Mistakes to Avoid while Practicing Cubing

Introduction

To get better at anything, the most important thing to do is practice. But what good is practicing, if you don’t do it in the right way? There’s no point in running fast if you are not going towards your destination! To help you all, I’ve noted some major mistakes that most cubers make while practicing, whether it be 3x3 or 4x4 or any other puzzle for that matter. These are some common mistakes and I’ll also be discussing how to handle them and fix your approach. Let’s get ready now!

Practicing without Purpose

The most common mistake that almost every cuber makes along the way is practicing without purpose. Just sitting down, picking up the cube, and starting a solving session without any idea of what to improve upon. This is just a waste of time.

Before starting your solves, make sure you have your goals in mind. If you’re solving a 3x3, maybe you need to improve your cross or look ahead. Make sure you consciously try to make an improvement in those areas instead of mindlessly solving the cube. Same for other puzzles as well. Make sure you are aware of the areas you need to improve upon and consciously focus on those areas. Mindless solving hinders your progress and if you just follow this one tip, you’ll get amazing improvement, which will keep you motivated for cubing in the long run.

Not using the Entire Inspection Time

This is the most obvious mistake that a lot of cubers make. Make sure you use all of your 15 seconds of inspection time and try to plan all that you can in that time. It’s really unnecessary to not use your valuable inspection time and a lot of cubers are stuck in some or the other aspect because they don’t use all of their inspection time. For 3x3, try to plan the entire cross and try going a step further if you have more inspection time left. Likewise for other cubes, try planning the opposite centers in 4x4, one center in 5x5, etc.

Never drilling Algorithms

You should always be drilling any new algorithms you learn so that they are stuck in your muscle memory. Make sure to drill the best algorithms that are available, along with the best fingertricks. There are a lot of guides for this exact thing and I’d recommend watching some of Feliks Zemdegs’ videos from CubeSkills to learn the best algorithms and finger tricks. Learning new algorithms and only using them during solves results in the executions being poor due to the lack of practice.

Not taking breaks

Practicing a lot is good, but there should be a limit for everything. Not taking breaks before competitions, and practicing all day and night can lead to burnout and instead worsen your performance instead of making it better. Cubing sessions should be filled with breaks to provide rest to your fingers and eyes so that you can get back to cubing refreshed and filled with energy. So Eat your meals, drink enough water, and practice with full energy to improve faster!

Practicing just One Event

Having your main event is great! But you shouldn’t just practice your main event because being bored with that event is inevitable if you don’t practice other puzzles. So, if your main event is 3x3, it is highly recommended to try puzzles such as 4x4 or pyraminx. Practicing other events may also improve your main event. Also, there’s a high chance of simply quitting cubing if you just practice one event. Because as fun as it is to improve in your main event, there will come a time when you’ll just get bored of cubing if you just do one event. 

Never really trying to Look Ahead

For intermediate to advanced cubers, look ahead is one of the most important aspects of the solve. If you really want to improve your solves and get better times, it is integral to always be improving in your look ahead. Many cubers just sit down for a practice session and ignore one of the most important parts of practicing! Always be conscious about your look ahead, do slow solves, use more inspection, etc. Do the things required to get better at look ahead and actually paying attention to the pieces instead of letting your habit take control.

Listening to Music while Solving

This is a tricky topic. If you are cubing for leisure and you’re not thinking about improving, it’s great to listen to music while cubing. But, if you’re doing a serious practice session with the intent of getting better, I would recommend not listening to music and trying to emulate a competition as much as possible. If outside noise is disturbing, use an earplug. 

Music does grab your attention a little bit and makes it hard for you to focus on the aspects of your solve that need improving. Getting better requires full focus and attention, so avoid listening to music during serious practice sessions. 

About Author

Sarthak Masta

Sarthak Masta is a speedcuber from Raipur. He started cubing in 2013 and now has 9 years of cubing experience. Apart from cubing, Sarthak enjoys making music and singing. He has attended a total of 7 competitions in Raipur and has gotten 10 podiums, with 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals.

1 comment

Gourav Sinha

Gourav Sinha

Awesome content liked it 👏👍

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