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Using others' critiques to get to sub-11 average.

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NOTE: THIS THREAD WAS MOVED FROM THE VIDEO GALLERY SECTION. The link to the original location is here --> http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/s...ing-others-critiques-to-get-to-sub-11-average.

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So, I've been plateaued for a while, stopping at just over 12 seconds, and I can't seem to get much faster. I've gotten only two sub-12 averages of 12 (11.95 and 11.90), and I feel like both of those happened on lucky days or days when I was just, you know, "feeling good." I can't seem to recreate them. I've been around the 12-second range for several months (maybe about 4 or 5 months), and I feel like I should have passed it by now.

I know there's multiple cubers out there who are better than me, so I'm sure SOMEBODY will be willing and able to help me out a little. I'm just looking for some critique on what's wrong with my cubing and what kinds of things I can use to improve it (i.e. pre-practice session exercises, new finger tricks to learn, how much I should practice daily, etc.). The help would be greatly appreciated, and I'm sure others could use the suggestions as well!! Feel free to post the critiques here or in the video's comments section on YouTube.

Some quick information about my current cubing status would probably be useful for critiquing. I was originally yellow-cross only (Forgive me, Breandan Vallance), then I switched to semi-neutrality (Y/O cross), and I very recently switched to color neutrality. I've been working on it for the past few months (which could be why I haven't been improving), and I'm okay at it, but I'm still much more comfortable starting with yellow and white. I haven't really worked on cross choice yet, and I really need to, because the number of moves I'm using for the cross tends to be way more than necessary, so that's already on my to-do list.

Anyway, thanks all! I'll do my best to post two RAs of 12 every Sunday. The first will just be a regular old RA of 12. The second will be a slo-mo/calm turning RA of 12 for the purpose of finding problems in my solution. I'll post the scrambles with the videos. (I might use the Sunday Contest for the regular averages. If you recommend that I do so, just tell me!)

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In the meantime, I've been trying something out to try and forcibly decrease my times. I've been trying to use a metronome to help me find the kinks in my cubing. I set it at a certain tempo (usually about 35-45 beats), and using slo-mo/calm turning, I'll try to solve the cube, only taking one beat per step (cross, F2L 1, F2L 2, F2L 3, F2L 4, OLL, PLL). I often choose not to go past F2L completion, just because at the end of the day, I'm hoping to get a consistent sub-8 (and subsequently, sub-7) average for my F2L.

Any thoughts on this metronome training? Anyone wanna try it and get back to me with their thoughts on it or how it could be used to improve?

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NOTE: THIS THREAD WAS MOVED FROM THE VIDEO GALLERY SECTION. The link to the original location is here --> http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/s...ing-others-critiques-to-get-to-sub-11-average.
 
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#2
i had that same problem for two weeks. just keep practicing. and your f2l to get sub 12 should almost always be sub 8 or 7
 

Andrew Ricci

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#6
Hey. I'm not quite sub 11, but I do think I can give you a hand with this sort of thing.

First off: I practice a lot. Hundreds of solves nearly every day. Is it all necessary? Maybe, but according to Stefan Huber, someone much faster than me, hundreds of solves aren't completely necessary. Give it a lot of practice, but don't over do it.

Second: Time all of your algs. Maybe do some LL scrambles. These aren't only good practice, but can be useful for finding algs that are slower than others and should be replaced. Should your N perms be sub 1? Of course not, but try to see what algs are hindering your overall performance. An alg may feel fast, but there is a good chance that it truly isn't. Check all PLLs and some of your OLLs to see where you stand in speed for each algorithm.

Third: At the end of your post, you mention using a metronome. Here's a hint from someone who has progressed fairly quickly from ~30 seconds to about 11.5: it truly isn't necessary. If you find that your solves are inconsistent and have many pauses, just slow down your turning a bit. Metronome training could be useful for VERY inconsistent solvers, but since you appear to be quite fast already, normal solving should be enough.

Finally: Learn some F2L tricks. Not too many, but just a few that may help you rotate less during solving. Rotations aren't only slow to do in excess, but can really stop the flow of a solve. I recommend this site for some very cool and useful F2L algs: http://f2l.net46.net/index.html

If you have any more questions (assuming you found this useful) feel free to PM me. I'd also be happy to race and chat on twist the web (www.twisttheweb.com) if you are interested as well.

Other than that, just keep up the practicing. :D
 
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Hey. I'm not quite sub 11, but I do think I can give you a hand with this sort of thing.
First: Your PBs sure don't agree with that statement. You seem to be rockin' sub-11 average, no prob. ;)
Don't be modest. If you're an awesome cuber, say you're an awesome cuber. You have the times to prove it.

First off: I practice a lot. Hundreds of solves nearly every day. Is it all necessary? Maybe, but according to Stefan Huber, someone much faster than me, hundreds of solves aren't completely necessary. Give it a lot of practice, but don't over do it.

Second: Time all of your algs. Maybe do some LL scrambles. These aren't only good practice, but can be useful for finding algs that are slower than others and should be replaced. Should your N perms be sub 1? Of course not, but try to see what algs are hindering your overall performance. An alg may feel fast, but there is a good chance that it truly isn't. Check all PLLs and some of your OLLs to see where you stand in speed for each algorithm.

Third: At the end of your post, you mention using a metronome. Here's a hint from someone who has progressed fairly quickly from ~30 seconds to about 11.5: it truly isn't necessary. If you find that your solves are inconsistent and have many pauses, just slow down your turning a bit. Metronome training could be useful for VERY inconsistent solvers, but since you appear to be quite fast already, normal solving should be enough.

Finally: Learn some F2L tricks. Not too many, but just a few that may help you rotate less during solving. Rotations aren't only slow to do in excess, but can really stop the flow of a solve. I recommend this site for some very cool and useful F2L algs: http://f2l.net46.net/index.html

If you have any more questions (assuming you found this useful) feel free to PM me. I'd also be happy to race and chat on twist the web (www.twisttheweb.com) if you are interested as well.

Other than that, just keep up the practicing.
Second: Thanks. I appreciate the help.
 
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Sorry for being late. A video will be up in a few hours. It's not a very good average, but I thought I'd just dish something out so I can get to studying for my written driver's test in the morning.
 
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#9
I'm almost exactly in the same situation as you. I got my PB avg12 of 10.87 around October 2010 with a 2-week old lingyun. That was the last PB I had. I think i tied it 1-2 months ago, 10.87 again. Every average in between was just around low 12s - low 11s.

So, I've noticed that I fumble/lock up a lot, especially when I try so hard to be fast :p I'm focusing right now on getting that right. other than that, I'm still trying to improve my OLLs and PLLs by looking for good algos, trying to get used to solving them in different angles etc.
 
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I'm almost exactly in the same situation as you. I got my PB avg12 of 10.87 around October 2010 with a 2-week old lingyun. That was the last PB I had. I think i tied it 1-2 months ago, 10.87 again. Every average in between was just around low 12s - low 11s.

So, I've noticed that I fumble/lock up a lot, especially when I try so hard to be fast :p I'm focusing right now on getting that right. other than that, I'm still trying to improve my OLLs and PLLs by looking for good algos, trying to get used to solving them in different angles etc.
Interesting. Maybe this thread will help you, my friend. =)

Another thing I realized about my cubing--I'm trying too hard to think fast, so I make extra moves such as y2, U3, etc. often. If you have a similar problem, then try this: While inserting an F2L pair, if you haven't found the next one, then once you insert that one, force yourself to just stop moving and look for the next pair, before you decide what to do.
 
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Description from video, PLEASE READ.

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REALLY bad average for me. I was kind of out of it, and I sorta did the average on the spot. I should have done it in an average of 100, but i don't have time for all that editing on Tuesdays; I have a job. I was just trying to get something out there since I was two days late. This should have been done on Sunday (June 3rd).

Next time, I'll make these videos on a Sunday. Hopefully it'll be a much better average. Sorry guys.

But I did learn a few things from watching this video. Among them is this: I have pauses that are longer than normal, even in my good solves, usually between the last F2L pair and OLL or OLL and PLL (usually both :(). I don't think other cubers (who are better than me) pause for this long between F2L pairs and stuff when they actually know what to do next. I guess my reaction time isn't very good? Any hints on how to improve that would be highly appreciated.

Extra time was taken during beginning of solve. I'm trying to work on fully finding F2L 1 during examination time. I will practice this more by trying to do cross + F2L 1 blindfolded. It's kinda hard when I still have trouble finding a good cross for color neutrality.

(I have color n00btrality.)

----------------------------------------------------

Statistics for 07-05-2011 22:12:45

Average: 13.73 (13.86)
Standard Deviation: 1.68
Best Time: 10.06
Worst Time: 19.00
Individual Times:
1. 15.77 U B L' B2 R U F U B U' D' R B2 D F2 D F2 L2 D' R2 F2
2. 11.96 U R2 L' F2 U' R L2 B2 R' B' R' U B2 U B2 L2 U' D2 F2 D2 F2
3. 14.90 F2 U2 B' R L F L' F' L2 D2 B' U2 L2 B2 L2 B2 D' F2 D2 F2 L2
4. 12.81 R2 U' R L2 F U2 R U2 L' U L' F2 D L2 F2 U2 L2 B2 U' D2 F2
5. (10.06) R2 D B2 R2 U F2 D2 R U' F' R2 D' L2 B2 D' B2 U' B2 R2 D2
6. 11.28 R' L' B' L2 U2 R D' L2 U B' U L2 D R2 L2 B2 L2 D' L2 D'
7. 12.00 B' L2 B U D R2 L B R2 B D' R2 D' R2 D' R2 L2 F2 D2
8. 14.19 D B2 R2 D2 L D' F2 R' L F2 B R2 D' R2 F2 U L2 U F2 L2 D
9. 17.56 F' L2 U B' D' R2 B' U L' D' R' U' F2 B2 U' B2 U B2 D2 R2 D
10. 12.94 R2 B2 L' U2 F' R L' F' R2 U2 F D R2 B2 R2 B2 U2 L2 U' F2 B2
11. (19.00) R' F2 B' D2 L2 B' L F R2 F' B2 R2 F2 U L2 D F2 B2 L2 U
12. 13.84 R' B R2 U L U' D2 B' R' D B L2 U B2 R2 U' R2 F2 D' F2 D

----------------------------------------------------

(Solves 2-6 from above)

Statistics for 07-05-2011 22:17:33

Average: 12.02 (12.20)
Standard Deviation: 0.48
Best Time: 10.06
Worst Time: 14.90
Individual Times:
2. 11.96 U R2 L' F2 U' R L2 B2 R' B' R' U B2 U B2 L2 U' D2 F2 D2 F2
3. (14.90) F2 U2 B' R L F L' F' L2 D2 B' U2 L2 B2 L2 B2 D' F2 D2 F2 L2
4. 12.81 R2 U' R L2 F U2 R U2 L' U L' F2 D L2 F2 U2 L2 B2 U' D2 F2
5. (10.06) R2 D B2 R2 U F2 D2 R U' F' R2 D' L2 B2 D' B2 U' B2 R2 D2
6. 11.28 R' L' B' L2 U2 R D' L2 U B' U L2 D R2 L2 B2 L2 D' L2 D'
 
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#12
Interesting. Maybe this thread will help you, my friend. =)

Another thing I realized about my cubing--I'm trying too hard to think fast, so I make extra moves such as y2, U3, etc. often. If you have a similar problem, then try this: While inserting an F2L pair, if you haven't found the next one, then once you insert that one, force yourself to just stop moving and look for the next pair, before you decide what to do.
Ohh, I haven't noticed that yet. I'll try it, thanks :p

I've been trying some other stuff like slowing down on cross + first 2 pairs because I'll need better lookahead, and then going at full speed on the remaining steps since the places that I have to look at will be narrowed down by then. Though sometimes it's hard to maintain consciousness/focus and I drift into passively solving the cube. Poor attention span :fp

Here's some algos I started adopting recently:

A-perm: R U R' F' r U R' U' r' F R2 U' R' (doing a (x) rotation at the start helps me get a better grip at execution. i use this on certain angles, getting 1.5-1.8 with this)

F-perm: U M U2 r' U l' U2 r U' R2 r U2 R2 (i've started getting 1.5-1.7 consistently with this)

E-perm: R U' R' D R U R' D' R U R' D R U' R' D' (i just can't get this right, i'm still 1.8-2.x with this. It's crazy that people can get 0.7 on this algo o__o)

N-perm: U R' D R2 U' R (D' U) R' D R2 U' R D' R' (still can't get this right either, i've never been sub-2 at this)

U-perm: R U2 R U R U R2 U' R' U' R2 (newly learned. haven't used it much, but i'm trying)
 
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Ohh, I haven't noticed that yet. I'll try it, thanks :p

I've been trying some other stuff like slowing down on cross + first 2 pairs because I'll need better lookahead, and then going at full speed on the remaining steps since the places that I have to look at will be narrowed down by then. Though sometimes it's hard to maintain consciousness/focus and I drift into passively solving the cube. Poor attention span :fp

Here's some algos I started adopting recently:

A-perm: R U R' F' r U R' U' r' F R2 U' R' (doing a (x) rotation at the start helps me get a better grip at execution. i use this on certain angles, getting 1.5-1.8 with this)

F-perm: U M U2 r' U l' U2 r U' R2 r U2 R2 (i've started getting 1.5-1.7 consistently with this)

E-perm: R U' R' D R U R' D' R U R' D R U' R' D' (i just can't get this right, i'm still 1.8-2.x with this. It's crazy that people can get 0.7 on this algo o__o)

N-perm: U R' D R2 U' R (D' U) R' D R2 U' R D' R' (still can't get this right either, i've never been sub-2 at this)

U-perm: R U2 R U R U R2 U' R' U' R2 (newly learned. haven't used it much, but i'm trying)
I'm trying something similar. I try to figure out the cross + F2L 1 during inspection and then immediately place it at the LDB corner once finished (or do it so that F2L 1 ends up in LDB corner). Practicing this with eyes closed is so hard....

I've never seen some of those algs before. Interesting. I'll definitely try out the A-perm & F-perm. I've never seen either of those before, nor the U-perm. I don't like the U-perm, but it's definitely not a bad algorithm. I use the E-perm. I've done it in like... 1.1 seconds. 0.7 is WAAAY too insane for me, but keep working at it! I used to use that N-perm, and I could get sub-2 with it, but it was so inconsistent that I dropped it.

I use an algorithm derived from T-perm for my F-perm: R' U' F' [R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R' U' R U R'] U R. I use OH left index U for the second to last U and regular right index for the last U, but I might switch to regular right index for the second to last U and ring finger for the last U.

I use an algorithm derived from J-perm for the N-perm that you have typed: R U R' U [R U R' F' R U R' U' R' F R2 U' R'] U2 R U' R'. Kinda long, but at least I can get around 1.8 a little more consistently with this one. I might switch back though. I just got a 1.46 with yours.

For my other N-perm, I use R' U R U' R' [F' U' F] R U R' F R' F' R U' R.
 
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Don't concentrate too much.
I know. I try. It's hard. I fail...

But I did notice something. I cube a bit better when I'm walking around. Maybe it's because my brain's doing more than one thing at a time. I mean, yeah, walking is mainly cerebellum, and using fine motor skills is more mid-cerebrum, but I think maybe there's some sort of electrical connection that allows my primary motor cortex to work a bit better. I really need to do more research on my own brain. My brain's pretty trippy sometimes. It's always tripping over itself.

I learned some stuff about ADD/ADHD. (I have ADD.) I talked to a doctor about my ADD, and she showed me some brain scans of people with ADD. It turns out that a common sign of ADD/ADHD is that when they try harder to concentrate, certain parts of the brain start shutting off. They did an extra test on one of the subjects. Without medication, the person's IQ was only 90 (which approaches mental retardation), but after medication, her IQ jumped to 140 (which is almost genius). I was thinking that using my cerebellum takes some focus stress off my primary motor cortex. I need to test that hypothesis. If only I could get a functional MRI done on me, but those are so expensive...

Frustration!

But I digress... A lot. Cuz I <3 neuroscience.

But yes, thank you for the recommendation.
 

Andrew Ricci

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#16
First: Your PBs sure don't agree with that statement. You seem to be rockin' sub-11 average, no prob. ;)
Don't be modest. If you're an awesome cuber, say you're an awesome cuber. You have the times to prove it.
Oh no, I average closer to 11.5, that average of 100 was very lucky and fast. I don't get near that on average.
 
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#17
I think you can lose about 2 seconds from the cross to F2L part. It looks like you're trying to find the pair as soon as you finish the cross.

Try memoing the cross in your head and focus more on finding the pair BEFORE you finish the cross. Btw your LL is pretty fast =D
 
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Oh no, I average closer to 11.5, that average of 100 was very lucky and fast. I don't get near that on average.
That sounds almost impossible. How do you get that much luck?

But meh, alright, whatever you say, doc...

I still think you're an awesome cuber though, merely because you're better than me. I've always wanted to be in the sub-12 range. You do sub-12 averages like it's nothing, so of course I'm a little jealous. I guess it's because I've always thought of sub-12 and sub-11 speedcubers as within the realm of "elite speedcubers". I mean, nowadays, sub-12 is approaching commonplace, but that's just always what I've thought.
 
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I think you can lose about 2 seconds from the cross to F2L part. It looks like you're trying to find the pair as soon as you finish the cross.

Try memoing the cross in your head and focus more on finding the pair BEFORE you finish the cross.
Yeah, I'm always trying to do that, but sometimes I just can't seem to find it. It's partially because I'm still not used to color neutrality. But I'm still working on it. In my 1st video of many to come, I'm actually trying to find the first C/E pair during inspection because I can very easily find and memorize the cross in my head, but if I find the cross alone during inspection, I often get distracted by what I'm doing that I sorta forget to look for the first C/E pair. In fact, sometimes I do the cross and then either lose the F2L pair that I had found or finish the cross and realize that it's a terrible F2L pair to start with because the corner is in some random incorrect C/E slot and the edge is in another random incorrect C/E slot. I can't fully control my eyes yet. I've definitely seen improvement in my "visual prowess" though!

I'm so ADD, lolz. BUT I MUST OVERCOME!!!

But yeah, this is what I mean by "my brain trips over itself". It sees a butterfly (AKA the cross) and gets distracted from doing schoolwork (AKA 1st C/E pair). Or my brain will literally just sit there and do nothing when I ask it to do something. Here's an example:


Btw your LL is pretty fast =D
I'm surprised you would say that. I tend to lock up on LL a lot...
But thanks, anyway! I'll keep working on it! =P
 
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