Friday, December 28, 2012

2200 Days in a row and counting... still innovating!

This time of the year is special for me.  Not only is it my 46th birthday, Xmas and New Years celebrations all within two weeks, but for the past 6 years I've been celebrating another year of shredding every day, as I started this whole commitment to training everyday on my 40th birthday!  This year I have more to celebrate than just surviving another year.  Today marks the day that I have played freestyle footbag (hacky sack), at an advanced level, every day for the past 2200 days.

In just the past year, I have really made some breakthroughs that I wanted to put together into a single place, to summarize my accomplishments this past year... 68 Videos published to YouTube, of which 13 involved this new concept of Seamless Footbag Freestyle Juggling.  Watch them all here:
FootbagEnlightener Seamless Footbag Juggling Playlist
Seamless Juggling first came to me as a way to integrate juggling into regular footbag tricks without stopping back in 2010, with the first instance of what I now call "Seamless" juggling showing up in this video about "How to Juggle Footbags." This year, I named the concept Seamless and applied it to dozens of tricks in many nuanced ways.  Skyhook is another concept I've applied to several tricks, where I do a dexterity prior to a pendulum, combined into one trick.  See also, Atomic Skyhook.

Along the way, I have innovated many new tricks including Juggulous and Juggulouso... Paradox Drifting Cross Body Rake... PhobicFly and Phobic Vortex... Ryno and Spinning Ryno... Frontside Soles... New Dragonosis tricks... Phairy Same Down Double... Infinity Swirling Drag... Motion Sickness and so many more as seen on my YouTube channel.

I love this sport!  Constant variety.  Thanks to YouTube for all the free hosting.  Thanks to Spenco Insoles for keeping my feet in great shape!  Thanks to my family for putting up with me!  Thanks to mall security where I work for not kicking me out of my double secret shredding locations.  Thanks to everyone who supported me this year too, like Freedom Footbags, Flying Clipper Footbags and Dragonfly Footbags.  Make donations to IFPA (International Footbag Players Association).

Enjoy the moment!  2200 is the number of the day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

That completes 6 years of playing Footbag Freestyle (Hacky Sack Tricks) EVERYDAY! Year in Review 2012.

That's right! I've been playing every day, for about an hour or more, for the past six years! Tomorrow is my 46th birthday, and I started playing everyday when I turned 40.

A lot has happened in the past year. This is my 'Year in Review', year six. 2012

This year I've published 68 videos to YouTube (that's a new video every 5-6 days), mostly documenting the random tricks I came up with. Some of them were new, some of them are just the first time I've done them. Most of them were filmed on my iPhone, and edited completely on the iPhone as well. Most of them were filmed and edited entirely on the iPhone, as my computer has been broken for most of the year. You can view them at:

I've played as far north as Petosky MI at the lighthouse, But mostly I stayed around the Chicago area. I try to play in exotic places like beachfront, festivals, rooftops and the like, But mostly I play in my living room, parking lots and back hallways.

Not only do I play footbag every day, but I try to ride my Xootr scooter As much as possible to him from work, I stand all day at work and I'm a vegetarian. So with all that going for me, statistically I should be more healthy. Less likely to get heart disease, cancers and other diseases related to obesity and poor diet. So I got that going for me. And I do feel great!

I started the year with a badly stubbed toe, and I just did it again. Had to modify another pair of shoes, actually just the right shoe this time. See the picture attached. I've got to be more careful walking around my house in the dark.

I look forward to next year, where I plan to get a new computer and make better quality videos, with more of an instructive overtone to them. Tomorrow is the first shred of my seventh year playing every day in a row, and I hope to keep this up the rest of my life!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Overdoing it?

As of today, I've been playing every day for 2157 days in a row. Some people wonder if I'm overdoing it. Do I give myself enough time to rest? I think so, yes, I rest enough. No, I'm not overdoing it by playing every day! Everyone should exercise every day!

Recently though, with my later work schedule, I've been training in the mornings for over an hour and a half a day along with afternoon workouts weather permitting. I'm afraid that all this extra activity may have a negative effect on my ability to continue to play every day.

I am going to remain satisfied with my morning workouts, even though it hurts me in the sense that it's difficult to play in the evenings, when I'm used to working out early in the morning. That guarantees me a minimum hour and a half jam session every single day. I'm going to stop doing my lunchtime/recess workouts, as I'm starting to feel some pain in my left knee, my upper back (probably from too much twisting), and pain in general. I'm also very exhausted when I get home from work after three hours or so of training in a day.

So I'm still playing every day, but I won't be able to film as often because my house is a mess and it's difficult to film in there. I look forward to getting back to double workouts, when it's not so stressful on my body.

I've Posted a lot of videos recently. I got one or two more in the pipe. And that might be it for a while.

Play everyday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moving indoors for winter shreds, makes me retool my schedule...

The fall weather inspired me to lower my outdoor temperature threshold to 45f degrees. That is assuming low wind and lots of sun. Even with the lower threshold, the temperatures are frequently forcing me indoors. The problem is that my normal double-secret shred site is occupied by a bunch of burly construction workers building-out a new store in the mall. Tons of dust and not a friendly space. Since my workplace switched to a later schedule, I had to find a way to make all this work, and continue to shred everyday. Here is a recent video called PhobicFly, an innovative and tiny flier... (you may have to copy and paste that link in a browser, as I can't seem to figure out how to make it into a link)
I now get up at 4am, and by 5am I am shredding. The problem with early shreds are that A) they take place in my living room so there can be no filming, B) my living room is small so my string length is shortened and C) shredding early in the morning makes it more difficult to shred later in the evening, when most people play. So in addition to doing an hour and a half every morning, which is a 50% increase in time from my 'recess' shreds at skool, I now do a light jam session when possible at recess during the early afternoon, where I can film. On days where I do a double shred session, it will be over 2 hours of jam time those days, and helps me to stay used to kicking later in the day, so when people come to town I can jam in the evenings with them.
Whatever you do, play everyday!
See ya!
Shred notes: I've been innovating while moving indoors and early. I've hit Spinning Ducking X-Body Pincher many times. Also, Phobic Vortex on film and publishing today. And Nuclear Paradox Drifter and Nuclear DaDa. Still playing everyday, 2148 days in a row today.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Prognosis positive for moving forward after 2116 days of shred!

I have been dreading this day for a month now. There have been many bumps in my journey of shredding every single day... like two years ago at my family reunion in Michigan, Valeria and I were practicing outside the hotel, and we showed off our doubles routine to some of our family members and I crashed onto the small of my back. I could barely walk, but I made sure to play through it, and I did. Last year, I had an infection from an ingrown toenail and while it was excruciating painful, I was able to modify my shoes in the way of Daryl 'Genzu' Genz (who cuts the toe area away from the top of the shoe) which took the pressure off of the problem toe.

This time, it is an Osteophyte, or bone spur. It was really starting to hurt when I landed on my right leg after Symposium tricks and when I spun fast and put pressure on the outside of my right foot. Also, when walking around the house barefoot it hurt almost every step on hardwood floors. It was only going to get worse according to doc. Luckily, they were able to do two tiny incisions, go in with a camera and a blade and shaved it away. Minimally invasive is good.

Preemptively, this morning, I worked out early and played hard. I'm supposed to try not to walk for two weeks, so the big problem was coordinating a surgery slot with time off work.

Good news, it is only hours after surgery and I already walk without pain, albeit I have some pain killers available if I need them.

Also, I will continue to play every day, with my next jam being scheduled for tomorrow evening to give it as much time to heal as possible. I'll be kicking in my Genzu shoes. I'll stay off my feet except for shredding, and then, I'll focus on tricks that don't land hard on the right foot.

I have some pent up footage of great new tricks I haven't published before. So on my free time this week, I'll get caught up on my youtube publishing.

I can't film my indoor home workouts until I do some serious cleaning. Right now, I am hoping that tomorrow morning it will feel as good as it does now.

See ya!

2116 Days in a row so far!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Now producing 6 video series and Learn Footbag

At least, the proposal is being discussed for a website that offers 6 "Learn Footbag" videos, about 5 minutes each, with IFPA branding:
• History of Footbag
• Basic Kicks of Footbag
• Basic Footbag Freestyle
• Advanced Footbag Freestyle
• Basic Footbag Net
• Advanced Footbag Net
Each will be carefully storyboarded and easy to update for multiple languages.  The History of Footbag  video will be shorter then the others.

Alongside the videos will be links to other learning resources already available online. For instance, our own "Rules of Footbag," "Freestyle Reference" and "Hall of Fame" sites, as well as possible third party sites like,, and to name a few.

These videos will be hosted on and linked from in a way that increases the view count on YouTube. Eventually, the videos may have enough hits to monetize, which could translate into real dollars (any profit would go directly to IFPA) for IFPA someday.

I need an upbeat background song for intro and outro, which I am already starting work on. And another, possibly the same, song to cut to during montages. Both without lyrics. It would be especially meaningful if someone from the Footbag community could donate a piece of their work for this purpose. Of course, you would also get credit for your work in the movies.

While it would be nice to have actors, young players that represent the current set of people learning to play Footbag, in order to get started on a low budget I need to be the host, narrator and main example of the video. I will definitely be looking for assistance (footage) on the advanced Freestyle and on both Net videos.

The site will be a great starting point with valuable content, and an excellent jumping off point with great links is all kinds of other learning resources available online.

As Education Director at IFPA, I feel this sub-domain and these videos will serve the organization for a very long time and are worth the effort.

Shred Update: I am on day 2099 today.  I feel great!  My strings are more solid as I have changed the definition of my 'out' string to be so hard that it has pushed me to new difficult strings.  Five fives, trick of the day and seamless juggle intertwined.  I am out of 'film' and need to figure a way to get back to publishing my progress videos.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Integrating fliers into strings, and warming up my fliers… Is the most tiring thing I do all day.

I have to say, by adding flyers to my warm-up strings, I get sweatier faster than ever before. I'm also more tired than ever before. I no longer believe I need to include fliers in my warm-up regimen. I can get warm using the normal warm-up strings, and expend the additional energy needed for linking fliers into strings later in the session. In other words, because fliers drain energy there is no need to warm them up, it just expends needed energy.

The trick to doing big tricks out of flyers, is controlling their sets. As with any trick. I have been integrating fliers into my strings for a long time, but I've been treating them like something I need to recover from, rather than something that I need to control. For instance, I already do spinning fliers mid-string, but almost always followed by a recovery osis and butterfly to get 'reset' and continue to the next more difficult strings. What is different here is that in order to do a difficult trick directly from a flier, the set needs to be perfectly placed at mid-chest height and straight up and down, and the body has to be ready to land and snap into the next trick. I am out of film, so I can't video this yet, but I will soon.

So far, I have gotten control of spinning flying butterfly, and phairy flying butterfly so that I can go directly to tricks like Whirl, Torque, Blender and DLO, and it looks unexpected and awesome!

In summary, I plan to be able to pull a flier in mid-string and continue seamlessly onto another difficult trick. If you ever see me do an osis out of a flier, it is unplanned and essentially a bail/recovery maneuver. Combine this with my Seamless Juggling and my strings are going to continue to impress. I can't wait to play today!

Shred notes: I have been breaking the new shoes in. The top of my left foot hurts from practicing those Forklift tricks that I re-introduced a few weeks ago, the pain is from the movement, not the new shoes. Day 2080 is today. This type of pain feels like a bruise, broken vessels, and causes me to not be able to crank the left ankle. So I'll only work on those in small bursts, see if I can't build up the strength in my feet to be able to do those cool tricks without penalty of pain.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

1 Minute "Sample Platter" Performance (Call for Music)

I need your help!  I need a 1 minute original piece of music that I can develop a performance that I will post on youtube and not get flagged by them for illegal use of tunes.  I want to post this performance frequently to YouTube and get feedback on its development.  It will be, in some sense, a crowd-sourced performance.  The piece will ideally be approximately 110 beats per minute an have a stop or two in it, and no lyrics.  I can extract a portion of a longer song if I can get your permission to use it.  I promise to ALWAYS give you credit for the music in every posting of the video that I make.

When I was competing regularly, I would have bursts of 1-3 months of creating performances for tournaments.  Since I have been unable to travel to tournaments for over a year now, I am bored.  Playing everyday, now at 2072 days in a row, without a clear goal is more difficult than when I have something I am working on.  Lately, I have been warming up, then just flowing through the jam without direction.  I want direction.  

I am going to make a series of 1-minute performances, starting with the "Sample Platter." These will be designed around the tricks that I do best, organized in a way that it is pleasing for the viewer, set to original music, and the "Sample Platter" will be a 1-minute performance I can use for the rest of my life! 

I'm hoping to get 5 or 6 tracks into a playlist and then jamming to those songs for a week until one of them jives with me.  Then I'll design a performance based on that song and post its first iteration to my YouTube channel.

I have so many friends that are musicians, I thought I'd see if any of you could donate a track or two for my use, and maybe one of the videos will be seen by many, and we can both get some great exposure.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Now over 12% of my life has been spent shredding Footbag freestyle everyday!

I started this blog when I was at 1000 days into my ongoing commitment to shred Footbag freestyle every single day, I am now at 2071 days in a row. When I look at that in context with my life, where I'm 16,681 days old, it means that for the most recent 12% of my life, I've been playing Footbag every day! That is 12.41% to be exact. Find what you love to do and play everyday!

I believe I have proven my hypothesis that as we 'age', we need to continue using our physical assets on a daily basis to keep the mind fresh and the body young. Use it or lose it! I have been fortunate to keep this going for a long time, and I am in the best shape of my life and I have all the energy I need to fully enjoy my life.

I start my jams with a set of 'warm-ups' which are getting a bit repetitive, so I've been mixing them up a bit lately. I feel the need for some direction, as I've been hooked on 'new-trick development' for a while.    Then I tend to get stuck working on a trick category, and new versions of tricks because I've also proven that old dogs can learn new tricks!  I look forward to more structure, so this is what I've come up with...

I've decided to create 1-minute and 2-minute performances set to music, and I want to find the perfect music for each. I'm calling out for song suggestions. If you've always wanted to do a performance to a certain song, but never got it done, let me know what song that is.

I miss the process of Performance Development. I miss 'song selection,' I miss the creative process of finding the right tricks to fit with the song. I miss making playlists of my music segments, and I miss practicing them. It really gives me direction. What is great about this time around is that I don't have to do it in secrecy!

My next blog post will be the official call for music. Please visit my youtube channel to see any of the 170+ footbag videos there,

Shred notes: I've been working alot on juggling. Seamless juggle, from clippers, butterflies, spinning butterflies, working on flipside, also Vortex squared on both sides, and blurry drifters and paradox torques both sides. 2070 days in a row today.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why Seamless juggling tricks should get an extra add

Catching a single Footbag on 1 foot equals one add. Juggling 2 footbags at once, even though you're really only touching one at a time, gets two ads. The second add is a Body add and is awarded for having two objects in play simultaneously.

Most people start their juggling tricks after a pause. Seamless juggling is done without a pause. There is Seamless-In, and Seamless-Out. That is to say, that a seamless trick happens as you enter a juggling sequence and/or as you exit a juggling sequence.

The most basic example, is the two bag toe juggle. Starting the traditional way requires a 1 add toe delay and a pause in the action. Seamless tricks still start mostly with toe delays but have the 'added element of difficulty' of throwing a second Footbag into play without any pause in the action. The most basic example of this is starting into a juggle from a kicking sequence.

When teaching Seamless juggle, I start with teaching the timing and accuracy of the hand toss by having students kick insides and go to opp toe delay and start to juggle from kicks, not from toe delay. Once the timing and hand toss are more familiar, then we start integrating more difficult first tricks as the start tricks. The Add should be awarded as a Body Add for the integrated hand toss, and should be applied to the first trick leading into the juggle. That is Seamless-In.

Seamless-Out Happens as the player transitions back to 1 bag shredding. For instance, I'm 2-bag juggling on left toe and I grab Footbag from the air while doing a Phairy infinity with the bag in play (as opposed to another toe delay), is there an extra add there? I don't see it.

The really fun thing about Seamless-Out tricks is how confusing it looks when I integrate directly back to Seamless-In tricks. You will see examples in the links below.

I have been a bit obsessed about developing my Seamless skills lately. I've kept up with my high end game the whole time and Seamless tricks are part of most of my strings. They are more natural than ever before. Here are some of the recent Seamless Juggle videos I've published so far...

Starting from almost two years ago, here are the vids I've published featuring juggling...

August 2010 I published this test of the new camera I had gotten, and below is the result... I've been doing Seamless Juggling for at least 2 years now and I've brought all those videos together here:

That was the most recent Juggling related video I've made.  Now that Seamless Juggling is a reality, I am working to include Seamless tricks in almost every string.  I always carry a 2nd bag with me, as I can do seamless whenever I want.  I propose Seamless-In tricks should get another ad because it requires an additional element of difficulty in getting the timing right for the release of the 2nd footbag while the first footbag is still in play.

Please comment.  Tell your friends.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shred journal update.

Day 2017.
I now have empirical evidence that getting warm on a hot day takes less time than on a cold day. I've always felt that was happening. Now I'm sure. But why?

Today was a lot of juggle work. And not the two bag toe juggle. No. Well, yes there are toe juggles but interspersed with all kinds of crazy Seamless ins and outs so I never stop moving in order to start juggling. I call this technique Seamless, and I take full credit for this Concept.

And I hit Atomic leg over Seamless-in to toe juggle a bunch o times.

I was making a juggle movie but my CPU kernel panics habitually now and I want a really nice piece. Codenamed: advanced Foot Juggling Skool. and no room to film on camera. Argh.

See ya!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Freestyle Footbag and Aging

The subtext of this blog is all about aging. It has been all along. Here is an article that addresses 'Aging' in the context of Freestyle Footbag.

Today is day 2004 of consecutive days shredding/training. I apologize for the long delay (and I always joke that freestylers should never apologize for delays) between posts on this blog. With yesterday's retirement of the great Derrick 'Funky Chicken' Fogle, due to knee injury after 30 years of playing, I am recommitted to revitalizing this blog and continuing to represent Freestyle for the aging set. To boldly go to public places and jam. To go to concerts and immerse my shred strings to the beat of the music. To write about it, film it, and promote the sport to anyone who'll listen.

I was recently asked 'Why do you still do this?' and I didn't have a quick answer. But it got me thinking. Why do I play? What is it that keeps me going? For over 20 years the answer was clear... I was training for the World Footbag Championships. My first year was 1985 in Golden, Co and I went every year for the next 19 years and made lifelong friends with all the competitors of the time.

When I turned 40, I was noticing that if I took 2 days off, it took a day to recover, and at that rate it would hold my game stagnant. So I decided to play everyday. This way I could move forward a bit at a time and never fall back. 2004 days later I am happy to report that my game is better than ever! Along this journey, I have greatly improved all areas of my game. I do tons of integrated frontside tricks, more difficult unusual surfaces, I'm light years ahead in juggling, I've invented a bunch of tricks (even recently), I've defined trick categories and expanded on them, I've published 163 YouTube videos at learned Dragon tricks on both sides, expanded the high add tricks I do and I'm in the best shape of my life!

One thing I have noticed is that endurance is down. This may be due to the 'way' I train, but most people would say it is due to me being 45 and a half years old. I'm not so sure which it is, but I'm going to spend the next few months counteracting it through 'Shred Sprints' three times a week. So the first reason I still play I because what I do is a kind of Athletic Magic, and I don't want to lose the magic!

I see myself as a family man, an athlete and a company man. My inner athlete has always had the credo that second place is the first loser. In fact, today I'm wearing the very shirt that inspired my credo. While my athletic career started in the 70's with the requisite baseball and soccer where I realized that in team sports, I was an epic failure. I went to gymnastics and gained flexibility. I broke my right tibia in an embarrassing skiing incident which led me to swimming as a recovery sport.  That is because when the cast came off, my right leg was half the size of my left. It turned out that I was really good at swimming. Varsity team as a freshman, but no state records or anything monumental. I was a swimmer when I first played Footbag. I got into cycling and idolized Eric Heiden for a while. Did some triathlons, and by 1988 had placed 5th in the World Championships for Footbag freestyle. The video of this I find hilarious and can be seen here.

Why do I still play footbag everyday?   First, I fear that I might lose the magic.  Footbag freestyle is so unique, what I do is a form of magic, and I love it.  Second, playing every day reinforces my self-image as an Athlete, even though my priorities have shifted over time, I'm still an athlete!  Playing everyday is my proof.  It also provides my third reason, healthy results.  Sure, I am a vegetarian and that accounts for the healthy diet side of my life, thanks in great part to my wife Valeria's amazing cooking skills.  Combine healthy eating and daily intense exercise and a healthy result is expected and attained.  I feel I'm in the best shape of my life, and I'm not at all the stereotyped image of a lanky/sickly looking vegetarian.  And lastly, I wanted to prove it can be done!   So many of my friends/competitors from the 80's and 90's have retired and either don't play at all, or have defected to the Net side of the sport.  Net is a whole other set of skills, and I applaud my colleagues for continuing on from great freestyle careers to become some of the best net players around.  I envy them for being able to travel to World Footbag Championships all over Europe, but someday I'll come back to Worlds because footbag is in my heart.

There's four great reasons right there!

See ya!
(Scott Davidson)

This posting is in honor of the retirement of one of my oldest footbag freestyle friends, Derrick 'Funky Chicken' Fogle.  I really think he'll get better and play again, but I shed tears when I just think about what 'footbag retirement' would look like.  I can't imagine it.  I have 4 years before I catch up to him in playing time, so Derrick, you have 4 years to recover and stay ahead of me.  I wish there was something more than encouragement in recovery that I can offer.  But I know he'll recover and we'll play together on a day in the not so distant future!

I'm preparing a video from my 2000th day of shredding, but here is one from yesterday, my 2003rd day.  It is shred footage from O'Hare airport while I was at a conference and had a great camera angle until my camera got a heat warning during a publishable string and shut down.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Super Packy Sack - Get Colbert to include a footbag in every Super Fun Pack

Hi Friends! The game is on. I am asking your help in building support for our suggestion to Stephen Colbert's Super Pac that he should include a footbag (hacky-sack) in every Super Fun Pack. The footbag would be called a "Super Packy Sack" to rhyme with Hacky Sack and to play off of the Super Pac name. It will be manufactured by Freedom Footbags, and made entirely in America using Red, White and Blue fabric.

Visit our Facebook page, watch our video, and 'Like' it... Encourage your friends to like it too! The Super Fun Pack was introduced on Thursday, March 29th 2012 and will cost $99. It will include a T-Shirt, a dorm sign, an allen wrench and 'many, many more items'. Please support our cause to have a footbag included in every Super Fun Pack.

What could be more appropriate? A footbag for college students to play with in the quad? Perfect!

Support us now! Encourage your friends to take a minute and like us on Facebook!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Shred Lessons from 2011

Looking back over 2011, we travelled to Florida for vacation, my son is now a teenager, my wife and I have been married for 20 years and life is great. I have been playing freestyle everyday for 5 years and about a dozen days, and I've learned a lot about my game.

After shredding with the Finns, Jay Boychuck and Evan Gatesman at the 2011 NYJ, I realize that while my level of play has increased, my string length has decreased. It has also become apparent that there are some elements of the game that have developed over the past few years that I won't ever accomplish, at least in the context of a string.

I'm committed to working on my string length, starting tomorrow. While it may slow down the progression towards new tricks, I need to work on my endurance. I'm going to shift my training towards 'wind sprint' style. I do a 2 minute jam session followed by 1-2 minutes of kicking... repeat for 30 minutes and complete exhaustion. These jam sessions will produce the stamina I need to get to longer strings. The I'll alternate my trainings with regular jam sessions of whatever I want.

Once I get my endurance back, I'll work on the new concepts that blow my mind like Quantum, Blazing (which I've had some recent success with), Whirring and more! Currently taking suggestions (challenges).

Of course, I'm committed to continuing to play everyday. In early May, I should reach 2000 days in a row playing, I haven't figured out the day yet.

I really wish I could have played with everyone during the afternoon sessions at NYJ, but playing through Midnight on New Years Eve was awesome.

I look forward to shredding with as many others as possible this year, it really pushes my game to a new level each time.

Best regards,
Scott Davidson