By Ellen Sturm Niz
July 15, 2015
trick shots riley

How does a six-year-old girl toss a piece of bread over her shoulder into the toaster, fling a DVD into the player behind her, and rebound a tennis ball off the window at her back into a bowl? Practice and persistence.

The little Australian trick master is named Riley Dashwood and her video of these trick shots and more is the latest addition to her YouTube channel, Riley Diary, which she and her film editor dad started a year ago as a way to bond and work on a project together. While her videos also include educational pieces about helium, making human emojis with her face, and reviews of her favorite games, her dad knew making the trick shot video (which Riley wanted to make after seeing similar ones online) could be potentially frustrating. So, before attempting the trick shots, Riley and her dad made a great video about persistence and staying positive when you have to try and try again.

It was a good move on her dad's part because they ended up spending hours and even days perfecting the tricks. It took 36 shots over two days at landing the milk carton in the fridge, 54 attempts at the toaster, and around 300 tries to rebound the tennis ball into the bowl. She landed bounced a cardboard paper towel tube upright after only one try, though!

Not only am I so impressed by Riley's trick shot video, I'm amazed at her stick-to-it-iveness. Even adults have a hard time not giving up, but this elementary school kid remains amazingly positive. Way to go, Riley! You can teach both other kids and adults about the power of persistence.

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who wants Riley to come have a playdate with her daughter. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.