The Tree of Wheel
I was recently reminded that not everyone understands how the progression of tricks works in German wheel, so here ya go. Fortunately for everyone there is not a single file linear progression. There are SO MANY tricks you can do in a German wheel. I like to think of the Wheel progression as a tree, with branches that spread out in different directions.
Your experience with German wheel is like a tree you build and climb yourself. Different skills branch out in different directions. Lets climb the tree to a single trick: first we reach around the “belts” trunk, pull up onto the freehand branch, walk along until it forks into single belt tricks, and finally come to the ever-lovely flower growing right at the tip as single belt twisting tricks, then pick the petal of the exact single belt twisting trick you want to smell. Now there are other trunks, which have their own branches, which have their own forks, which split further and further and further; I think you get the idea :). If you find yourself hating or battling with a certain skill, it’s in your best interest to realize that and focus your energies elsewhere. That’s not to say you need to give up, but come on people play to your strengths! I hate stomach backwards; it’s not a particularly hard trick and I can do it if I need to. But I have a lot more fun, a lot less stress, and much more success if instead of forcing myself to get my stomach back with 2 hip circles I practice my knee-hang full twist. It’s this branching that will develop your individual style as a performer. It would be horrible if every wheeler had the same skill set. Find what works with your body and dive into that pool, because it can go as deep as you want it to.
You are not going to run out of tricks I promise. People are constantly innovating and adding to the dictionary of wheel tricks. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re running out of steam come take a wheel class with me, come to Wheel Weekend in Chicago this march, or just search YouTube for “German wheel Chicago 2013” and check out some of the finalists from the world championships, they do some amazing stuff. If the branch you are standing on is looking like it could snap go check out another! I bet when you come back to the first it will have grown in your absence. Have a great week!