After months of suffering, I made a breakthrough with double lays today.
I started writing about my desire to “improve” my double lays (ie. do them even remotely right) back in November 2013, though I didn’t publish a post about it until January 29, 2014. The reason it took so long for me to publish anything was that from November to the end of January, I didn’t made any progress, and some might even say I made “regress.” (But that’s all part of the extremely painful and depressing learning process, right?)
Since that post at the end of January, I again found myself at a standstill, literally. I was putting as much power as I could into my swing and my break (the kick back before the actual trick), but then my drive (kick forward) just…stopped. Practice after practice I struggled with stalling the trick and then having to pike it around to get to the net safely. I just couldn’t understand what to do differently.
During the year preceding my double lay practice, I spent countless hours stalling standard (single flip) layouts, which must have contributed to my penchant for stopping my trick in an ever-so-inconvenient head-first-into-the-net position. But the other side of the coin is simply that I’ve never learned how to generate the kind of lift and rotation necessary for a bona fide double lay. Back home I readily played around with potato-chip-shaped flippity-flips, but I’ve come to learn that catching a double straight-bodied flip is truly a whole different animals (like the difference between a house cat and a cougar).
Before coming to POP, I was tossing “double lays” at Imperial Flyers. I flipped them right off the bar like somebody popping a Pringles. They were just a toy to me, though, as I really had my sights set on a full-in double flip. Though I had a bit of an aptitude for that trick, I was experiencing a problem in that on the second flip, I always dropped like a rock. After numerous, marginally successful attempts to fix the problem, I took a step back to actually learn a proper drive off the bar for a double lay, which I hoped would then translate into the proper drive for a full-in.
Which Brings Us to Today
I still haven’t gone back to training the full-in, but today I made a significant breakthrough with my double layouts, which I hope will A) allow me to catch them soon-ish and B) will translate into the lift I was looking for to catch full-twisting double flips. The breakthrough came from something simple Harmony told me: squeeze my butt. Though that may seem like an “Uh, duh!” it really is a difficult proposition…to look at my toes and squeeze my butt at the same time. Anyway, it turns out that those two things together are key ingredients in the formula for me, coupled with a strong, fluid break and drive.
Here’s a video from practice today, which I like because it shows the evolution of the trick for me. In the first trick, you can see me stall. In the second trick, you see me over-hollow to compensate and try to get it around. That position, however, is a dead giveaway that I wasn’t squeezing my butt. In the following four, I’m on the up and up (literally…yay!), and you can see the difference the butt squeeze makes. Clearly I’m a little low to catch, but between taking off the lines and continuing to gain confidence, I hope to be high enough soon. The last trick is a full-twisting layout…Didn’t realize I snuck that in there from practice today.