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Getting it wrong can be hard

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Posted 5 years ago

I’ve always worried about getting the demos right. People will copy what I do, so I want to make sure they have something good to copy. I look at our demos with a critical eye, to make sure I’m not demonstrating any bad technique. And naturally, because I’m watching myself here, I’m hyper-critical. No one wants to look bad on video, especially when they’re teaching!

Generally though, it’s not been difficult to get a good demo. Often we get it on the first take, and usually getting the feed right is more difficult than the shot. If it’s a difficult shot or feed, or we’re just having a bad day — I don’t enjoy getting up at 6 am to stand in front of a camera in a cold hall! — then we might need more attempts. I can always stitch the best ones together in editing, and I often do that anyway to cut out the dead time between shots.

What I didn’t expect is how difficult the wrong way demos can be. I have to get the shot wrong, but wrong in the right way. Well actually, wrong in the right wrong way. Um…yeah.

In our recent video on lift technique, we were looking at the issue of flat hitting, where the player does not use forearm rotation effectively. For the life of me, I could not do this demo. The correct technique was too ingrained; it’s been far too long since I hit this way. And it’s not just the hitting, but also the posture: this style of hitting goes together with a square on posture that’s extremely unnatural to me.

So instead, I enlisted the help of my dad (and cameraman) Phil. He was able to do a much better wrong way demo. To be clear, Phil can hit a better lift than that — he is deliberately getting it wrong here!