Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sigmas

sigma points

These are sigma points taped to my living room floor, four points spaced three feet apart and a fifth point in the middle. You know how to make a sigma, don't you? You start at the bottom right point, jump left to the bottom left point, jump diagonally right to the middle point, jump diagonally left to the top left point, jump right to the top right point, and then do all those jumps in reverse to return to the starting point.

There are five jump variations: two foot, left foot, right foot, split left, and split right. For split left you jump from your right foot to your left foot, going left, and for split right you jump from your left foot to your right foot, going right.

So when you're jumping right foot or split right, you'll make a backwards sigma instead: start at the bottom left point, jump right to the bottom right point, jump diagonally left to the middle point, jump diagonally right to the top right point, jump left to the top left point, and then do all those jumps in reverse to return to the starting point.

This is one of many Frappier footwork drills, I've also done foursquare and sunburst variations. I like sigmas because they mimic pretty well how you would jump in a derby situation. The point of Frappier drills is not lose your balance as your feet go out from under you in every direction, and also to push your anaerobic endurance; these should be short bursts of high-intensity activity. Do ten repetitions per variation, taking up to four minute breathers in between. Trust me, it is not weird to need four minutes to recover from a minute of this. You should prioritize, well first, a) navel to spine, b) tailbone down, and c) knees and ankles folded, and then 1) precision, 2) height, and 3) speed.

If this feels impossible, you can put the points closer together. I have a separate set of points in my kitchen spaced two feet apart for the right and left foot jumps. And actually, four feet for the split jumps is totally doable.

If that still feels impossible, cut the repetitions in half and work your way up to ten. Only if ten is impossible, though. If ten is miserable but doable, you have to do ten.

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