Photo credit: Access Music Therapy
1. Be patient and go at their pace
If you’re hanging out with a hula hoop beginner and trying to help them it’s time to slow down, folks. If you want to connect and share the stuff you’re playing with, it’s best to relax a bit and walk them through things at their own pace, even if it seems easy. You’ll end up with friends and also be reminded that everyone deserves to learn.
Understand that helping a hula hoop beginner is not your time to jam out hard and go totally inward into your own bubble (which is awesome), but rather, a time for giving.
2. Try it in your dopey hand to remember how hard it is
Sometimes I can’t remember what it was like to be a hula hoop beginner. It’s like trying to forget how to tie your shoelaces, or do another movement we take for granted. When movement is “remembered” in the muscles, it can be hard to connect with how difficult it is for someone who is a beginner.
Answer: Try it in your non-dominant hand, and rediscover how terrible you can be at things you’re great at in your strong hand!
Photo credit: Content garden
Photo credit: Drury Uni
3. Try using different language
Three quarter tubing, polypro, reflective tape, iso-flowers, K-rolls…. Catch my drift?
There’s a giant set of language around the world for speaking about movement with the body and with props, but for a hula hoop beginner it’s all Greek and probably overwhelming and exclusive. Try using simple language like “flip your hand over, palm facing up, like this” and demonstrate. We don’t all speak hoop and we certainly don’t all understand the correlating movement.
4. Avoid overwhelming them without context, oh hoop ninja
If I want to show off my mad skills there’s a place for that. Sometimes I do it onstage and sometimes I crack it out for friends or kids who wanna see it. If you’re trying to help a hula hoop beginner learn new things, try not to throw epic amounts of technical moves at them at once.
Very few people learn like that and it can actually be counterproductive and overwhelming.
Photo credit: Hooping.org
Photo credit: Wikihow
5. Direct them to exercises or tutorials that are online
People learn at different speeds. For instance, I’ve never been particularly great at learning hard things on the spot and often have to go home, watch a video 10 times, then break down bit by bit. Then I can see what is happening with the trick in order to understand it. There are thousands of hula hoop beginner tutorials online and available for download.
Feel free to check out Hoop Sparx on YouTube to get a sense of what I mean.
6. Offer to go to a class with them
Two of the main barriers to someone learning a new skill is fear, and the commitment of time.
Help your sister, mother, brother, partner or friend overcome this by offering to go to a class in person with them! It can be daunting to start anything and being a hula hoop beginner is no different.
Another idea is to buy them a gift voucher for a beginner’s course.