By Penelope Knowles & Don Dinh
Last month, we dissected the straight jump. This week, we will analyze the correct way to execute and learn a shooting star. A shooting star is essentially a dynamic straight jump with added flare. It also requires a bit more power from your swing, and strength from your abdominal muscles.
As with all tricks, the flyer must have a decent swing and, for the shooting star, must have already learned and caught a straight jump.
Proper Execution of the skill:
When performed correctly, the flyer will ascend into the “seven position” before completing the last kicks. Similar to the straight jump, after rising up in the seven position, the flyer will pause, before kicking back. After the athlete sweeps back, the flyers legs should reach a high pike position, almost like a forceout. While in the pike position, the flyers toes should go above the bar. When “hands/hep” is called, the flyer will let go, execute a wide straddle, and present to the catcher while looking froward at the catch trapeze. At this point, the flyer should be at a good angle to either catch, or twist to the net.
Access to a trampoline is one of the methods for learning this skill.
Drill 1: Seatdrop to Stomach (straddled)
Drill 2: Backdrop to stomach (straddled)
Then add a half twist to each move if the athlete is training to take the shooting star out of safety-lines.
1. Weak seven: Executing a weak seven will cause the timing of the swing to be thrown off, making it very difficult to perform the shooting star at the end of the kicks.
2. Failure to pike high enough: The high pike position allows for the athlete to get a “pop” up into the air after letting go of the bar. If the flyer does not pike high enough, the trick will be low and hard to catch. This trick requires a strong swing and use of abdominal muscles. This is is the most common mistake when executing this maneuver. 3. Straddling before letting go: Straddling too early will make it hard for the athlete to achieve the correct angle for a catch and/or a twist to the net. In addition, it will increase the chances of colliding with the catcher. This is probably the 2nd most common mistake.
4. Letting go too early: If the flyer lets go of the bar too early, they will propel forward and into the catcher. Furthermore, the flyer will not hit the correct angle for a safe twist to the net. Flyers often let go early because they cannot kick their legs up high enough.
5. Reaching down for the net: If the athlete lets go and immediately reaches downward for the net, they will either (1) miss the catch, or (2) create a downward slapping force as they slam down onto the catcher's arms.