Freestyle Elements – Racket Twirls, Part 3

In this new series of blogs covering Freestyle Elements we introduce “Racket Twirls”. We will start with a basic rotation and then learn various rotational movements featuring the racket twirl. In this case, the term “twirl” means turning the racket around its longitudinal axis. It is often used to compose various combinations of movements in freestyle.

There are many variations of such movements. For example, racket twirls inside vertical and horizontal coils, twirls inside the top and bottom circle around the body, twirls behind the back, different versions of point twirls etc.

In our first blog in this series, we showed you how to start with a twirl racket facing down and then how to add a 360° body rotation to the twirl. In the second blog, we added some more movements to the twirl, to help integrate them in a choreography. In this blog, we introduce you to the horizontal racket twirl in two variations, embedded in some connected elements.

Let us start with horizontal racket twirls to both sides:

  • The first twirl is to your “racket free” side – legs parallel to each other
  • You then change to your “racket side” with a U-swing – your legs cross in the process
  • Maintain this stance, while you change to the other side once more with a U-swing

Now, we add a connecting element, before the racket twirl behind the body, followed by another connecting element and finally a twirl in front of the body, once more:

  • With your legs still crossed, you pivot on both feet
  • While you are pivoting, you crouch and circle the racket behind our body
  • In a slight upward movement towards your body, you move the racket in a small circle
  • After the twirl, you pivot once more on both feet – this time the other way around
  • Bring the racket in front of your body, while you are pivoting
  • When you are once more aligned to the front, you form a big circle with the racket
  • At the end of the circular movement, you follow up with a racket twirl
  • Finally, you move your “racket arm” back and extend both arms to their sides

Some tips:

  • Start with the easier elements – for instance practice U-swinging first, then the circle in front of your body. Next comes the horizontal turning with racket, followed by pivoting and so forth. When your movements are circular and they feel right, you add the racket twirls – first in front of your body and then behind your body.
  • Keep in permanent contact with the ball – racket and ball are inseparable, so to speak
  • No need for speed when performing the twirl
  • It is easiest to perform the twirl, while the ball is at the tip of the racket
  • A big U-swing gives you the time you need for the twirl
  • Turn the racket around the ball, when your U-swing ends – it is the moment of grace, before the ball starts its descend

And this is the entire choreography part:

Such a racket twirl can be truly versatile. It is all about the combination with connecting elements. Try for yourself – it is going to be quite a looker for your choreography 🙂

Irina Rusavina
BailongBall Trainer

Mike Ritz
BailongBall Trainer

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