Team warm-up


     My approach may be a little bit more rigid than most but I 
have  found it to be successful to achieve the teams  objectives.  
Namely to be recognized as the "BEST IN THE WORLD".   There is  a 
time  for  social flying and a time for serious  practice.   This 
article is directed at the time for serious practice for wanna be 
world class teams.
     I  think  we  all agree that there is a  certain  amount  of 
physical  exertion required in flying  controllable  kites.   The 
amount  of  physical  preparation  is  a  personal  thing.   Each 
individual  has a responsibility to the other members of the team 
to mentally and physically prepare for practice and  competition.  
This  article is intended to present concepts for the kite flying 
warm-up that takes place after the individual warm-up.

     The  leader either alone or through a consensus of the  team 
members should have specific objectives in mind for the  practice 

     If the team intends to make quality time of the the practice 
session  then  when the leader calls "FALL IN" all flyers  should 
assume  their respective positions in the flight  pattern.    All 
flyers  should be silent and follow the commands of  the  leader.   
The first consideration of the flyers should be spacing.

     During the initial flying of the practice session the leader 
should  fly a series of long horizontal lines which progressively 
get higher and then back down.

         \ ___________<_____<_____<_____<_____________
           _____>_____>_____>_____>___________________ /

     Each  flyer  should give specific attention to  making  sure 
that their kite stays equal spaced from the one in front of  them 
and  that the lines in and out of the corners are tangent to  the 
curvature  of the corner.   ( i.e.  no dips or lumps )  It is not 
necessary  for the leader to make any calls during this  part  of 
the  warm-up.   The change in elevation between horizontal  lines 
should  be about 20 feet.   This pattern should be maintained for 
at least 4 cycles.
     When  the leader is satisfied with the teams performance  of 
pattern  #1,   pattern #2 can be initiated by the simple  command 
follow which lets the team members know that the pattern is going 
to change.   Pattern #2 is similar to #1 except that the parallel 
lines are on the vertical.  The path should be carried as high as 
possible  and  as  near to the  ground  as  possible.   The  only 
commands  from  the  leader  should be  made  when  changing  the 
direction of progression across the sky.  ( i.e. on the last down 
stroke of a sequence that has been progressing from left to right 
across  the  sky the leader will say pulling right to  the  first 
follower  so  that the change in pattern will not be a  surprise.  
The  other  flyers will see the change soon  enough  to  mentally 
prepare  for  their  subsequent turns  ).   Particular  attention 
should  be  given to absolute straight vertical  lines  with  all 
kites  perfectly  aligned.   The  stroke of the  path  should  be 
sufficient to allow all kites to be on the line at the same time.  
All  flyers  should be walking backward during the up stroke  and 
forward  during the down stroke with the intent of maintaining  a 
constant speed.   ( I believe that a teams ability to maintain  a 
constant   speed  throughout  a  maneuver  is  paramount  in  the 
performance of compulsory figures ).

                     __            __     top of wind window
                   /    \        /    \
                  |      |      |      |
                  |      |      |      |
                  |      |      |      |
                  |      |      |      |
                  |      |      |      |
                          \ __ /
                 -------------------------- ground level


     No warm-up period should be complete without unison turns in 
both directions.  During the execution of these turns all members 
should make every effort to give the appearance the the kites are 
attach like the wheels of a train.
     I'm  going to digress here for a moment and talk  about  the 
technique required to carve perfectly round circles.  The concept 
is  simple the execution is challenging.   The flyer should think 
of  the  circle  to be carved as a series  of  arcs  between  for 
precisely  positioned  points representing 3,6,9 and 12  o'clock.  
At the points 3 and 9 o'clock the center spine of the kite should 
be   pointed  exactly  vertical,    Up  or  Down   whichever   is 
appropriate.   Similarly  the  center  spine should  be  pointing 
exactly  horizontal at 6 and 12 o'clock,   to the left  or  right 
whichever is appropriate.    The points 3 and 9 should be exactly 
opposite each other and exactly half way between 6 and 12.   This 
sounds  simple  and straight forward but I would venture  to  say 
that there are not more than 4 or 5 people out there that can fly 
a  perfect  circle.    If you think you are one of the  few  then 
please  put  lights  on your kite and fly the perfect  circle  at 
night in a time exposed photograph to prove it.   O.K.   back  to 
the lesson at hand.

     The  wind  window  can be defined in  terms  of  4  specific 
elevations.  FULL SKY,  3/4 SKY,  HALF SKY,  and  1/4 SKY.

------------------------------------------------ FULL SKY

------------------------------------------------ 3/4 SKY

------------------------------------------------ HALF SKY

------------------------------------------------ 1/4 SKY
- - - - - - - NORMAL HEIGHT OF UNI TURN - - - - -
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ GROUND PASS ELEVATION _ _ _ _ _ _ 
------------------------------------------------ GROUND LEVEL
     During  the  previous warm-up patterns the leader should  be 
determining where these elevation identities will be.   He should 
then  indicate to the other flyers what he has determined  to  be 
"full sky", "3/4 sky", "1/2 sky", and "1/4 sky".
     The leader can describe the size of the unison turn by using 
one  of these terms in the preparatory command.   All flyers will 
carve their own circle of the prescribed size while continuing to 
maintain horizontal spacing and constant speed.    As the team is 
being lead into a ground pass from left to right the leader could 
say  "FULL SKY LEFT" followed by the execution command    "TURN".  
All kites will carve a large left perfect circle spaced and timed 
to the leader. The circles will go to the full height of the wind 
window.   Similarly  turns of half sky and quarter sky should  be 
practiced.   The  turns  should  be  initiated from  all  of  the 
different elevations resulting in both up and down turns.
     The  practice  of half sky circles will  improve  the  teams 
performance  of the team eights compulsory.   Here is a challenge 
for your team.  Establish a half sky horizontal pass from left to 
right.   When all kites are on the line execute and odd/even half 
sky left vertical figure eight.   (i.e.  1 & 3 break left,  2 & 4 
break  right.   Carve the first half sky circles and meet on  the 
half  sky  line where each will then immediately carve  into  the 
opposite half sky circle.  Finishing all exactly at the same time 
back on the half sky line headed from left to right).

     Now  that you're getting pretty warmed up the next  exercise 
is  to  reduce the spacing at least in half.    Fly  as  tight  a 
spacing  as  you can possibly get away with.   Refueling  doesn't 
count.   No touching.  Now start over with WARM-UP PATTERN #1 and 
work your way through all of the patterns again.
     This  entire warm-up period should take only about 30 to  45 
minutes  depending  on  how much  fun  you're  having.    If  the 
objective  of  the practice for the day is to work on  compulsory 
figures I suggest you spend additional time on this type of warm-


                            RON REICH

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