Monday, October 6, 2008

Playing with cement

I have been putting up posts in this blog for sometime already. If you noticed, more of my posts are meant for guys instead of gals, or rather bases instead of flyers. This is naturally because I am a base; I have more personal experience for basing. This time round the post shall be dedicated to both flyers and bases, with some words for flyers towards the end.

In the past month or so, I have been roaming around a bit and got to interact with many cheerleaders, be it flyers or bases, from all sorts of places. I am very happy and glad that I can help them from my personal experiences. Most of the times, they will leave the training satisfied and happy that they had learnt and achieved something new. Then they will show their sincere appreciation, and I will feel faltered and a sense of achievement too, in being able to help them improve and most importantly to see them happy, with a boost of confidence and morale. However this is just most of the times, there are still some exceptions to this senario. Some may think along the lines of "I lag too far, or impossible to be done" and get demoralised, or they will think that I am "spoiling" the flyers. Gathering from all their inputs, good and bad, it sets me thinking quite a bit.

I would like to touch a little on what I believe are the basic fundamental roles of a flyer and of a base in a stunt, to a certain extent. To put it simply bases have to become like the ground that we are all standing on, and flyers just have to do like what they can do when standing on the ground. i.e holding a liberty, heelstretch, etc, while standing firmly on a spot on the ground.

So which role do you think is the easier one after reading the above? I would have to say that the flyer got the easier role, as all she have to do is to be able to be stable and do as what she will do on the ground. And as for the bases to become firm and sturdy like the ground is alot harder. This more or less makes the flyer the "passive" one and the base the "active" one. Flyers just lock and bases have to provide the platform and balance for the flyers.

From above, bases may feel that I am being very hard on them, expecting them to become like the ground, and all the flyers have to do is lock like they do on the ground. This is again due to the bases taking the "active" role and flyers the "passive" role. A prove for this fact is that when a very experience base, for example, tries a single liberty with a flyer who has never tried it before, (but can hold a liberty on the ground)chances are the experienced base can become like the ground, and the stunt will go up. However if you reverse the order - get a very experience flyer to try a single liberty with a base that never tried it before, chances are the stunt will not go up at all, because the base cannot become like the ground for the flyer to stand on. Therefore we can conclude that bases are the ones "active" and flyers "passive", bases are the ones more in control.

Ok now this part is for the flyers. Flyers, although I said that you are the "passive" role in a stunt, you definetly still have a important role to play. For example, do not think that you can do a heelstretch with a certain base then it means that you are the "constant" already. That if another base tries with you, and fails, it is not your fault. Do not think that you can do the stunt a few times means that you have mastered it. Ultimately for a stunt, it is the cooperation of both the flyer and the base for it to work. Do not make complaint or compare your base with other bases, just do your part to make the stunt work.

I shall use the analogy of the base being like a concrete ground and a wet cement ground. If the base you are doing with still have yet to become a "concrete ground", maybe just a "wet cement ground", the way you control your ankles will play a major role. If you stand putting more weight on your toes, i.e tipping, on a concrete ground, it may not matter. However on a yet solidified "wet cement ground", you will cause an imprint that is slanting, and you will not be able to stand as you will be sinking down forward. The same goes if you have loose ankles and keep twisting and turning them, you will end up causing the "wet cement" to form such an uneven surface that you end up falling too. Therefore, as a flyer, one way you can help is by locking your ankles and staying flat. This way you will be able to stand, even if it is on "wet cement". What I am trying to illustrate is that as a flyer, there are still many areas you can work on to help out the bases, and not only depend on the bases to become "better".

Therefore, up to a certain level, the base should aim to "harden and solidify" as soon as possible, and the flyer should aim to stand on different degrees of "drying wet cement", from the softest to the hardest. These forms the fundamentals for bases and flyers. Only with strong fundamentals then there can be further advancement, where flyers proceed to spinning and shifting weight on a stunt, instead of only standing, stunts such as full around and tick tock.

The most important thing I want to bring across here is to progress together as a partner, as a group, and as a team. Work hard, but be contented at the same time, the rewards will come in due time.

P.S: It is always just a matter of time, cement will always harden to become concrete.

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