I’ve been seeing a lot of “Yad” stops on the street*. It’s a much maligned form of opening but it does have it’s uses when first coaching beginners. Generally speaking, the typical beginner daygame is a bit of a faggot. He lacks physical and psychological presence and thus can’t effectively insert his presence into a girl’s day. The mechanics of the Yad Stop compensate for these weaknesses by making the open itself very flamboyant and movie-like.
I use it maybe 10% of my approaches, probably less.
Rather than get hung up on the precise mechanics of the Yad Stop (or any other stop) I decided to tweak my coaching to what I consider the essence of reaching hook point, as opposed to the superficial trappings of it. The point is not to robotically act out a series of moves, but rather it’s to convey certain characteristics to the girl in order to impress upon her a positive emotional evaluation of you. So, forget about the distance, the number of steps to take, the angle of cutting in front, where to hold your hands and so on. Fuck all that. Think about this:
- Solid eye contact
- A stop signal
That’s the essence of every quality stop. Let’s analyse it further.
You can gain and then hold eye contact with a girl from several dozen metres away if necessary so long as you have attracted her attention. This is why I might wave at a girl or shout “excuse me” very loud. Things like “excuse me, blonde girl with pink skirt” or “excuse me, hey! Tall girl walking fast. Yes, you!”. She’ll respond and you give and hold eye contact. She knows you’re there and intend to say something to her. The same applies if she’s brushing past you walking the opposite direction in a subway – force the eye contact by looking at her then when she returns the look you hold it and open. Same if she’s sitting a few tables away in a cafe.
The distance doesn’t matter. The direction doesn’t matter. You don’t need to wait for her to walk past then loop around and chase after her for a Yad Stop. So long as you have eye contact, she knows you’re initiating something with her.
Now you need to command her to stop. That doesn’t mean you need to describe a wide arc towards her then leap in front as per the Yad Stop. If she’s five metres ahead of you and walking towards, just step into her path while holding eye contract, opening your mouth, and putting out your hand. Perhaps you only noticed her just as she was about to pass by you? If she IOId you can put your hand out and lightly grab her upper arm for the stop. If she didn’t, perhaps you run backwards a few steps while gesticulating her to remove her headphones. Maybe you just comically wave your hands in front of her face from a few feet away. She gets the message – you intend to stop her. So she’ll stop or she won’t.
There must be a stop moment. A clear black and white indication of stop. Once you’ve got it – from whichever angle – you will maneuver yourself directly infront of her whether that requires one step to the side, or walking ten metres across the grass.
All of this is done with conviction. You fully intend to stop her and fully expect her to respond. Of course she might just ignore you and keep walking but you are forcing her to make that decision of “No thanks, I don’t want to talk to you”. She has to turn away from you, or step around you, or turn her head away like a princess. That’s fine, and you can let her go. But she’s definitely going to know you tried.
So long as your opening follows these three principles it doesn’t matter much what the specific movements are. Don’t get hung up on the details of the Yad Stop and don’t shackle yourself to one ritualised opener. The only reason it ever worked and was thus adopted as the recognisable London Daygame Model opener is because it happened to incorporate these three elements – when done properly**
And yes, I’ve seen many beginners do Yad Stops that somehow fail to convey any of the three key principles.
Now that you’re freed from the tyranny of micro-managing your Yad Stop, what else improves your odds of a hook point? The easiest one to learn is to roll your words. What I mean is you deliver your opener and stack by slowly speaking the words with a rhythmic cadence like you are playing new vocabulary. Try to imagine you’re speaking like waves lapping against the shore, or like a couple waltzing around a ballroom. You hook better if your vocal style resembles a dance rather than a robot.
Something like this is difficult to express in text so listen to my Joy Of Daygame infields to get a better idea (and you can also infer the above three principles from them too if you listen carefully). Another way to improve your cadence is to give yourself buffer phrases that you drop into the opener and the stack which draw out completion of the sentence while also conveying self-amusement. Consider the same information presented in two different ways:
Robot: Hi, I hope you speak English…. Great… I just noticed you and I had to say, you look very naughty. You had a cheeky smile and a sparkle in your eyes. It’s nice. You look like you’re running from the scene of a crime. Somewhere back there, a cake shop owner is reporting you to the police. “This girl came in and ate all my cheesecake without paying!”.
Cadence: Right…. ok….. phew…. [takes deep breath]….. you walk fast. Hi. I hope you speak English…. Great….. Right then, I just noticed you and….. I had to say you look very…… [looks appraisingly for a moment] … naughty. You had a cheeky smile and a sparkle in your eyes. It’s nice. You look like…… like….. hmmmmm….. like you’re running from the scene of a crime. Somewhere waaaaaay back there [gestures expansively]….. Somewhere back there, a cake shop owner is reporting you to the police….. he’s probably saying something like…. “This girl came in and, and, and, she ate all my cheesecake! Without paying!”
We often call the assumption stack the assumption story and that’s how you should deliver it – like a story to an excitable child. Draw out the words, leave pauses, repeat key words after a pause, gesture. Your delivery is at least as important as the entertainment value of the assumption itself.
* I absolutely hate the convention of naming a technique after the first person you saw do it, and thus I usually call it a Front Stop. That said, Yad is clearly the guy who introduced this style into daygame so I’ll give him credit for it here.
** I guess “when done properly” is key to every part of the model.
If you liked the furry animals referenced in this post, you should see my book. It has squirrels, cats and hamsters.