Kids learn the ups and downs of yo-yos

Yoyo's of a champion

From the UFO to Walking the Dog, those were just some of the Yo-Yo tricks kids at the Adair County Public Library witnessed Thursday Morning.

Ian Cole, of Saint Louis, also known as the Yo-Yo Kid, brought his special talent to the Dream Big Summer Reading Program at the library.

About 100 kids watched in amazement while he performed several tricks using five different kinds of yo-yoâ??s.

â??Iâ??ve been yo-yoing for eight years,â?? Cole said. â??I saw someone yo-yo on TV and I bought a yo-yo and went to the library, and go some books and taught myself how to yo-yo.â??

During the years, Cole perfected his skills and has won several competitions which include a number of Missouri State Champion titles and regional titles. He even placed second in the 2009 U.S. National Championship competition and ninth in the 2009 World Yo-Yo Championships.

â??It takes a lot of practice, but I wouldnâ??t say itâ??s difficult, thatâ??s one of the questions people ask a lot,â?? Cole said. â??Itâ??s not so much that itâ??s hard, you just have to commit yourself to it.â??

So how often does he practice?

â??I usually play with my yo-yo about five to ten minutes a day,â?? Cole said. â??When Iâ??m getting ready for a competition, I will practice about two to three hours a day for a month or two in advance.â??

According to Cole, there are over a 1,000 different kind of tricks someone can perform with a yo-yo, and most of them are made up along the way. And, when it comes to competing, Cole says hereâ??s most comfortable with a technique called off-string.

â??Thatâ??s where you throw the yo-yo and it comes off the string and you catch it again with the string and do all kinds of tricks.â??

When asked if he has had any embarrassing moments while on stage during a competition, Cole said no.

â??I havenâ??t had any embarrassing moments, but I have had some pretty bad competitions where I practice a whole bunch and then I get on stage and everything goes wrong.â??

Cole now has about 200 different yo-yoâ??s in his collection each costing anywhere from $5-$175.