Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Training daily pays off daily!

I learn little things about my game just about every day.  You might think that doing something every day might get boring, but it never does because I am always achieving little goals, stumbling upon new (new to me, and sometimes actually new) tricks and generally keeping me interested.  Playing freestyle footbag everyday gives me a clear baseline on the condition of my body, and allows me to push 'initiatives' like increasing the amount of frontside tricks that I perform.

During the week of Xmas I found my daily shreds of footbag freestyle to be a great diversion from the hectic pace at my place of work.  Peace of mind.  Really.  I also developed a little showcase trick into a legitimate set... Fairy X-body sole (same) is now being worked into being a set from just about any toe, and it flows like an osis but looks crazzzzzzy!  I have been skooling the hell out of X-Body Rake moves, and after watching Evan Gatesman, I realized that indeed Rakes don't 'need' to end in a scooping toe dex, they can end more directly underneath the balance center, and do dex tricks out of them.  Thanks Evan for that insight.  I suppose I 'knew' that already, but seeing someone do it effectively and mid-string even... very nice.  Now I can do it too.

See ya!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Low light shredding ain't so bad...

I got used to it.  I just came to the realization that I am thankful for the great lighting I usually have available to me for shredding.  I pretty much don't worry about it.  Ever.  Well that's not true, it factors into my 'perception' of what is possible, so in a sense my perceptions are limiting me here.

Today, Valeria fell asleep on the couch right next to my living room shred zone, so I had to keep the lights low, and I tweaked my workout towards the quieter tricks today.  Lots of juggling and unusual surfaces and short fun stuff.  After about 10 minutes, the low light scenario didn't factor into my decisions at all.  I got through my warm-ups, and I immediately ran into a personal innovation... Fairy same blender.  Probably because yesterday I obsessed on double dyno style moves.  So I pulled a fairy set and thought, why not go for a whirl or a blender with the same leg as the fairy dex, of which I hit both on both sides, within minutes of stumbling upon it..  What is the name of Fairy same-leg same-side Blender?  And Fairy same-leg same-side Whirl?  I'll film them tomorrow.  I've hit Fairy-Phobic-(other leg) Blender and posted it to youtube recently, but this easier stuff is new to me.  

I also skooled a pattern that is juggle-juggle-juggle, seamless (out) Fairy DLO, to seamless (in) pixie DLO, juggle-juggle-juggle, repeat... I'll also film this tomorrow.

The moral of this story?  "Beware of perceptions, particularly those that limit belief.  Possibility is still unlimited, it is my mind that stops me most of the time."

Best regards,

Shred notes: See above.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Single tricks from recent days... freestyle footbag...

I have been focusing recently on single tricks.  Actually more like obsessing.  I am transitioning to long string training starting today.  Here are my recent results.  I'd like to hear feedback on the Pixie (same) Twirl...

Pixie Same Twirl & Stepping Same Twirl

Atomic same Whirl

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ESPN Classic at Summerfest in Milwaukee

I was going through my stack of footbag t-shirts and I came across this black ESPN Classic shirt that I got from doing an impromptu demo for ESPN that not many of my friends know about.

I'm guessing 2005 was the year, Alex was young, but out of the stroller.  As a family, we try to make it to Summerfest (sometimes jokingly called "Bummerfest" because of all the cops that are there busting down on underage drinking etc...) because it is an amazing music festival, featuring some great performers and bands.  I don't know who was playing that night, but I'm sure Valeria will remember.  Of course, whenever we go to festivals, our alternative purpose is to shred in public, to make more people aware of the wonderment of footbag freestyle, and to have fun doing it!

We were shredding on the fair grounds when a producer from ESPN came over and asked if we would play near their live broadcast, so they would have something visually interesting to pan across as they come and go to commercials.  In return, we would have access to their VIP tent and all the accouterments thereof.  So we took a break and went with them to the booth.  We met the director and he set us up amidst the crowds of people watching the live broadcast, he put two security guards near us and little orange cones to denote a playing area that we had all to ourselves.

When they weren't filming, we were in the VIP area, which had a gourmet buffet, free beverages, and access to the stars of the live broadcast and their friends/family.  We were treated like royalty and it was awesome!  We got a signed baseball bat from some famous baseball person (who was really famous, but who I had never heard of... keeping in mind that I know NOTHING about baseball, his name still escapes me, but many of you would know it if I was to be able to pull it out of my hat right now.) and met all kinds of really great people!

It turned out that they had us shredding for at least 3 different half hour sessions, but only panned across us 4 or 5 times.  They had us under their boom camera that was on a long stick and they pan across the crowds to show how awesome the atmosphere was at the festival.  We were smack dab in the middle of the crowd, they paused on us for a couple of seconds, I can only assume they were filming us at the time.  Unfortunately, I never saw the episode so I don't know what actually aired.  This was of course, pre-facebook and I had no way to tell my friends to watch.  So here I am at least 6 years later waxing nostalgic about it.  I'll check their archives and see if I can get a copy of it, but I'm not holding my breath.

Bottom line is: We love to shred in public, and even without any active planning on our part, we seem get on TV quite often.  Life is good!

See ya!

Shred notes: October 2010
Better said by video in this case.  Prolific.

Highlight reel:

Details of each trick with corrected names:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm a human Rube Goldberg machine...

The similarities between footbag freestyle and a Rube Goldberg machine (a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion...) are chilling on many levels.  In Freestyle Footbag, a single trick is defined by transferring the footbag from one surface to another surface, with as many elements of difficulty in between.  Which is in line with the Rube Goldberg Machine (RGM) concept, but one trick does not a RGM make.  When we perform multiple tricks together, back to back, we call that a String of tricks.  When we combine the difficulty of performing a single trick, with the added difficulty of stringing them together, this very much resembles a RBM.  The big difference is that with RBM's the physics are pre-calculated and the variables are removed through clever engineering, and with Footbag Freestyle strings, our brains are perceiving the next trick and making minor adjustments in order to compete it, but assuming at the end of the individual trick, we are able to set properly for the next trick, an RGM is born.

Footbag freestyle practitioners are human Rube Goldberg Machines!  I am a human RGM!
What is more unnecessarily difficult than a well performed footbag freestyle string?  I can't think of many things... perhaps Rythmic Gymnastics, that is even close to the self-imposed difficulty thresholds that we place upon ourselves.  For us, the more difficult the trick and the longer the strings the better... classic RGM's.

As Wikipedia says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Goldberg_machine)...
"A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately over-engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg.
Since then, the expression has expanded to denote any form of overly confusing or complicated system."

Here are some links to my recent videos from Facebook and Youtube:

There's more, I just don't have time right now.  More later!!!

See ya!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lighting the fire inside...

My footbag career has spanned several decades, and I'm working on several more.  I went to world footbag championships for 20 years consecutively starting in 1985, took 2nd many times, finally won it in 1999 and had a blast in the process.  I have had many players who have inspired me to turn up level of my game which takes me in a new direction.  Starting with Andy Linder, Kenny Shults and Rippin' Rick Reese who got me truly addicted to freestyle and got my game going, then later there was Ryan Mulroney and Vasek who made me light that internal fire and step it up to the next level.  Watching Ryan come up and dominate the shred game, it really made me train hard and took me to the world title.  In the past 10 years, after Ryan disappeared and Vasek took over.  I have learned different lessons from all of them, and little lessons on the side from my other competitors like Eric Wulff (ducking), Jonathan Schneider (dragons) and too many others to mention.  They all had these things in common: They innovated because they could see the possibilities beyond the current reality.  They pushed themselves to attain great things and focused on their strengths.

Thanks to all the greats, and to all my friends who make this sport what it is!

Here is a movie I just made with the new movie software on a mac, and even though I didn't spend more than 20 minutes making this one, I think it is one of my better ones.  Enjoy!

Shred notes: 10/22/10
I've crossed the 1400 day mark.  Looking at end of January for 1500 days, but first it will be December 19th as my 4 year mark.  I've been interspersing long strings in with new trick development.  In small spaces it is easy to go to new tricks.  Gotta consciously work on long strings. I've been filming with a new Kodak Zx1 but not happy with the quality.  Been publishing crazy videos very frequently.  Using my phone and computer alternatively to publish.  Getting confused on which footage is published and what is not.  Sooooo much footage.  Gotta go through and keyword it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

World Championships 1999 Freestyle Results

No doubt that 1999 was a great year for me!  My son was 1 year old, the economy was great and I was literally peaking in career, my footbag 'game', and my life in general.

I have prepared a YouTube video that contains the performances of the top 4 finishers of the 1999 World Footbag Championships Singles Freestyle competition.  With great respect for all my competitors in this video (Ryan Mulroney, Rick Reese and Peter Irish), please enjoy...

I have to credit Ryan Mulroney for lighting a fire under my ass and making me want to win the World Title that much more.  And I have to thank Rich Abshire for supplying me with the footbag I used to win the title!  Sure I have used, and I still currently use ">Freedom Footbags on a daily basis (1396 today), but in 1999 I was using an Abshire footbag!

Shred notes: October 1-15 2010
Have been stumbling upon some great moves.  See: Phobic Da Da, Fairy same Drifter, Pixie opp Drifter [HD] and Phobic Vortex and Spyro para Drifter [HD] .  I love the creative process and now that i play indoors more, I am trying to focus on longer strings, ionically.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pogo Symposium Mirage & Fairy Miraging Symposium Mirage

If there is something to be said about 'frontside' tricks, it is that I don't think I'll ever stop actively training them.  I need to push my game more to the front side, and in that effort, I have been training front side tricks about every other day.  Yesterday I worked almost exclusively on my flipside fairy sets and feel the burn from it today.  Nuclear, atomic, rakes and pendulums are trained almost daily.  Can't over do it on the Nukes or atomics because I have gotten minor injuries from too much of that good thing.

On day 1383 in a row shredding, I hit Pogo Symposium Mirage & Fairy Miraging Symposium Mirage, along with some other stuff, but I published those from my iphone.

Shred notes: 10/4/2010
I have been skooling frontside on alternating days, trying to stay focused on long strings rather than 'new trick development' (which tends to be very short attempts at very had tricks).  I have been playing to Talking Heads and find their music very motivating.  Especially 'And she was.'  Many new juggling tricks and still improving Seamless.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spinning & Ducking & Phobic & more!

Specifically: .. Phobic Gyro Symposium Whirl, Phobic (opp) Blender and Reverse Twirls. 

I am fluent in many spinning tricks, and in many ducking tricks. And until recently, the only trick I had thought to combine spinning and ducking on, was SDButterfly, as featured on tricks of the trade 2. 

Tuukka challenged me last week to hit a spinning or a ducking twirl, and it got me to really skool those tricks.  This week so far, I have hit Spinning Ducking Whirls on both sides, Spinning Ducking Barfly's (ducking scorpiontail) both sides.  

This movie has: Phobic Gyro Symposium Whirl (from 2 angles), Pixie Same Swirl, Reverse Twirl (thin), Phobic (opp) Blender.  The movie was filmed with my iphone4, using apps ranging from 'camera' to 'slomo' to 'imovie extras' (for titles) and of course 'imovie'.

Keep inspiring me!  It seems to work!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The knack to Ducking Scorpion Tail

After a series of vacations, including our trip to the 25th Annual Funtastik Summer Classic, I have resumed my normal training regimen at the Mammoth Springs Footbag Freestyle Training Center (the parking lot behind the Double Tree hotel near my work).

I've been working on lots of exciting new moves for me. Some maybe new to the world, like Blurry Symposium Paradox Symposium Twirl (yes two symposium elements), and Ducking Spinning Symposium Twirl
Even just ducking paradox twirl got me pretty psyched. I hit reverse twirl today on my flip side. Ducking Twirl too:

I'm writing today about the subtleties of Ducking Scorpion Tail, which is really a Spinning Ducking Barfly. First, I found that skooling Scorpion Tail with really high sets, rather than the usual mid-body height sets really helped. Second, the perfect set will be just above my head so as I'm coming out of the spin, the duck is just a flick of the neck and it is into the barfly part.

So keep kicking! I've got a new puppy. His name is Harley.

See ya!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Andy Linder's approach to freestyle training helped!

There is a lot to learn from the great players who preceded us in the sport of Footbag. I was lucky to have seen Andy Linder's performances during the early days of my Footbag development, they inspired me to get better, and to strive for the kind of precision that I knew was possible because he had achieved it.  After traveling to many tournaments together, we teamed up to win the Team Footbag Freestyle in 1991 World Championships, and reflecting on the training we committed to is how I came to this particular conclusion...

In a word, it's methodical. 
I'm talking about the way he approaches practicing a performance, and how helpful I am finding it to be. Once we had our routine mapped out, we not only did complete run thrus, but broke it down into segments. We would go through each segment perfectly 3 times in a row before moving to the next segment. If we got 2 good runs and dropped on 3rd, we start the count over. 

I spent an hour on two separate days getting thru my funtastik routine in this fashion. Today, I had a chance to run thru this performance and I averaged 2.5 drops in 5 attempts. I wasn't averaging quite that high before this training goal, so I think this triggered an improvement in my game. 

Now that Funtastik is over, my performances were both mired with 3 drops in different places.  You can review my performances at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkUtDTZIGQo  
I did like how it turned out overall, and it is still nice to be in the top group of shredders, able to compete with people literally less than half my age!  I'm 43-3/4, I've been skooling hard every day for 1362 days in a row, plus about 24 years before that!

Thank you Andy Linder for sharing your training techniques with me, I'm glad I can still use them to better my game!

Shred notes 9/12/10:
-I've been on vacation at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventures, Harrisburg's last running of the Funtastik Summer Classic, the US Open Tennis Championships and got to shred in Times Square NY!  Today I refined another type of seamless juggle that I'll videotape and post soon.  It is juggle integrated with fairy-mirage and seamless back into juggle.  Also video to come of our Times Square shred!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We need more Footbag tournaments and events!

For our sport to properly develop to it's potential, we need more structured events AND we need to do more youth outreach to promote Footbag to kids and parents for it's great health and social benefits. 

This means YOU!

I sit here, saddened, outside the home of the directors of the Funtastik Summer Classic, where I can't escape the reality that this family tradition is about to see it's last repetition.  Tournaments like this, with now 25 years running have a cult following which draws out all the top players and enthusiasts to a single location, for a weekend of friendly competition and general Footbag mania. So many thanks to Brenda and Joe Solonoski for hosting this event year after year, for opening their home to us, and for bringing together so many of our friends into a single location.            It breaks my heart that this is the last Funtastik Summer Classic!

Every self-respecting club needs to run at least one event each year, and do some youth outreach for the good of mankind. 

Check www.kickforhealth.org for info about the 'Footbag Challenge' and how this can be a great vehicle to promote the health aspects of Footbag. 

If you want to run a tournament, it doesn't have to be a mammoth 3-day event, but I have been running Footbag events for 25 years in the Chicago area and I promise to help coach any aspiring tournament directors who want to have an event in your area. 

It all starts right here, right now!   We need more tournaments. Period. Contact me now!

Scott Davidson
1999 Freestyle World Champion

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vote Today Only for Valeria and Scott Davidson in National TV Talent Contest

Footbag on national tv today at 9am central , please vote too!
Live with Regis and Kelly show (in Chicago, 9am on ch 9 WGN) is airing a talent contest, click on "Wild and Wacky Talent Contest" and then "Vote".... You'll have to vote for a hula hoop thing, then for 'fancy footwork' We were definitely on today.
Please go online, watch and vote... Today only-you can win a daily $1000 cash prize, and we could win $30k. regisandkelly.go.com.
Post it to your facebook status!


They put us up against lame talents. We must win the category as a matter of pride! Vote and u can win $1000 (per day). Maybe toe whistler dude has tons of friends, we don't know. So vote in force! Regisandkelly.go.com. Thanks to those who have voted already, please paste this to your status or tag me. Wasn't Valeria awesome?




Sunday, August 22, 2010

BarFlakes and triple-dex blurs

I came across these tricks that I have visited before, but never got on tape or even discussed them that I can remember.  The Barfly has always been a challenge for me to do solidly, and I have been working on them for literally 20 years now.  I've been doing a lot of Rakes lately, especially cross-body Rakes.  This past week, my peanut butter got into my chocolate and I brought Barfly together with Cross Body Rake and made a BarFlake.  I know this has another street name, as I know it has been done before, but because I live in a vacuum I don't know what it is called.  I didn't stop there, I have also done versions starting with Fairy, Pixie, Stepping-opp, Stepping-same and spinning.  All on this film, and with slo-mo to reveal the thinness.  All kind of thin, they look good from above.  It is especially noticeable since I had to use an up-angle when I was filming.

I also hit a Blur that has an extra Symposium Mirage before the toe pickup.  Also in slo-mo.  It was suggested that this is a stepping paratoxic (backside symposium) blur, I don't know what to call it, which is why I put it online for peer review.

BarFlakes & Paratoxic Blur?       

Shred notes: 1st two weeks of August...
Played through my injury from last week of July, it is no longer effecting me at all, thank goodness.  I've been obsessed with these new tricks.  Been lucky with weather!  Totally lucky, like cloudy-icky mornings turning to sun literally as I arrive at the Mammoth Springs Training Center.  Mosquitos everywhere near the river, but not on the asphalt playing surface that I utilize.  I'm going to Funtastik and I have been getting some NICE run-thru's of my routine!  I'm gonna be ready again this year and I look forward to a great event!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vacation Freestyle Footbag Shreds - And a new trick concept

We couldn't make it to Worlds 2010.  We went to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to have a mini-vacation.  I got injured on the last Saturday of July and have still played everyday.  This video is my recovery video, it shows how the range of motion improved over the week of recovery.

Congratulations to Milan and Clavens and everyone who succeeded at Worlds 2010 this year!  Wish we could have been there.  This is what I was up to... This video includes the new trick concept outline for "Spotted Tricks"... I've been doing Spotted Osis on both sides for years, but never saw the potential... check out Spotted Mirage and Spotted Torque, both feel like Gyro versions of their tricks and involve lots of twisting.  Please ignore the music.

See ya!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Footbag Youth Outreach - WGN TV Kids Fair August 13, 6-9am

I've been on vacation for a week, but didn't miss a day of shredding.  Had somewhat exotic shred locations and got some film too, I'll publish a video to my "footbagenlightener" youtube channel later today from my phone.

This Friday we are a part of the WGN-TV Channel 9 (in Chicago area) Kids Fair and we'll be there for the 3 hours.  The broadcasters all come out and do live shots, they incorporate it into their news show and they are bound to get to us, so watch for us.

For more information:

See ya!

Shred Notes: Week of Aug 1-7, 2010
Was shredding with Valeria and practicing doubles when I crashed and burned from a collision with her legs.  I fell straight onto my lowerback bone and could barely walk the next day, but I got a good shred in because I found tricks that didn't hurt so much and I did lots of them.  I will post a videotape of my recovery over the week later today.  Still hurts a week later, but of course I'm already planning my shred for today.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lucky to freestyle with my wife!

When we got married she could barely get 3 kicks in a row. Her Footbag skills have evolved over the years very nicely. She tried her feet at net but the early 90's is when I chose to commit to freestyle and she never could get me to set up a net, so that didn't last long. But she stuck with it, and with me, and here she is 19 years later getting her clipper catches solid and effectively using them as sets for all the toe based tricks she knows. Expanding her game even further!

Seeing the look on her face when she hits that trick she has been working on reminds me of the kind of reaction a child has to achievement. Being there to give her a high-five is icing on the cake. Recently we worked out a doubles keeps string that looks great on video!

Footbag offers a challenging workout with constant potential for accomplishment. Its a kind of glue We are living proof that the family that kicks together, sticks together.

Congratulations Valeria on all you have achieved in your Footbag career! I look forward to many more years of shredding with you!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 2010 - Short String recaps

Bummed that I can't make Worlds2010.  Physically depressed.  But I won't let that stop me.

If I didn't videotape myself at the end of each jam session, I don't think I would remember half of what I accomplish.  This 10 minute movie may bore the uninitiated to death, but for me it is my passion.  I love freestyle footbag, as it continues to challenge both my mind and body!

These videos serve my sense of posterity.  In 20 years, I'll look back at these days in fond memory of how my game has evolved.  I fully expect to be playing freestyle footbag into my 60's, and these will serve as a nice comparison...

High speed subject (me) and new iPhone4 video camera. If I didn't make these videos, I might forget what I hit. Long strings coming tomorrow in separate video. This video contains a trick that is NEW to mankind: Spinning Ducking Xbody Whirling Rake. Seamless Juggles from Blurs, Gyro Mirages and Fairy mirages. Whirling Sole to Symposium whirl. Fairy Ducking Barfly. Blurry Whirling Cross Body Rake. Insane threading strings, including new Sewing Machine sets. Ducking Symposium Whirl. Mobius to Double Osis. Pendulum Sets into torque. (Just hit Pendulum set to paradox drifter today, not on tape yet). Fairy Ducking Cross Body Rake. Among tons of other tricks. More daily.

Shred notes: 7/20/10 - 
Looks like rain today.  Gonna jam outdoors under an overhang.  I am going to film again. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Footbag Parade Crashing!

It was Independence Day, July 4th 2010 in our hometown of Oak Park, IL and we had marched, or shredded, in the parade for the past 5 years running.  Our sponsor was not in the parade this year so we decided to just jump in as the parade gets going and fill in the gap between two floats.  It turned out that we might have been the most energetic and unique entry, and we weren't even officially there.  Check it out!

Later that day, we went to DMB at Alpine Valley and shredded in the parking lot twice and again on the deck waiting for Dave to get on stage.  Then we relaxed.  Total blast of a day.

Shred notes; 7.6.2010
This week was busy, and as I still continue to recover from my self-inflicted toe injury, I have NOT broken my streak.  Today was 1293 in a row!  We did Taste of Chicago last weekend, this weekend we did Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos concert at Petrillo Bandshell shreds, then the Parade and DMB.  Yesterday at Great America theme park.  Shredded at lunch today, mostly routine stuff.  Can't play music and record video from iphone4 at the same time, no problem, time to whip out the old shuffle!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project - Successful submission of Footbag idea

On behalf of our youth outreach program, Kick for Health, I would like to announce that we have successfully submitted a grant request for the Pepsi Refresh Project to "Help prevent childhood obesity by giving footbags to people we teach!"

Learn about our proposal by watching this video:

Starting August 1, assuming we get approved, the voting begins.  I want to try to use the power of social networking to win this grant, so I am requesting any people with experience in reaching large audiences to please step up and help me with this.  They will give me a specific web page to send you to at that time for voting, and you can vote for 10 things or throw 10 votes at a single idea.  We will need help... watch for further plea's.

Shred notes: 7/1/10
I had a series of doctor appointments where she first sliced my toe and drained a bad infection.  Then it got reinfected.  I DID NOT MISS A DAY OF SHREDDING!  Like I said, no little hangnail is going to stop this streak.  I am now on 1289 days in a row.  I have made a series of video errors, bad lighting, bad focus.  Learning experiences.  Gonna get footage today that is good quality and compare HD to 320p.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Genzu's shoe modifications worked to reduce pain...

Life is teaching me a lesson about pain.  How serious it is when someone is in constant pain, please take them seriously and try to make them comfortable.  It is mentally debilitating.  It effects my every moment.  I work hard, I play hard and I love every minute of it.  My intention is to perform my best at every moment, in every aspect of my life.  To lead by example.  Even in the best of situations, it is difficult to stay in the moment.  When pain like this is present, it makes its way to the foreground and hampers my best efforts at excellent performance.  It distracts me from my focus on performing well in the moment, and makes me just try to survive it.

I tried to take a short nap before the Argentina vs. Mexico world cup game today, and I thought about how the pain is amplified by landing on my right foot.  Really, it was the shoe constricting against the swollen toe that causes the pain.  I was in so much pain when I was at work this week, standing all day in tight fitting shoes.  I would wear sandals to work, but the new rules there technically keep me from that and I think it is unsafe to wear open toe shoes when riding a xootr anyway.  It occurred to me that regardless of how it looks, I need to relieve my pain at work so just standing there doesn't make me cringe in pain, I need to convert a pair of old Rod Laver shoes into Genzu modified Rod Lavers.  I looked up Daryl's blog and found the picture that changed my day.

Today I modified a pair of old blue Rod Laver's so the right toe is open like Daryl 'Genzu' Genz's.  It worked, an orthopedic success!  Especially since the only shoes I ever wear are Rod Laver tennis shoes.  I did a footbag demo at Taste of Chicago with Alex and Valeria, and I made it through the two hours with the microphone, and another hour kicking with the CIC guys by Buckingham Fountain.  I got some good footage and will publish a movie soon.  It was hard to set the footbag off of my right toe because of the intensity of effect caused by my toe curl, but I could figure that out if I had to.  My infection did get worse and the swelling went up, but I was able to bear it.  I hope this infection passes, because living with pain like this is unfathomable.  I can't imagine what it must be like for someone with real problems like Cancer, Diabetes or heart disease.  Ouch.


Shred notes: 6/27/10
Just glad to be shredding.  Infection still getting worse.  Little white dot showed up in the middle of the swollen part.  Playing on grass sucks, but when doing youth outreach, you can't be picky.  Not ideal, but probably less impact on my toe too.

Injury without honor...

Hangnails are my worst fear.  Every time I cut my toenails I am conscious of the possibility of a painful hangnail, and this one has been getting worse for 10 days now.  Doesn't seem to get better.  I refuse to be stopped.  I have been skooling every day for 1285 days in a row, and I won't be stopped by a freaking hangnail.  An injury without honor.  I could see that if I got injured by playing footbag freestyle, that there would be some solace in knowing that my own obsession with the sport is the reason for breaking a streak.  If this keeps up, I'm going to have to go to a doctor.  I hate doctors, I'm pretty sure they hate me too.  They seem to be a bunch of pill pushers, or knife wielding madpeople with some hidden agenda to save their insurance overlords money so they can get that bonus and go to the Bahamas.

Today I am studying Daryl Genzu Genz, and how he laces his shoe.  My solution is to Genzu a pair of Lavers and relieve the pressure that is caused by my shoes pushing up against my big toe every time I land.  I still have another 2 hour demo this afternoon at Taste of Chicago where we shred and teach kids about the basics of footbag.

Shred notes: 6/27/2010
Just trying to be productive and play through the pain. Lots of ice on the toe to keep swelling down, lots of neosporine too. Ouch

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Videotaping tips for footbag freestyle... and footbag net

I have had a videocamera since 1988, thanks to being inspired by Jay Moldenhauer, Greg Nelson, then later Steve Kremer and Josh Casey... also Dennis Jones.  I was at the beginning of my footbag career and I saw how Jay was videotaping the finals of events and the sideline shredding as well.  They were using it as an effective learning tool and accelerating their footbag game exponentially.  It was amazing.  I purchased the exact same camera that Jay had, it was a sony hi-8 camera (and I have TONS of footage to convert from the old days, just not enough room to store it, time to do it, or money to buy the thingy that converts it to digital) that served me well for many years.  I never get credited with this, but I MADE THE FIRST SHRED VIDEO EVER!  I put together the best footage I had of routines and side-shreds and made about fifty copies onto videotapes and I gave them away for free with labels on them that encouraged the recipients to make more copies and give them to their friends.  No copyrights, free distribution.  I was spreading the word.  I still am.

Videotaping has evolved since those days, youtube has made free distribution into a fun pastime.  Footbag has gotten more complicated, even faster action and still uses a very small ball that is sometimes hard to see.  Here are some tips for making videos of footbag:
1. Get a good camera.  HD quality and a wide angle lens is helpful.  See comparison of footage between a point and shoot and my new Smartest Phone from a built-in HD video camera (starts with an "i") below, just released into the wild 2 days ago.
2. Pay attention to lighting.  When shooting outdoors in direct sunlight, try to keep the sun behind you.  It is better to film on a cloudy day than in direct sunlight because the diffused light that the clouds let through is more evenly distributed across your subjects.  If you are shooting indoors there can be many shadows depending on your lighting style.  In a conference room, the fluorescent lights provide a good diffused light experience, but sometimes causes a kind of harmonic resonance when the frame rate of the camera exactly matches the flashing-cycle rates of the fluorescent lights, plus for reasons of cleanliness, conference rooms tend to have very busy patterns in the carpeting which make it bad for playing and filming.  In a garage, you are going to need lights coming from as many angles as possible to reduce the shadowing, but it can get pretty bad if you only have a few lights.  If you have a shadowing problem indoors, try to stay with your back to the best light.
3. Learn to stabilize your shots, limit movement if you don't have a self-stabilizing camera or use a tripod.
4. Get the right angle for the right shot.  Best is a straight on shot from just below hip level with the sun behind you, or good ambient diffused light indoors.  I use a lot of upward angles because I don't have a tripod with me most of the time and I balance the camera on the ground.  Angles from above are a nice novelty, but really don't give a good idea of what is going on.
5. Don't shoot from too far away.  If you use the optical zoom to 'get closer', be aware it will amplify any movements you make, so if I had to use optical zoom, I would always recommend a tripod.
6. Turn OFF digital zoom, it is useless.  Seriously, turn it off!  Now!
7. When I am taping, I keep recording until I get something worth keeping, then I stop and restart the recording.  This makes reviewing the footage go MUCH faster because rather than reviewing every second of footage, I go to the end of each clip and trim away everything before it to save space and get rid of unusable footage ASAP.
8. When using a tripod, I find that the mini ones are easy to carry around, but are hard to set up to get the right angle, only because I have to pretty much lay on the ground to see what my image frame is capturing.  So for the mini tripods, I prefer to set them up on a pedestal to make it easy to check the frame field.  Ideally, a medium size tripod puts the camera at the right height to get a good shot and be easy to set-up.  I prefer to set my tripod at about 2 feet high.
9. If you are putting your camera on the ground to film, I suggest a slight upward angle.  On my Canon point-and-shoot camera, I use the hand strap under the front of the camera which props it up at the right angle so I don't see a lot of ground in front of my feet.  On my new Phone4, I had to rest it in my extra shirt to angle it back, but I could not see through the viewing side, I had to guess at what my camera was capturing, but it turned out to be useable.
10.  Get the right distance from the player.  All cameras are different.  Think about how you are going to use your footage.  If you are doing a static tripod shot, the closer you are to the players the less range the players have to move around in, and you risk losing good footage when players drift out of frame.  On the other hand, if you put it too far away, you lose the necessary detail and sometimes can't see the footbag because it is so small.
11.  Choose a solid backdrop when possible.  If you have trees, or random objects in the background, the viewers may not be able to see the footbag as it travels across the foreground.  So if you are videotaping, and you have any 'say' in the process of picking a location, try to find something as close to a solid color for your background.

Comparison of video camera footage for your review:
Canon Powershot SD630 (about 4 years old) with 640x480 frame size 24fps:

Video from my new phone camera which is HD 720p at 30fps (this popular camera phone was released on June 24, 2010):

(make sure to click on the HD version at bottom right) It seems that youtube knocks my videos down to half quality.  Not sure why.

Footbag Net match - Finals from last weekends Windy City Cup 2010 on old Canon camera:

For videotaping footbag net, you really need two cameras that are timestamped together. I would generally like to keep the camera from moving left to right, so a long shot from either end of the court would be great for most of the match, but use the camera that is along the net line to do close ups of the arial dog fights that are the 'meat' of the matches.

Shred notes: Week of June 25th, 2010
I have had a hangnail for the past week that is killing me.  Hurts like hell every time I step down on my right foot, but it hasn't stopped me from shredding every day.  It seems to be getting worse, which means that on Monday if it hasn't gotten better, I'll be going to the doctor, which are words rarely uttered from my mouth.  Either way, we have a Kick for Health youth outreach today and tomorrow at Taste of Chicago from 4-6 and plenty of time to shred then.  Been skooling routines a lot.  Jay Claffey and his daughter came by the other day to visit me during my lunch shred, that was awesome too.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Inspired by Tricks of the Trade II

EVERYONE in Chicago area should be at Windy City Cup at Navy Pier north entrance today, Sunday, June 20 whether you freestyle or play net, this is the place to be!  10-5... this is possibly the best location for a footbag tournament that footbag net has ever seen in Chicago!  Be there!

A huge storm came through, 100's of thousands of people without power, but our Comcast went out so we had power, but no internet or cable TV.  Why did the storm come through during World Cup?  Anyway, I was looking through my DVD collection, it was early in the morning, and I threw in the Tricks of the Trade II video (if you have VHS, you can get a copy for $5) from World Footbag Association and Kenny Shults.

I am so proud and motivated by the achievements of others.  I am grateful to have been around for many of these milestones.  Not many people watch old footbag videos from past World Championships performances and are brought to tears, but I'm one of them.  Watching the greats like Sam Conlon, Peter Irish and Rippin Rick Reese do the routines that I was busy judging is inspiring to say the least.  Watching Carol Weidemier (sp?) do effortless Blurry Drifters, just amazing.  I took 2nd place behind Rippin' in that Montreal dropless routine he did, and I'm pretty sure I took 2nd behind Peter Irish in that Satellite routine too.  I love this sport!

Watching all my friends do their tricks and having Kenny Shults describe the details is especially helpful to people like me who struggle to grasp the names of some advanced tricks.  It is like having Kenny Shults as my personal coach!  Also, with advanced tricks I can pick apart the technical sequence, but I always forget the street-names of tricks and this video helps me to get the names right.

I saw a bunch more tricks that I would like to perfect, it is such a great video that every mid level player should have it, and every advanced player should study it!  Get your copy of Tricks of the Trade II video today (if you have VHS, you can get a copy for $5) from World Footbag Association and Kenny Shults.  Novice and intermediates should be careful not to try to get to these tricks too quickly.  I firmly believe that part of my longevity has to do with the amount of time I spent on each component of the more advanced tricks and my organic approach toward bettering my game.

Side note: Hey WFA!  How hard would it be to get this video available for digital purchase through iTunes Movie store?  Could be a new revenue stream for you.

To wrap this up, I want to thank all my footbag friends for continuing on this journey of athletic challenges with me!

Shred hard and prosper!


Shred notes: June 19, 2010
It is frustrating to spend 15 minutes on a trick and not hit it.  Quantum is my 'nemesis' (excuse the freestyler pun) these days.  I can't seem to get close.  I need to watch that frame by frame because I am missing something.  I can't skool it too hard because I don't want to cause stress injuries from new movements, so I'll keep working on it periodically.  Been skooling routines and long strings lately, mostly at Mammoth Springs Training Center.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Being 'in the Zone' is really mastering the moment!

Today is 1276 days in a row shredding.

In my most recent post, I focused on being 'in' the moment.  Mostly because upon further analysis, the moment is all we have.  In life and in footbag, being focused on the moment, while having an outline for the future and a fond recollection of the past is what makes a good person great!

When I can complete a trick that has 5 or 6 elements and follow it immediately with a series of other tricks that are similarly difficult, I know that I have mastered that moment, that I was in 'the Zone.'

To reiterate my recent postulation, I feel that my experience with footbag where I am constantly challenging myself to focus as many elements of difficulty into each moment, has helped me to realize that some of my greatest moments are when I'm just enjoying the beach with my family, eating dinner with my parents.  Different situations require varying types of mastery, but recognizing that it is the moment I am in, rather than the moment that is (in theory) coming up, which is truly valuable.

I ask myself as often as possible, how can I master 'this' moment?  I find myself going through this mental exercise more frequently during my conscious hours... In the morning, how can I be more efficient in getting things done around the kitchen while still preparing for work and enjoying it?  How do I get to work?  How can I out-perform at work?  How do I get the most value from my play time (shred sessions)?  What is the implications of my commuting decisions?  How can I be the best dad when I'm around the house in the evenings and weekends?

I think living in the moment, allows me to live without regrets.  So I find myself asking myself, "Self? How can I be 'in the Zone' in every aspect of my life?"


Shred notes: from Thurs, June 17th
Kicked at Mammoth Springs Training Center and worked mostly on routines for the past 2 days.  It has been fun.  Nothing new, but still hitting the barfly ending in cross body rake in many iterations daily.  Skool it baby!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This moment is all we have...

If a footbag freestyle performance isn't a great example of 'living in the moment', then I don't know what is.    From a philosophical perspective all we really have this moment right now.  The past is a memory and the future is merely conjecture.  Time is really the passing of a series of moments in rapid succession.

A footbag freestyle trick takes place in about a second and for most people, that is the equivalent of a moment.  We cram as much action as we can into the moment that a trick takes place in.  Think about it, whether the footbag simply goes from one toe catch or another, or in between delays there were three distinctly unique leg dexterity motions, a half turn and a moving toe pickup like a rake, the same amount of time has passed.  The same moment could be a boring toe delay or it could be a blurriest barfly cross body rake, and then followed by another moment of brilliance, and another.  To achieve multiple motions in a single moment is to master that moment, and I get to do this every single day!

I believe that my life is enriched by this principle.  So many people worry about the future and regret the past.  It is important to make plans to conquer the future, and to fondly remember the past.  Through footbag freestyle, I have really improved my ability to really kick back and enjoy this moment, the only moment that I am guaranteed, the moment I am in right now!


Shred notes for June 2010:
Have been shredding at Great America, Brookfield Zoo, Mammoth Springs Shred Center, Rehm Pool, my double-secret hallway indoor location and at Oak Street Beach.  We've been having a nice summer so far.  Also hit some killer stuff recently...  I have been going through my routine obsessively every day at the end of my shred, but also on alternating days (mostly) I work exclusively on the routine.  What is it called when you do a barfly ending in a cross-body rake?  Well I hit that in blurriest, and spinning varieties.  And on film too. Spent a day just working on threading tricks... hit threading juggles and threaded blurs.  Hit Phobic spinning xross body rake, and a butterfly version of it too.  I have a hell of a video to put together with updates on what I've been working on for the entire spring.  I love this sport!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Threading - Thanks to Gary Lautt!

I have been threading for years now.  It started literally at the VERY beginning of my footbag experience.  It is difficult to put into writing the magnitude of the effect that Gary Lautt had on my understanding of that a freestyle performance is.  Back in 1985, in the early days of VHS, it was rare to use videotape for learning purposes.  It was rare to see any valuable footage of any advanced footbag freestyle at all.  In fact, advanced freestyle at the time did not include the concept of "adds", and did not have any content beyond around-the-worlds and flying clippers.  I am not sure where I saw Gary play, probably at a WFA event associated with Worlds, but to see someone so confidently hit repeated rainbow outside kicks with effortless abandon, and spins ending in inside kicks for an NBA basketball crowd at halftime... it was awe-inspiring.  Everyone in the audience knew exactly what was happening in his performance, they related to it... I related to it.  In a big way!  

This is when I first saw Gary thread the footbag his encircled fingers in-between kicks.  I have to say, that with all of the advancement in footbag freestyle, I still see the value of what Gary's performances offer.  The simplicity of basic kicks with the added difficulty of threading it through his fingers.  It was amazing.  

It was after at least 20 solid years of shredding that I finally started applying the "Lautt-inspired" Threading concept to more advanced tricks.  I wanted to call it the "Lautt" to honor the great-one, but after years of trying, it is better known as "Threading".  I have applied the "Threading" concept to so many different tricks, I should make a list.  

Today I honored Gary by devoting my entire shred (except for the run-thru my worlds routine at the end) to Threading tricks.

Gary Lautt is a great footbag player and an amazing innovator for the sport, and although I don't know him well, I have the greatest respect for Gary.  I consider myself fortunate to be included alongside him in the Footbag Hall of Fame, and I am glad to offer an entire category of trick-modifiers called "Threading" that can be added to just about any trick, 100% inspired by Gary Lautt!


Example of Threading Concept

Shred notes: 6/8/10
It was all Threading, all day today!  I hit new Threading moves including Juggle-thread, which is further out front than comfortable.  It seems that if I do the comfy-thread then the threads are too close to the body, but if I do the comfy-juggle then the threads are more uncomfortable but because the juggle is tantamount, then it is more important to be uncomfortable with threading so far in front of the body to make the juggle more comfy.  Also hit both Gyro Threading Whirls in the same string and each individually several times with the right being ironically dominant.  Successful cross-training!
At the end of it all, I did a 3-drop version of my Worlds routine with about 75% accuracy vs. intent.

Footbag freestyle!  'This is not your fathers' Hacky Sack®"

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Footbag Freestyle keeps the mind fresh and the body young!

I suppose all the gray hair is a telling sign of the uncontrollable elements of the aging process.  While there may be some genetic certainties, I believe that I am living proof that footbag freestyle is like a fountain of youth in taking care of the variables not predetermined by genetics.  It is not only the vigorous exercise element of advanced footbag freestyle, which is comparable to the cardiovascular requirements of high-impact aerobics... but also the mental aspect that requires a high level of creativity to create new tricks and strings of tricks which is not a requirement of most other sports.  It is the combination of the constant challenge of improving my physical performance and the constant mental challenges that not only keep the body looking and feeling young, but keep my mind engaged in the creative aspect of trick creation and string building.  While other sports like running, cycling and other forms of vigorous exercise include the exercise part but lack in variety.  Runners and cyclists can take different routes, but it is still just the same motions over and over.  Footbag freestylers use their entire body in hundreds of different positions and on both sides of their bodies.  The whole-body requirements combined with the mental challenges of innovation are what set our sport apart from others.

It is a joy to play footbag everyday, I truly believe it is large part of my great appreciation of life. I wish I could play more with my shredding friends, but I am satisfied that I get to play alone on such a regular basis.  It is an honor and a pleasure to know so many great people who are involved in this sport.  Playing since 1984, I never would have thought I'd be where I am today, but without this sport...  well lets just say that "Footbag keeps the mind fresh and the body young!"


Shred Notes: 6/2/2010
I've hit some more fun stuff, new for me at least.  I have much on tape and will release a spring update video soon.  Today was fairy ducking mirage, fairy ducking butterfly, fairy ducking cross-body rake, fairy diving osis.  Other great stuff too, and a pretty good run through my routine.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mammoth Springs Training Center is open!

Of course, shredding footbag freestyle requires flat, level surfaces.  Ideally concrete, asphalt or hardwood but not slippery like marble or some polished hardwoods.  In the winter I frequently comment on how shredding in a back hallway of polished concrete with a half inch layer of dust, and I whine about it because I know that there is a parking lot nearby that is calling my name.

I call it Mammoth Springs Training Center!  Featuring plenty of sun and real-world wind conditions.  An asphalt surface that doesn't transfer black to your Rod Lavers.  A view of the river, and plenty of privacy to crank up the tunes and shred up a storm.  In reality, it is the back parking lot of the Doubletree hotel here in Oak Brook, but there is a rock with a historic plaque out front that commemorates the rich history that this site contains.  Mammoth Springs is where the people who settled this area got all their ice from.  Before electric refrigeration, they needed ice in the summer, so they build giant insulated ice houses and froze water all winter and distributed it all summer using the river channel that still runs through today.

I look forward to playing everyday, and when I am stuck at work and playing at my "Lunch", usually at the 11:00am hour, this is where you'll find me.

Shred on brothers and sisters!


Shred notes: 5/29/10
Working on routine every day, at least one run-through on tape.  Cool new 'heel' moves leg overs and DLO's ending in Heel.  Cool sole stuff too.  Video being prepped on Spring update with all this fun stuff I've been doing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rooted, and the Pure Solo modification

This is a concept that has been literally stumbled upon by many, but until now, not fully embraced as a concept in the Footbag freestyle community. I think Rooted tricks deserve a Body add, much like Symposium gets... and Pure Solo tricks definitely should get an extra add.  Not that I really care about adds.

Definition of 'Rooted':
When a player both catches and lands with the same foot at the same time while the other leg does not touch the ground.

Modification of 'Pure Solo':
When a player shows balance and control after a Rooted catch by freezing position, ideally with a difficult balancing position, like grabbing the non-rooted foot with other hand.

Almost every trick that ends with a toe delay can be Rooted.  Possible that clippers could be Rooted, but unlikely.  Well I did experiment with that and found it is possible, but since I needed to step down almost immediately after the Rooted inside and walk over it, there was no chance of a Solo modification to this, and it was really hard to see if it was even rooted.  So I'm not going to break my ankles over this.  I suppose someone with complete 'crankle' can pull it off, but no rush there for me.

Today I hit some more new ones:
Paradox Solo DLO,
Nuclear Solo toe pickup

The ultimate would be to do all of them Pure.

Rooted is not a new concept, but up until now it has only been stumbled upon by players as a bail.  For instance, even when I do a clipper set step plus extra mirage and end with Rooted it 'feels' like a bail.  When it is done intentionally, it adds an element of difficulty to the tricks that have been modified by it, and deserves an add when being counted.   It can be applied to any trick ending on a toe.  Pure Solo Rooted indicates a grab and frozen balance position at the point of the Rooted maneuver.

Watch the movie above to see many examples of Rooted and Pure Solo.  Ran out of battery today, but added a few new tricks to this concept.


Shred notes: 5/23/10
Been xooting at every chance, no time to blog.  Too bad, as I've been skooling hard.  Today is 1250 Days in a row shredding!  I'll be at Great America all day, so it should be fun.  I've been alternating indoors and out, as weather is still unreliable.  Indoors I skool new tricks and experimental stuff, outdoors I skool routines.  I've been through routine with 1 and 2 drops and 80% accuracy several times, and on tape.  I've hit many new tricks recently, at least new for me... 
Phobic symp rooted mirage. 
Rooted atom smasher
Paradox Rooted DLO,
Nuclear Rooted toe pickup

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ever get the feeling you've hit a trick before?

Yesterday, I hit Nuclear Paradox Twirl and Fairy Symp. Mirage on film, many times.  I am not sure that never before in the world of footbag freestyle (hacky-sack) has anyone hit Nuclear Paradox Twirl, NOR am I certain that it deserves the Paradox (but I know it should)... just note it is the opp twirl I do from the side I nuclear set on.  So L clipper set, L let nuclear set, R leg Twirl ending in L clipper again.  I think symposium might be possible too.

Sometimes I wonder if I have hit this move before.  I'm going to search my archives here and my notes otherwise, but I remember Allan H. hitting this before.  Somehow this feels familiar, but I love it!

See ya!
Scott 'Enlightener' Davidson

Shred notes: 5/13/10
Today I nearly hit what I can only describe as: "Pixie set, backside symposium toe blur"  Battery ran out, and I had only gotten close, not quite hit it.  I think I need to finish the 2nd dex faster to get time for the pickup.  If I obsess for too long on any one trick, I risk injury so I have to move on for now.

Note: Epic Fail technical error due to 'fat fingers' on iphone accidentally causing premature publication of a blog post that was barely a draft.  Then no known reason, when I try to type in my browser view of blogger.com on my iphone, it makes every character a capital letter, very strange.  Sorry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

11 years late, but never too soon!

I won the 1999 World Footbag Championships, Footbag Freestyle Singles event.   I have only seen my performance twice since then, it is as if no one recorded it.

We did have a great recording done with professional cameras, but that footage got lost immediately after the event, during a move, and I have never seen it.  So I got in touch with our videographer by chance through facebook, and he finally tracked down the footage and is putting it in the mail so I can get it up on YouTube.  I can't wait.  I really can't wait.  

Shred notes: 5/11/10 - Skooled routines today.  Really got into it after about a half hour warmup.  The past few days have been productive... Nuclear Paradox Twirl and Fairy Symposium Mirage.  The first is a new trick as far as I can tell, and the 2nd is new to me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sometimes Innovation results from 'playing around the pain.'

(New trick - Phobic Symposium Mirage) I have had some weird pains this past week.  The top of my left foot hurt like I had bruised it, but there is no visible bruise nor injury that would explain it.  Before that my right hamstring has been in pain, so I was playing around that pain.  Soon I should be back at 100%, but I still haven't missed a day.  Today is 1234 days in a row shredding hard!  1234 is one of my favorite numbers, it is also one of my favorite times of day.  I like the way this number looks and 'feels'.

I was playing around the left foot pain, which was there especially when I landed hard on that foot, so a lot of tricks hurt.  I decided to skool tricks that didn't stress that foot.  I got into some phobic sets, and stumbled upon a new trick.  Phobic symposium mirage.  So this sets from my left toe, fairy-style but I turn to the right as the footbag travels behind me, then plant right foot and do a symposium mirage ending back on the same left toe I started on.  It sure was fun to get to a new trick (at least, new for me) and I got it on tape too.  I was able to skool it a lot without even stressing the left foot 'bruise'.  This pain has occurred before, so I hope it doesn't come back.

See ya!

Shred notes: 5/7/10
I've been listening to my music over and over during my workouts, and at least half the time skooling my routine for worlds.  Trying to keep a balance between working on advancing my game and still being prepared for worlds.  Not taking it easy because of the little pains I have, just playing around them and taking a bit longer to get warm.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fun with advanced concepts...

I was shredding footbag freestyle in my living room today, after playing at Great America yesterday, and I got to thinking about concepts.  A concept is an added level of difficulty or specific motion that can be added to many existing tricks to make them different.  Among the many concepts that are well established are Symposium and Paradox.  I have been working on the Rooted concept for the past week or so, misunderstanding it and calling it Solo most of the time (I'm publishing a video that focuses on Rooted concept with tons of new tricks).  The concept that got me obsessed today was Ducking/Diving.

With most concepts, it is just a matter of time before we get comfortable with them and incorporate them into our daily shreds.  In many cases, concepts can be applied to so many different tricks, that it increases variety potential almost exponentially!

(Shred Notes: 5/3/10) I have hit many, many, many different ducking/diving tricks and today I thought of another one or two.  Probably done by others, but worth mentioning.  I hit Diving Barfly (harder than it sounds) and Diving Down Double Down.  I almost hit Paradox Diving Dyno, so close.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Practice is the mother of innovation in footbag freestyle, Muted (Solo) & Zoid (Rooted)

I practice everyday, and this I believe leads me to innovation in such a natural fluid process that it seems to happen frequently!  I'm very happy about this.

Over the past few days, I've been practicing some concepts that are new to me. Someone told me that one of these concepts was "Muted" but I don't think he was correct after looking at other videos on youtube that mention Muted tricks.

What I have been doing is best described as: "Landing and catching at the same time on the same foot ending a trick" which I would rather call "Solo" or "Soloing" as verb.

I hit Gyro Muted (Solo) DLO and Phobic Muted (Solo) Mirage and tons of other muted (Solo) family members.

I also combined Zoid sets (otherwise may be known as Rooted) with Muted (solo) tricks, on youtube.

Another day, another shred... maybe for most people, but today I definitely innovated!

I love the sport of footbag freestyle!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sometimes clothing determines content for a Footbag freestyle session

Today I forgot to bring shred shorts to Alex's TKD tourney, so I had to shred in board shorts. It's not devastating, but it is a departure from my normal strategy of doing anything I damn well feel like doing. Not to mention that I am playing in public so I have to do longer strings.

Playing in long shorts keeps me from doing most tricks from the ripwalk family so alot of my bread and butter moves get blocked because the area that represents the upward path the Footbag has to take is clogged with fabric.

Today in addition to hitting some nice strings I rehashed an old concept... To set tricks with little mini pendulums. I have done this with many trix in the past, osis, torques and DLO's, and today I added swirl to the mix. Sweet.

Shred notes: 4/25/10
long rake strings, pendulum set swirl. Yesterday I hit Muted Gyro DLO and Muted phobic mirage on tape, film will be on YouTube tonight or tomorrow AM.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Near-innovation! New for me...

After another week of cool temperatures. Making the call between kicking at the low end of my temperature spectrum outdoors, or kicking in the double secret location which is temperature controlled but limited on space and has slippery floors. The results were mixed, but when I did go outdoors yesterday I stumbled on a concept that I had never tried before called "Muted."

Of course, I thought I had innovated again, but in the back of my head I thought I had heard of this before. It is when you land and catch the trick on the same toe, no support leg. I hit Muted gyro mirage first, which led me to:
Muted Blur, Muted DLO both sides, and all kinds of tricks that I thought were innovations.

I did have one burst of freshness when I combined a Muted Blur with an immediate Zoid set butterfly. Now that I think about it, the ultimate would be a Zoid set trick ending in a Muted delay. I'll try that tomorrow. Today was 1220 days in a row shredding!

Shred notes: 4/23/10
I have been getting some great runs through the routine, very promising. Also have had some successes getting warm in the cold outdoors, against all odds.

-This is not your fathers' Hacky Sack!
Footbag Freestyle