. US Nationals 2018 would be the competition that solidified my commitment to no longer being an "all rounder" with me under performing across the board and burning out super hard after the WCCT. At my last competition of the year I finally got sub 7 for average, which had been a long term goal of mine ever since 2016-2017

2019: Equally as committed to 3x3 as before, only doing 4-5 and OH for fun. No plans to ever be an all rounder again at this stage

~

Now, for anyone reading this who wants to be an all rounder, or at least a "well rounded" cuber, that's absolutely fine and I encourage you to follow your dreams and chase your goals. If you're younger and you have the time to practice, by all means give it a shot :)

However, there are a few things that definitely sucked the joy out of being an all rounder for me, and you would be wise to take note

The reason I want to include this part, despite how negative it may sound, is because there ARE real pros and cons to this stuff

It's pretty hard to recommend pursuing being an all rounder honestly, especially when you consider the fact that being a specialist means you improve faster AND don't have to sacrifice so much of your time for cubing


JAY'S LIST OF REASONS FOR ALL ROUNDER CUBING BEING SUCKY


1. You can't focus on just one event for a long enough period of time to make the best progress possible. At best you can only focus for a few months before doing another event will be "better for your sum of ranks"

2. You will be very very busy at competitions. If you aren't a naturally high energy person, you are going to crash and burn out hard. At big competitions this is going to heavily limit how much you can socialise with other cubers and how much you can warm up before your rounds, ESPECIALLY if you're a fast all rounder like I was/am

3. You're going to have the constant conflict between "practising what's fun" and "practising what you should be practising for better sum of ranks". If you let this go too far, which I eventually did, then it can really suck the joy out of cubing. Seriously, cubing should NOT feel like a job or a chore, regardless of how good you are or how much money you make from it

4. If you become known as "the good all rounder", or known as anything else in cubing for that matter, a part of you is going to feel a certain pressure to keep doing the thing you're known for. This was especially true for me when it came to being the #1 Sum of Ranks guy, since at my peak I was very dominant over the rest of the World. I also previously had similar frustrations with feeling like I "should" practice certain events only because I could break records or place highly in the World Rankings

5. No matter what, you need to accept the fact that you're going to get worse at some of your events pursuing all roundness. You already have to practice 1-4 events as it is and stunt your long term progress at best (if not also stunting your short term progress at the same time). ON TOP OF THAT, YOU WILL GET WORSE AND SLIGHTLY REGRESS AT BASICALLY EVERY OTHER EVENT TO VARYING DEGREES.


Now, there are of course nice things about being an all rounder cuber, such as being able to get more podiums, and also not have your mood at a competition decided by whether or not you do well in the only event you care about.

However, eventually the cons just completely outweighed the pros for me

Does this mean I'm never going to practice 2x2, BLD, or Square-1 ever again? Of course not, I could absolutely find myself doing those events again if I feel like it

However, the days of being an all rounder cuber are pretty much over for me, and I couldn't be happier. I've done what I've wanted to do, and I have absolutely no regrets about the journey I took to get here. They were not wasted years by any means, far from it...

Eventually, all good things must come to an end, and I'll never forget the memories and great opportunities my all rounder abilities gave me, along with the lessons learned along the way that I can now share with you guys :)

But yeah nah 3x3 is the sickest event. 3x3 is love, 3x3 is life

WEBSITE STUFF

Some of you may or may not have noticed, but I've finally upgraded the Coaching Services section of my website :)

I want your help to make it even better!

The FAQ section is now much more comprehensive than it was before

BUT

If you have a question that you think should be on there, please reply to this email with it and I will very much consider adding it to the FAQ on my site

I'm also now putting testimonials up and featuring a handful of my clients who have seen success with my work

Their success is truly my success, and if you're ever looking for a second opinion on my work, I'm sure you can find a way to contact them as they're all on YouTube and social media somewhere if you do enough detective work ;)

Any questions, let me know people




Keep on cubing

Talk soon

--j


PO Box 627
Woden ACT 2606
AUSTRALIA
 

BenChristman1

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yeah your really fast at megaminx. could you give me an example of an all-rounder, and a spesific event cuber.
Well, Martin Egdal is the ultimate all-rounder, but there are many people everywhere. The Morrisons (Micah and Owen, who are both on the forums) are good at a lot of events. Another good example is Stanley Chapel (even though he obviously is insane at blind events too). You could also look as near as the people who live in your area. Like I said, there are a lot of people who live all around the world who are all-rounders.

As for an example of some specialists, Tymon Kolasiński specializes in NxNs and pyraminx. Graham Siggins specializes in blind events. Just like all-rounders, there are also many examples of people who specialize in certain events that live in your area.
 
Last edited:

3ACuber

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
50
1. IMO no. I have never been one to hop on the bandwagon of new hardware so keep that in mind, but after I've gotten a reasonable puzzle for a WCA event, especially one that I don't practice too much, I'm probably not going to upgrade it. For example, I have a Moyu skweb with ball bearings instead of magnets since I got it in 2016-2017. I don't practice skewb, but I might try to get some reasonable times (sub5) eventually. People have gotten sub 3 with that cube, so I don't see a reason for me to buy a newer cube thats only going to be marginally better.

2. I do to maintain the ability to solve the puzzle, but not anything beyond that. I still know Sarah's beginner's algs, but I'm not going to actively learn intermediate or advanced algs since I don't practice it. When I do pick it up, I might, but not now. I know big cube parity, but I don't know any fancy L2E tricks.
At the moment, I'm not even practicing other events outside my main ones (3x3, OH, Mega), much less learning algorithms for them. But I've also been cubing for a couple years, so I've already tried all the other events. Since you still seem pretty new, I would probably try out the other events just to see what they're like and learn the algs to know how to solve them, and then decide if you want to learn any more specific algs for that event.

3. If you can solve the puzzle and can make it under cutoff, I would probably sign up for the events. For me, I don't sign up for all the events anymore since I've been to a lot of comps already. I mostly focus on my main events and stay warm with maybe a fun side event like 5x5, but I don't expect to get good results in that.

These are all my opinions, as always, it comes down to what you want to do and how you want to spend your time.


Jayden McNeill (@ottozing) also had a post on his newsletter a couple years ago about all-rounding and dealing with practicing multiple events:

*there are some links in his email, but I can't be bothered to manually translate them all back in*

A question I got from Tyler, one of my readers a few days ago


"Hey Jay, first, I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the things you do. As a cuber who finds improvement difficult and has a hard time creating solutions to those problems, its relieving to know there's someone as knowledgeable as you who makes such informational and engaging videos.

Anyway, back to the point. I think an interesting topic you could discuss either in a video or a newsletter is the idea of being an all-rounder. Since you have experience in this field, whether you currently pursue it now or not, I think you could have a lot of useful insight to share on how to manage effectively practicing all or almost all of the events.

Once again, thank you for what you do, and thank you for your time an consideration"

~

I figure it makes a lot of sense to write on the topic of being an all rounder, since it's something I'm a lot more experienced with than 99.99% of cubers

Before I get into too much detail on my history as an all rounder, I want to briefly touch on the subject of my last email which was about making time for cubing when you have a busy life...

IF you don't have 2 hours or more per day to cube, I would not even try to be an all rounder in the sense that you practice multiple events at one time

EVEN IF you have 2-3 hours per day to cube, practising more than 2 events at any given time is going to significantly stunt your progress

If you're someone who can't/doesn't practice more than a few hours a day, AND you still want to be an all rounder, then the best approach is to practice one event at a time for a period of time until your progress seriously slows down despite your best efforts

This is pretty much how I approached being an all rounder in 2015-2017. I would do one event very seriously and 2-3 others casually (though I had quite a lot more free time on my hands)

Now for some more practical advice, PRACTICE RELATED EVENTS if you're practising 2-3 at a time. For example, if you're trying to get better at 3BLD, it makes more sense to work on MultiBLD and 4BLD as well, rather than Clock and Feetsolving

It's also smart to practice events that will have CARRYOVER skill for other events. For example, if you improve significantly at 3x3 solving, your One-Handed, Feetsolving, 4x4+ AND Megaminx average should all improve slightly as well with minimal to no practice

Clock on the other hand doesn't really give you any skills that will carry over well to other events, especially not to the extent that 3x3 does

Some time ago I posted a video on YouTube explaining why I quit Square-1, despite being the World Champion for the event and ranking as high as 4th in the world for average at my peak

For some people this came as a surprise, but truth be told this isn't the first time I've quit an event I was "good" at (or at the very least, taken a very long break from since quitting isn't always the most accurate term)

Over the years my "main" event changed quite a lot. If I were to plot it as an overly simplistic timeline of my main event...

~

2011: Learned to solve a 3x3, could also do big cubes. Mostly gravitated towards 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 and one handed solving without specifically having a main between the 4 events

2012: Became even more interested in 2x2 and considered it my speciality event. This was the year I first got top 50 in the World at any event with a sub 3 second 2x2 average

2013: Still mostly focused on 2x2 but had learned how to do all of the events other than the 3 longBLD events. This would be my breakout year where I got 3rd in the World for 2x2 with the 3rd ever sub 2 second 2x2 average done by anyone. I also recall doing quite well in some other events that year, such as One-handed and FMC

2014: Skewb became an event, and my taste for OcR's was strong. By the end of the year I would become the World Record holder in Skewb average, and have 2 World Records in the event under my belt total. I also dabbled in some new events such as Square-1 where I got my first OcR for that event, and later in the year would come close to my first Pyraminx OcR (wouldn't quite achieve this until early 2015)

2015: By the end of 2014 I was frustrated with 2x2 due to how difficult it was to compete in the event officially under pressure. After Worlds 2015 I would slowly begin gravitating away from "short" events entirely. My focus this year moved much more to 3x3 with my first sub 8 second official average

2016: This year I had just finished high school and took a gap year to focus on cubing. I would spend the first half of the year focusing a LOT on 3BLD, going effectively from a useless 3BLD solver to a 27 second official single. This was the first year I became #1 Worldwide in Sum of Ranks for both single and average, as well as #1 in kinchranks

2017: With Square-1 hardware improving so drastically, I decided to focus on the event more than I had in years past since I effectively quit in early 2014. I ended up getting a ridiculous number of OcR's in the event, along with peaking at 4th in the World for average, and eventually becoming the World Champion

2018: Due to frustrations with balancing so many events at bigger competitions, I started gravitating back to 3x3 like I did in 2015. US Nationals 2018 would be the competition that solidified my commitment to no longer being an "all rounder" with me under performing across the board and burning out super hard after the WCCT. At my last competition of the year I finally got sub 7 for average, which had been a long term goal of mine ever since 2016-2017

2019: Equally as committed to 3x3 as before, only doing 4-5 and OH for fun. No plans to ever be an all rounder again at this stage

~

Now, for anyone reading this who wants to be an all rounder, or at least a "well rounded" cuber, that's absolutely fine and I encourage you to follow your dreams and chase your goals. If you're younger and you have the time to practice, by all means give it a shot :)

However, there are a few things that definitely sucked the joy out of being an all rounder for me, and you would be wise to take note

The reason I want to include this part, despite how negative it may sound, is because there ARE real pros and cons to this stuff

It's pretty hard to recommend pursuing being an all rounder honestly, especially when you consider the fact that being a specialist means you improve faster AND don't have to sacrifice so much of your time for cubing


JAY'S LIST OF REASONS FOR ALL ROUNDER CUBING BEING SUCKY


1. You can't focus on just one event for a long enough period of time to make the best progress possible. At best you can only focus for a few months before doing another event will be "better for your sum of ranks"

2. You will be very very busy at competitions. If you aren't a naturally high energy person, you are going to crash and burn out hard. At big competitions this is going to heavily limit how much you can socialise with other cubers and how much you can warm up before your rounds, ESPECIALLY if you're a fast all rounder like I was/am

3. You're going to have the constant conflict between "practising what's fun" and "practising what you should be practising for better sum of ranks". If you let this go too far, which I eventually did, then it can really suck the joy out of cubing. Seriously, cubing should NOT feel like a job or a chore, regardless of how good you are or how much money you make from it

4. If you become known as "the good all rounder", or known as anything else in cubing for that matter, a part of you is going to feel a certain pressure to keep doing the thing you're known for. This was especially true for me when it came to being the #1 Sum of Ranks guy, since at my peak I was very dominant over the rest of the World. I also previously had similar frustrations with feeling like I "should" practice certain events only because I could break records or place highly in the World Rankings

5. No matter what, you need to accept the fact that you're going to get worse at some of your events pursuing all roundness. You already have to practice 1-4 events as it is and stunt your long term progress at best (if not also stunting your short term progress at the same time). ON TOP OF THAT, YOU WILL GET WORSE AND SLIGHTLY REGRESS AT BASICALLY EVERY OTHER EVENT TO VARYING DEGREES.


Now, there are of course nice things about being an all rounder cuber, such as being able to get more podiums, and also not have your mood at a competition decided by whether or not you do well in the only event you care about.

However, eventually the cons just completely outweighed the pros for me

Does this mean I'm never going to practice 2x2, BLD, or Square-1 ever again? Of course not, I could absolutely find myself doing those events again if I feel like it

However, the days of being an all rounder cuber are pretty much over for me, and I couldn't be happier. I've done what I've wanted to do, and I have absolutely no regrets about the journey I took to get here. They were not wasted years by any means, far from it...

Eventually, all good things must come to an end, and I'll never forget the memories and great opportunities my all rounder abilities gave me, along with the lessons learned along the way that I can now share with you guys :)

But yeah nah 3x3 is the sickest event. 3x3 is love, 3x3 is life

WEBSITE STUFF

Some of you may or may not have noticed, but I've finally upgraded the Coaching Services section of my website :)

I want your help to make it even better!

The FAQ section is now much more comprehensive than it was before

BUT

If you have a question that you think should be on there, please reply to this email with it and I will very much consider adding it to the FAQ on my site

I'm also now putting testimonials up and featuring a handful of my clients who have seen success with my work

Their success is truly my success, and if you're ever looking for a second opinion on my work, I'm sure you can find a way to contact them as they're all on YouTube and social media somewhere if you do enough detective work ;)

Any questions, let me know people




Keep on cubing

Talk soon

--j


PO Box 627
Woden ACT 2606
AUSTRALIA

thanks for you and jayden for literally writing more than I did for my history essay.
i agree, ill only get new cubes when im focused on the event.
 

Tabe

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There's nothing wrong with focusing on just one or two events. Some people are really good at everything - like Max Siauw, who lives near both of us - and some only practice one or two things - like Ethan, who also lives near us, mentioned up above.

I would look at getting a new megaminx if you're planning to practice that a lot but you're otherwise good on everything.
 

LukasDikic

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Feb 13, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Canada
I recently have been getting back into cubing after a 1 year break, and I was wondering.

If I like OH and SQ1 more than all of the other events:

Is it worth getting new cubes for the other events?
Should I also practice the other events? (Re-memorize the algs)
If there is a comp (COVID) should i sign up for those events.

(IK these are dumb questions but just I need insight)

thanks!
If your gonna practice the other events than get better cubes if you want, unless your cubes are already good. I personally mainly specialize in 3x3 and 2x2, and I don't really practice anything else with dedication. Proof of this is my 3x3 average is sub-8, while my 4x4 is around 50. But it's still nice to have the option of doing other events for when you get tired of OH and Sq-1, because I don't think it would be enjoyable without taking breaks and giving your brain time to process everything you learnt. And I can't see why you shouldn't sign up for other events at comps.
 

3ACuber

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Apr 3, 2020
Messages
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If your gonna practice the other events than get better cubes if you want, unless your cubes are already good. I personally mainly specialize in 3x3 and 2x2, and I don't really practice anything else with dedication. Proof of this is my 3x3 average is sub-8, while my 4x4 is around 50. But it's still nice to have the option of doing other events for when you get tired of OH and Sq-1, because I don't think it would be enjoyable without taking breaks and giving your brain time to process everything you learnt. And I can't see why you shouldn't sign up for other events at comps.
thanks, i have decent (the full mgc big cube line) so i think ill not get other cubes for now

thanks for the advice.
 

abunickabhi

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I recently have been getting back into cubing after a 1 year break, and I was wondering.

If I like OH and SQ1 more than all of the other events:

Is it worth getting new cubes for the other events?
Should I also practice the other events? (Re-memorize the algs)
If there is a comp (COVID) should i sign up for those events.

(IK these are dumb questions but just I need insight)

thanks!
You can always practice all events. There is no problem in that, as we have more fun if we do variety of puzzles.

But for getting serious about one or two events is also needed, so that you are constantly pushing in those events, and trying to get world class in it.

So I recomment you do OH and squan seriously, while doing all the other events casually as well.
 
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