lol. Ok, this isn't really a "craft," it's more of a training tool that you can make at home. I figured I should post this in the Teaching/Learning section because maybe some teachers might want to suggest this to a student, or maybe I student needs some work on the certain areas that this training tool (seems) to help. Those being timing, speed and accuracy.
First off, I need to give my instructor the credit he's due, because this was actually his idea and a method he used when he was younger. That being said, here's what it is (maybe some of you have done something like this before?) and the stuff you'll need.
It's a tennis ball with a string running through it, attached to a small dumbbell. The idea is that you hang it from your ceiling, and you adjust it to the height you need so you can work the speed, accuracy and timing on your techniques. Of course, you get a lot out of training with it if you try and hit the ball with techniques while it's still swinging around, so you might want to try that.
So here's what you'll need (it sounds like a lot, but it's really simple):
-1x 2-5 (5 is recommended) lb. dumbbell
-1x regular tennis ball
-Tough but thin string
-Nail polish (no, you will not be giving yourself a pedicure at any point in time with this craft
-Some kind of drill that allows you to go through the tennis ball and out the other side (if you can't find something that long, don't despair. There's something else you can do)
-Long sewing needle (make sure you can thread your tough thread through the eye)
1) First off, take your drill and tennis ball and make two holes: one on one side of the ball, and one directly through the ball on the other side (the holes should or nearly line up. You're fixing to thread it, so you want your holes to be even).
2) Next, take your thread and, without cutting it to a certain length or anything, thread it through the eye of your needle, and then poke your needle through one hole and then out the other. If your needle just barely sticks out the other end, you can use plyers (sp?) to pull it the rest of the way through.
3) Tie a good knot at the end of the string (the end that you just threaded through the holes), making sure you don't tie the knot RIGHT at the end of the thread, but just a little bit up from the end.
4) Now take your nail polish and have a slumber party!
No, seriously, paint the end of the thread with nail polish to prevent it from fraying.
5) Hang the ball from whatever you plan to hang it from, and unroll the thread from the spool until the ball reaches ground level.
6) Walk some distance away from where your ball is hanging, making sure that your ball remains on the ground no matter how far you walk (unroll more thread to make this happen). Wherever you stop is where your dumbbell (which you will tie the OTHER end of the string to) will be. I'd suggest putting your dumbbell out far enough so that when you kick your ball, you won't have to worry about getting tangled up in the string.
7) Once you've got your spot, check to make sure your ball is still on the ground (hanging from the ceiling), and unroll a little more (like 1 ft. - 2 ft.), and then cut the thread.
8) Tie the end of your string to your dumbbell. This knot doesn't have to be awesome, because once you've got it tied, then you take out your duct tape, pull off a little piece, and then stick the tape on the dumbbell OVER your knot. So yeah, your knot isn't going anywhere
There! Now you've got a new training tool! Oh, and the point of making sure your ball was on the ground was so you'll never be limited in your training because you couldn't go low enough with your ball. But since you've got the string attached to the dumbbell, all you have to do is roll the string up around the dumbbell, so it'll go higher.
I hope this was clear! It it wasn't, I'll be glad to specify. Hopefully it'll benefit others' training as well. I've only been using this for a couple of days, but I think I'm seeing improvement already. Happy training