Double the Fun Double the Spin

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Conquering a Double Twisting Cradle

A standard level five dismount from a stunt is the double down cradle. In this skill, a flyer rotates twice in the air before reaching the awaiting arms of his or her bases. Below you will find three tips that will help you perfect your double down and three cautionary reminders of mistakes frequently made during this skill.

Keep These Tips in Mind

You must be adding onto a solid foundation. Pushing a flyer who is not comfortable with their single twist or who has not mastered all of the technique involved with the single twist can result in the creation of bad habits.

Tip #1 – Lift, lift, lift! Use your arms to help you lift to the peak of the cradle before beginning your twist. It is critical that you do not bend your legs and try to jump to increase the height of the cradle. Jumping out of your bases hands will eliminate any pop provided by your bases. Allow your bases the opportunity to do their job. It is also important that you do not spin directly out of their hands. Doing repeated ride drills, where you simply ride the pop of the cradle to its peak should help condition your body to ride before beginning your twist.

Tip #2 – Put your hand in your pocket. There are many ways to go about completing a double down. If you have been instructed to do differently with your arms, definitely listen to your coach. This strategy is a well-accepted method that is thought to be the easiest to learn and the cleanest and safest method. Begin with your arms in a high V motion. Keep tip #1 in mind and after your bases pop, ride the cradle to its peak. At the peak of the cradle aggressively slice your right arm across your body to your left hip (ie: similar to placing your hand in your pocket). Simultaneously, your left arm should quickly drop straight down to your left side. Your eyes should follow your right fist essentially taking your chin down to your left shoulder. It is important that your head turns to effectively complete the rotations. Your arms should remain down until you land in your bases arms. This method is thought to be one of the safest because as opposed to other methods your arms and more specifically your elbows are not rotating in a position that can hit your bases on the way down. Spinning with your elbows out can not only injure a base, but can also make it much more difficult for bases to catch a flyer correctly.

Tip #3 – Be aggressive… B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E! This chant has never been more applicable. Double downs usually take time to perfect, so it is important to be aggressive and confident. For most, this skill is not learned on the first time. At some point, you will probably land on your stomach, or in an even worse position. Regroup and try it again. Remember the technique and be more aggressive. This is a skill that you must attack. You have to ride aggressively and spin aggressively. Timing is also very important. Again, you can’t do the job of your bases. Conquer the motions that you are assigned and allow the other members of your stunt group to be accountable for their own responsibilities.

Bonus Tip: Allow the back spot to control this stunt. He or she will be able to help the flyer lift and begin the rotation at the ankles. This allows the flyer to better understand the correct timing necessary for this skill.
Avoid the Following Mistakes

Mistake #1 – Spinning in sections. Your body must remain straight, tight and aligned. Often times when beginning to learn this skill, flyers have a tendency to rotate in sections. Your hips and shoulders should always be facing the same direction. Seeing a flyer spin in sections looks similar to seeing a fish out of water. It is easy to ensure you remain straight and aligned by contracting all of your muscles while you spin, especially your core muscles.

Mistake #2 – Do not dive. It is not necessary to do any extra leaning or diving. You should keep in mind the natural position that you would assume during a straight ride cradle. Diving can result in two negative situations 1) Flying backwards head first. This is extremely bad because all of your weight is then directed at your back spot. Your bases will not be able to fully assist in the catching process. 2) Diving forward. On occasion because of the speed at which you will be dropping your arms to spin a diving flyer will end up going forward instead of backwards. This is not only a scary experience, but it makes it difficult for anyone to catch appropriately. The back spot and flyer should work together to prevent this from happening.

Mistake #3 – Opening up mid spin. It is important to hold your position until you’ve been caught by your bases. Opening up your position by releasing your contracted arms or legs will stop your rotation immediately. Thus, the only point at which you should ever open your spin is when two full rotations have been completed. Opening your spin can also be dangerous as it often causes limbs to get tangled when bases are trying to catch.

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