While most kids spend their weekend attending enrichment classes, my 6 year old spends his, spinning tops at Toys ‘R’ Us
Yes, it’s Beyblade, his latest craze, over fighter jets, battleships and army tanks
He yanks his launcher EVERYDAY and Saturday is tournament day for him
We are his biggest fans, we cheer him on like crazy fans
People thought we are crazy and often we get strange stares
When Malcolm started winning at tournaments, I asked him how he did it
His explanation was a little mind boggling
After a few dumbfounding sessions, I suggested that he puts everything on a piece of paper for me
I ended up with a ‘Beyblade Manual’
The truth is, to play the game well, it will take more than just mastering this piece of paper
To consistently win in tournaments, you will need months of practice, testing and trying out
If your kid is like Malcolm and if you have no idea why this madness, maybe this post will help you out.
Note : I am still learning from my 6 year old
The game – To simultaneously launch two beyblades into a stadium, and the winner is the last one still spinning. If you can knock the other blade out of the stadium, you win too
Parts of a Beyblade – wheel, face, tip, track
The key – To build a set of beyblades and develop a winning strategy
Firstly, there are 4 kind of beyblades – Attack, Defense, Stamina and Balance
1. Attack blades spin around like crazy in the stadium and attempt to knock other blades out. The wheels have sharp edges that are effective for transfer of the hitting force to knock the opponent out of the stadium
2. Defense blades are dense, heavy and round. They try to hunker down to stay in the stadium
3. Stamina blades try to outlast everyone else by being very efficient
4. Balanced blades are a combination of the above, like a jack of all trades but master of none.
There is no such thing as the best beyblade
The best attacking beyblades can’t spin for long or has poor stamina
The best defensive beyblades are heavy and dense, and cannot knock out the opponents. They win by hunkering down and staying put in the stadium despite all the knocking they get
The Stamina blades spin forever because they have relatively sharp tips and so are very efficient. They will outlast the defenders but that makes them perfect targets for attacking beyblades
The Balance blades are compromises. They are not best at anything.
Secondly, you got to know your beyblades well if you want to have a chance of winning
You cannot imagine the amount of technical knowledge that fuels this madness
It is physics at work here, not rocket science or quantum physics, but physics nevertheless
Tall beyblades are good for stamina, but not too high cos it loses stability
Metal wheels that are wide and not too dense are excellent for stamina, but maybe you should add some weight so that it does not get knocked out so easily
Some plastic wheels are heavier than others, so maybe you should swap them onto your defensive beyblades
The sharp metal tip seems extremely efficient and should make a good stamina tip, but its stability on a smooth stadium is questionable
Thirdly, a strategy is a MUST
You just got to have one if you want to win
The most basic is to use Attack against Stamina, Defense against Attack, and Stamina against Defense
But what if your strategy fails ?
What if his Attack beyblade is knocking your best Defensive beyblade out ?
How should you adapt ?
What is your backup plan ?
Fourthly, practice makes perfect and experience counts
All those hours he spent by himself in the room yanking at the launcher did count for something
[Malcolm's customised blades, from left to right, Flame Aquilla (Stamina), Metal Face Storm Pegasis (Attack), Metal Face Earth Cancer (Defense)]
When I first rationalised some time ago that having Mal playing beyblades was better than him playing computer games, I was still not too sure
Now, I feel vindicated
What he learn spinning those tops come up to more than just … spinning tops
I realized that it was passion at work here
You got to have it for what you want to do, or you will not last long enough to be good at it
Almost everything is a compromise, and we must make a decision on what and how to compromise
You just can’t pack the kids and bicycles and go camping in a Ferrari and that Porsche SUV just will not cut it at the racing track. Sometimes, we just have to prioritize and make compromises
Whether you are a banker, engineer, baker, or parent, you need to know your stuff
Otherwise, you will just be mediocre in what you do
You will get edged out, or knocked over or you may not even last the competition
It is not all about winning
It is about making friends, having fun and learning to accept losing graciously
and not to lose heart when you lose a game
And just how many of us have these strategies and backup plans in place as we go through life at home or at work?
So perhaps next time when your child asks for another set of beyblade, you should take time to understand why he thinks he needs another one
You will be surprised how much these little people know about their stuff
Oh and remember to bring him to tournaments as they are key to developing his battle skill, as well as having an opportunity to interact with other kids who have the same interest.
It is absolutely amazing to see a whole bunch of kids who don’t know each other just chattering non stop
Disclaimer : The information contained therein has been vetted and verified by Malcolm. By using this information you agree that we are not liable for expenses incurred funding your child’s Beyblade madnesss or if your child loses in his next Beyblade tournament