Focusing on one skill or mixed skill practice — which is better?

I’ll ride a 27.5 muni for a month then go back to my g29 and feel uncomfortable and have problems shifting up. My advice is to pick 2 favorite unicycles and ride them equally

In mathematics didactics it’s not uncommon to follow up a phase of automatization by phases of combining different skills and of skill transfer.

The same principle seems feasible with unicycling and that’s exactly how I practice.
Automatization: practicing one skill for a long period of time (e.g. 30 minutes out of a 75 minute training session), until there is no noticeable momentary improvement anymore.
Combining skills: either doing a predefined sequence of movements until they are fluent (my latest one, after a 20min seat-in-hopping-session, was: Ride to a stall, take the seat out in front, hop once, ride 2revs SIF, put the seat back in and ride forward again.)
Transfer of skills: there are different ways of transfer. (1) to everyday riding. I can now hop up lowered curbs (2“) sideways and continue riding, (2) to other unicycles.
The second transfer I sometimes train explicitly by doing a predefined movement sequence alternatingly on two different unis. (Take uni 1 and try the sequence until it works out flawlessly, then take uni 2 and do the same sequence until it works out, change back to uni 1 and so on. The aim is usually to do the sequence without error 4 times in a row (twice on each uni))

I found that every training type can have massive influences on certain skills. Some of my examples:
—> Prolonged slow riding on my 26x4.8 Hatchet seems to have catapulted me from 0.5 second still stands to 3-5 second still stands on my KH20 and my Qu-Ax20.
—> Skill combination seems to have enabled me to spontaneously do the sideways hop up lowered curbs, which I had never tried before.
—> Qu-Ax20 backwards riding was the booster for all backwards riding, which beforehand I had only practiced on my KH20.
—> on the other side, there was no other possibility for me to learn freemounting my KH27.5 than to try 1000 times.

I definitely believe in the power of interleaved training. But what’s more important than any training techniques is that the training is subjectively realized as being „fun“. Someone who doesn’t like automatization training will not benefit from it. If you dislike the difficulties of switching between unis in one session, you should not do it, because motivation ist the prime factor for successful learning - be it unicycling or mathematics.

Great examples you provided. I definitely believe in interleaving more and more. Even before I learned about interleaving, I was doing it while learning to juggle while idling. I mostly learned to do this with my 24" unicycle, but sometimes interleaved with my 29", which was much more difficult. In fact, I wish I had switched back and forth a little more. I would usually notice a juggling while idling performance boost on the 24" after trying to juggle while idling on the 29" even if I performed horribly.

Now I’m borderline competent at juggling while idling on the 24", but can barely do it on the 29". I don’t really need to do it on the 29", it’s tiring and impractical, but it was useful for boosting my abilities on the 24.

I really need to work on riding backwards slowly now, as well as still-stands.

Funny, I was just thinking about the difficulties of learning after talking with some friends about another who lost her job and did not do well in school, so now we’re worried what she’s going to be able to do. She simply doesn’t have the mental capacity to get a degree or do much of any kind of studying.

After I was driving off, I remembered how, long ago, I forced myself through some difficult classes by trying my best to change my emotions about the subject and about learning in general. I agree with you that motivation is extremely useful. And it can be manipulated.

At that time, while studying a subject I found hard to understand and an unpleasant slog to get through, I kept reminding myself how much doing well could contribute to my future, and pictured myself smiling and happy in the future because I had at the very least stuck it out, but also pictured a best-case scenario of being so happy I had actually done it well.

And in the active moment of studying, being constantly assailed by boredom and ego-denying frustration, even a little fear, I tried to tell myself that even the most boring or perhaps useless part of the subject were inherently interesting, that I loved the idea of learning them and was going to be thrilled to be able to put all the pieces together. I tried to get in the same mindset a person is so often in when they are actually very good at or very interested in something – learning it feels effortless and seems to come at lightning speed.

In short, I got happy with the subject and happy with myself so I could learn it more easily. It made a huge difference and I’ve successfully applied it to many tasks and subjects since.

Sometimes it can feel comical or absurd, like … how exciting is learning database software, really? Can you really make yourself believe that? But it truly can work. Even if you can’t help snickering at yourself while doing it.