Monday, June 30, 2014

Save my Sole! Why I am switching to asphalt and wood surfaces for Footbag Hacky Sack Freestyle

I am now forgoing the would-be ideal grippy surface of concrete, for the less ideal, dirty asphalt or slippery wood for my shredding needs. This is primarily to save my Adidas Rod Laver shoes from wearing out too soon. 

Everyone has their own favorite surface for shredding freestyle Footbag, and mine has always been white concrete.  My second favorite surface is the standard tennis courts. However, due to the unfortunate demise of the lightweight poly-sole Adidas Rod Laver in 2012 our poly-soled lavers are now unavailable and the pairs that we are lucky enough to possess have become prized possessions!  White concrete is ideally grippy so initiating a spin and controlling my spin is more predictable and I feel I perform best on this type if surface. 

The problem with concrete is that it eats Rod Laver shoes alive!  The very grippy-ness it provides also rips away at the poly soles, eventually wearing them through.  It has happened to every pair I've ever had, and it is the primary reason why any of my Lavers are forced into retirement.  

Another reason concrete is now a bad surface for me is that recently I've had two instances where I was rotating my upper body and my support leg normally rotates with me to get in position for the catch and the sole was so attached to the grippy concrete that I tweaked my knee by over rotating, and I've been babying it ever since, even though the pain has gone away. 

I'm going to take a cue from the Hip Hop Dancers who also treasure the poly-soled Adidas Rod Laver shoes, and I'm going to switch to smooth surfaces whenever possible.  Those guys probably don't have the wear-and-tear problem on the soles because they require smooth surfaces to dance on, due to the way they spin by pivoting on an amazingly wide array of body parts. The dancers have found a way to deal with the slipperiness of smooth flooring, and I'll need to make my peace with it too. 

But what surfaces are best?  Polished wood gymnasium floors?  The wood floor in my living room?  Tile or marble?  The problem with shiny and smooth surfaces when dust is present. Even the best wood floors need regular clearing of dust to stay grippy. 

One thing the european Footbag players and dancers have been doing for some time, is to roll out a thin floor over the concrete which modifies whatever surface they are on, into an ideal one.  I've tried athletic flooring in the past and my conclusion was that the plastic ones that used tongue and groove were too bulky to transport and the rubber ones sucked the energy from my legs and reduced my leaping ability.  I never before saw the wisdom of thin supplemental flooring, but I'm all over it now!   I will find the perfect surface that is a single lightweight portable piece, that is the right grippy-ness for freestyle Footbag and I will report back with my results.  For now I'm trying to play on wood floors with a damp rag nearby to step on and remove dust from my shoes.  Save our soles!

As for my daily shred update... Today is 2806 days in a row.  I'm still loving every minute of it!  Looking forward to tomorrow's jam session already and I haven't even gotten to werk yet.   I've been kayaking a lot lately, but I'm paying the price in the form of back pain.  First, lower and now upper.   But the pain did not slow me down a bit. Thanks for all your support!  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Freestyle Footbag - Official Study - Log, Day 1 of study, 2728 in a row for me.

I am participating in a study of Freestyle Footbag athletes by a college student.  It is a 30 day study where we fill in logs of what we did that day and he analyzes the data for his report.

Here I am sharing my daily logs: This is the log from June 9th.  2728 Days in a row for me.


Nr. 1 
How long did you practice today?
 < 30 min
 30 – 60 min 
 60 – 90 min
 > 90 min
75 Minutes in Morning Shred
30 minutes in afternoon shred
Nr. 2
Did you practice alone or in a group?
 in a group (at least one more player)
Nr. 3
Where did you practice?
 inside (please specify, e.g. at home, gym etc.)
 outside (please specify, e.g. park, street etc.) 
Inside, living room
Nr. 4
Did you use music?

if yes
Please comment on how the music influenced your practice? 

Not today. Had TV news on in the background.
Nr. 5
Did you warm up in a specific way?
if yes
 footbag related (kicks, stalls etc.) 
 rope skipping
5 minute mini yoga practice mostly forward bends and breathing exercises.  Sitting stretches especially the ‘giant inside’ cradle.  Holding up the wall stretch for the calves.  Then 10 infinity, 10 osis, 10 whirl/osis combo, 10 rip walks, 10 paradox whirls.
Nr. 6.1
Did you focus on a certain aspect or did you set yourself a goal for today’s training session?
if yes
 tricks / group of tricks / concept
 forms of competition
 focus / goal developed while practicing
Today I worked on linking to 5 add tricks.  For instance, Spinning Butterfly to Blurry Whirl BSOS.  Blurry Whirl seamless juggles and Blurry torque to a seamless toe-pickup juggle.  Spinning Whirls to spinning miraging seamless juggle.  Mobius BSOS.  I’ve added Symposium tricks back into my daily rotation.  Mostly versions of Symposium Whirls.
Nr. 6.2
What did you do in detail to achieve your goal?
 a lot of repetitions 
 variations of tricks, drills,   
     specific motion sequences etc.
 integration in runs (e.g. drills, 
     tricks,  motion sequences etc.)

 like in a competition (e.g. only 3/5/7 attempts or 
      routine only ones etc.)
 divide tricks in its elements and then put them 
I come up with a goal, which could be a single trick or could be a combo, and I drill it until I get it controlled 3 times consecutively.  If I blow it on the 3rd consecutive attempt, I restart the count.  I also try to free flow and create new links between moves I’ve never linked before.
Nr. 7
Did you visualize / imagine certain motion sequences before executing them?
if yes 
Please comment on what you did or what came to your mind specifically.
It is always necessary to visualize ‘economy of motion’ and to dream of uncharted territory.
Nr. 8
Did you record yourself with a video device while practicing?

if yes
Did you replay certain sequences immediately afterwards in order to watch and analyze yourself?

When shredding indoors, I rarely record video.
Nr. 9
If you practiced in a group: Did you ask the others for advice? 
if yes
Please comment on what you asked specifically and what you wanted to achieve.
Nr. 10
If you practiced in a group: When watching the other players, what did you focus on?

 combinations / links

Connecting question
Did the observation bring you closer to your own focus / goal of the training session?