Interview with Brody Lassner, BrodytheCuber
Brody Lassner, BrodytheCuber, is a competitive speedcuber, content creator, and cubing coach widely known for his hyper insightful video tutorials. In addition to creating useful video content for speedcubers, Brody is a longstanding cubing coach and has helped countless cubers improve their times and confidence in speedcubing. We had a great time chatting with Brody!
Q1: Hi Brody, welcome to the interview. How’ve you been doing lately?
I've been doing pretty well overall. When you're stuck inside like we have been for the past year things can get pretty monotonous. But, I've been trying as hard as I can to keep everything fresh and get some variety in my daily activities.
Q2: That’s cool. What kinds of things have you been doing to keep things fresh?
I've been doing a lot more exercise and I'm really expanding my taste in music. Working out a few times a week has been really great for me over the past few months. It gives me something to look forward to every day and it's very rewarding to see gradual progress. As for the music, I was restricted to only a few specific genres until very recently. Expanding into a lot more hip hop and experimental stuff has been really nice. As good as the metal I usually listen to is, it gets old after a while.
Q3: Glad you’re keeping healthy. Now onto some cubing stuff, how did you get started in the whole educational side of things?
Pretty early on in my cubing obsession, I got the sense that I was able to grasp some complicated concepts pretty easily. I figured that it would be helpful to explain things in the ways that made sense to me. That's why some of my earliest tutorials were on things like learning full OLL and on how to analyze your own solves. Those were the things I was learning how to do myself at the time.
Q4: Well, we’re all glad you’re making these tutorials. You also eventually got into coaching too. Can you tell us more about your teaching philosophy? What’s your proudest moment as a teacher?
When it comes to teaching people, my strategy is to give them 2-3 big picture ideas to work on at any given time. Any more and they'll feel overwhelmed, and any less will make them get bored easily. I also try to find a perfect balance in my feedback where I'm direct about what needs to change without being overly critical. It's easy to get overly blunt about pointing out someone's weaknesses, but you need to make an effort to emphasize their strengths as well.
As a teacher/coach, my proudest moment is always when I see a new average from someone who I have coached before and I see that the weaknesses I pointed out to them have gone away. Seeing that makes me know that the advice I give is really helping people. There's no better feeling than that.
Q5: Awesome. I’m sure you’ve seen lots and lots of solves in your lifetime. What’s one thing you think beginner cubers overlook?
I think a lot of beginner cubers over-value turning speed because it's the most obvious thing they can see in a fast solve. Even though fast turning might look cool, being very efficient with your F2L is far more important. I've even made a video that looks like it's about how to turn faster, but it's actually about tricking the viewer into becoming more efficient and learning better finger tricks.
Q6: That makes a lot of sense. Here’s the video in case you want to watch it. In addition to coaching, you’re also a competitive speedcuber yourself. What would you say your greatest strengths are there?
I think my greatest strength is definitely my look ahead. My solves aren't super technical, but I make up for that by being as efficient as possible with pretty basic F2L and looking ahead as much as possible. I think that's why I like 3x3 one-handed so much -- because it's so look ahead-based.
Q7: Hoping you can set some new personal bests when you return to competition. Now out of curiosity, can you tell us more about one of your catchphrases, “you’re lying to yourself”?
That came from a video I made about how to get faster even when you feel stuck and you don't know what to do. A lot of people in that situation come to me and expect me to have all the answers, but my goal for the video was to prove to them that they have the ability to figure things out for themselves. "You're lying to yourself" was the line I used every time I anticipated that someone would make excuses for why they couldn't record their own solves, or couldn't put them in slow motion to analyze them, etc. It's a more memorable way of saying "no excuses, here's a way that absolutely ANYONE can do this" and the fact that it has become a meme proves that it was successful at being memorable and attention grabbing.
Q8: I’ll picture you yelling that at me the next time I get stuck on something. It seems like you have a super clear head when it comes to improvement and self awareness. Given this, what do you think are your greatest challenges as a competitive speedcuber?
My greatest challenge has always been controlling my nerves, as shown by my 3x3 finals performance at Nationals a few years ago. I've made a lot of progress since then but there's always been a decent gap between my official results and what I am capable of because of how nervous I can get.
Q9: I see. Well, I hope you can perform at your peak the next chance you get. Here’s an interesting question. Can you tell us something interesting about yourself that you think most people don’t know?
It's hard to say what people don't know about me because so much of my life is published online. If I had to pick one thing that I don't talk about that much, it'd probably be that I have perfect pitch.
Q10: Oh cool. I didn’t know that. I have perfect pitch as well. Now for the last question, if you had to describe your cubing style using only three words, what would they be?
Smooth, simple, consistent. I think those three describe my style pretty well.
Nice. Thanks so much for hanging out and answering our questions. I promise to never make excuses when I’m trying to improve.