Let me tell you a story, get comfortable.
As a child I got a coke yo-yo like alot of Australians. Unlike most of those children I have had the opportunity to let that yo-yo take me a whole lot further than I dreamed was possible. In 1995 I got a better yo-yo that fueled my desire to blay with the odd thing on the string. in 96 I found a store in my area selling them and I even got a part time job there. In 1996 I also met my first yo-yo 'pros' Bill de-Bois-Blanc, Dale Myrberg and Yohans (three people I now proudly call friends). I ran my first yo-yo contest (Coca-cola Quayside) and got payed for the first time to perform. I also rode in a rusty old holden 11 hrs to 'The Australian National Yo-Yo Contest' That was being held on the Gold Coast. I had been playing for a good year, could split the atom, reach for the moon but how would I perform against these Gold Coasters? Would I crumble under the pressure? and How the heck do you do Hydrogen Bomb????
Since that contest I competed at worlds (5th Place), judged at US nationals (which I have now been to 4 or 5 times), taught kids to yo-yo who went on and won world and Us nationals. Ive performed yo-yo in a dozen countries and run national contests in a few of them to boot.
What I learned on my trip to the Australian nationals and I see at all these yo-yo contests around the world is that the competition side of the event is just the excuse yo-yo players use to come together, hang out and have fun. Share their skills and share a good time.
I think this is the most important thing people need to remember with the looming of the first Australian nationals since this event in 1996. Its all about coming together and having fun.
I ended up coming second in the contest to a far superior player, sure he knew the rules and the tricks better than me but coming second is the best incentive anyone needs to practice even more