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Guidelines for creating a Standard Skill Routine

A workshop presented at the National Unicycle Convention by Constance Cotter.

Guidelines for creating a Standard Skill Routine

  1. Skill Level? What is the highest Skill Level you have passed?

  2. Booklet: Choose a Standard Skill list booklet based on your current skill:

  3. Pick Skills: Look through the list and write down all the skills (including their number, letter, and score) you can do at least eight times out of ten in the correct form!

    [Note: A line skill must be at least 8 meters long - or approximately five revolutions on a 20" unicycle, and go through the center circle; A circle skill must be outside the 4 meter diameter circle; A figure eight must have circle diameters of at least 4 meters]

    [Note 2: The proper body form is sitting up straight, arms outstretched (can be stretched out to the sides or stretched out in front of you), and hands are palm down, with fingers together. If you are planning on doing any leg-extended skills, make sure your leg is straight and your toes pointed.]

  4. Cross off skills: If you have 18 skills or more, start crossing off skills from your list in the following order:
    1. Six over 150 If you have more than six mounts/transitions (skill numbers that are 150 or higher), cross off either duplicate numbers, or the lowest point skills.
    2. Duplicates? Look for duplicate numbers, and cross out skills until you only have one letter for each number (for example: You can use skill 3A OR 3B, but not both because they share the same number.)
    3. Too hard? Cross out any skills that may make you fall.
    4. 18 Maximum Continue crossing out the skills with the lowest point values until you have a maximum of eighteen skills.

  5. Complete in 3 minutes? Look carefully at your skills and ask yourself if you think you can complete all the skills within three minutes. If not, start substituting figure 8 skills with circle skills, and circle skills with line skills. You can eliminate the skills that tend to take a long time, and add those that are quick. (examples of long skills: any skill involving wheel walking, especially backward; examples of quick skills: uni-spins, idling, twisting, spin, frontspin, backspin)

  6. Perform skills perfectly? Try riding and performing these skills. If you have any skills in a circle with the seat out, are you sure the seat won't touch your body? Or if you have a foot-extended skill, can you keep your leg straight and your toes pointed? Also, make sure you can do the required three turns for spins and pirouettes with your arms staying outstretched. Sometimes it is better to do a skill perfectly with less points than a higher skill that you will lose points on because you cannot keep perfect form.

  7. The Details There are many details that make the difference between a perfect routine and a less than perfect routine.
    • Are your fingers together with palms down and your arms stretched out to the sides level with the floor?
    • If you are doing seat out skills, are you sure you can keep the seat away from your body (unless the skill specifically says the seat can touch)?
    • Are you doing any gliding or coasting? If you need extra 'running' room, remember that each time you go outside of the boundary that you will lose 0.5 points!
    • Doing one-foot extended or one-foot seat in front? All skills that involve a leg hanging free, you must keep that leg straight with your toes pointed.

  8. Ordering the skills: Now, put the skills in the order you wish to use for competition. Some hints for laying out your skills: Put most of the line skills together, and circle skills together; Link your transitions together; Put most of your stationary skills together; The seat out skills should be performed facing toward the judges so they can be sure you are performing them correctly; Your most difficult skills should be near the beginning; The easiest skills should be near the end (if you run out of time, you will lose fewer points).

  9. Memorize & Practice: Memorize the list - you cannot have a copy of your standard skill list with you, nor can someone be coaching you from the sides. Practice and practice and practice!

  10. Where's your shirt? Tuck your shirt in! It is a common problem for long shirts to get caught on seats, or confuse the judges in seat out skills.

  11. Just do it! Go out and perform! Remember to keep your fingers together, your leg straight, and ride line skills through the center circle. Good luck!

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