Thursday, April 14, 2005

Barefoot Footbagging

There may be circumstances in which footbagging with shoes is undesirable. For example, the shoes may be causing excessive noise, or you may be wearing marking soles that are making marks on the walls. In these circumstances, simply remove your shoes.

Barefoot footbagging is an interesting experience. You may find that, with the weight of the shoes suddenly gone, you can kick faster and more accurately. And the feel of the footbag as it contacts your foot gives your body sensory feedback, which can only make you smarter about how you kick.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Footbag as Teacher

At times you might choose to focus intensely and be supremely conscious of how you execute each and every kick. But at other times you might choose instead to let your mind be still and let the footbag decide what kicks you will execute. This is the zen state of "mind like water" -- it is a state of perfect calm. No thinking or planning is required. You creatively -- intuitively -- deal with each situation that the footbag presents you with.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Pop: Ground-Level Rescue Kick

The pop is a flick of the foot to rescue a footbag that is close to the ground. The power of this little flick is impressive, sending the footbag back high into the air; however it does expend a good deal of energy.

Pops (or stubs) may be done purely for show -- the energy (and accompanying "pop" sound) of so small a movement is delightful. Often however pops are the only way to recover a footbag that is almost out of reach and close to the ground, in which case the manoeuvre is purely utilitarian.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Knee

The knee is an important weapon to have in your footbag arsenal. When a footbag has been kicked high into the air and is coming back down, give it a knee. It is a reliable dampening manoeuvre, unlike a kick, which will send that high-velocity footbag back into the stratosphere, in who knows what direction.

The knee is the dampener. Often we forget its usefulness. Train yourself to remember the knee when confronted with a footbag that has been kicked high into the air. It brings order to chaos, and peace to troubled minds.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Confined-Space Footbagging

After you have developed your solo footbag skills in an open space, one of the most stimulating environments in which to footbag can be the confined space. Find a room around 15'x15', and start hacking.

The famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma enjoyed the creative challenge faced on occassions when one of the strings would break during a live performance. This is the sort of creativity that the confined space can offer you -- you don't have much room in which to manoeuver, so you must creatively make the best of what you have.

You will discover that the walls, far from being your enemies, become your friends. You will find that the experience is like having four people to footbag with -- those stray kicks will be intercepted by the wall and volleyed back to you. Makes for an excellent practice environment.