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Interviews

Conor Reynolds – How to become better lower freestyler?

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I’ve done some interviews with people who, conquering their limits, also conquered something that seemed impossible for other people – Luca with his 3revs and 4rev, Dawid Lipski with lipatw and Paweł Skóra with all his tricks. Now it’s time for another person working for his success extremely hard and long, but without hesitation he can say that it was worth it – Conor Reynolds! Most of you surely associate his hard air combinations that make me dizzy every time. From our conversation, you will learn what he would say to himself if he could move in time, what he thinks about limits in freestyle football and he will talk a bit about conquering the trick below!

I would like each of you to take even one sentence and adhere to it today – just that.

Enjoy!

You did one of the most difficult combinations in our sport! What did you feel before and after conquering it?

Before landing it, I was actually trying cross – alt beck NT weak foot, but the movement is very uncomfortable, shifting my whole body that fast. I came very close but the weak Abbas was just not fast enough (yet) so I then got the idea to try this combination as I understood the first revolution (outside) after cross. So I felt excited as I knew this would be slightly easier than alt beck. After landing it, it was the best feeling I’ve ever had – to be the first in the world to do something isn’t easy to achieve these days with the likes of Luca, Alekseev, Dany doing insane combinations for fun.

Have you had moments of doubt whether you can actually do it?

No, I never had doubts – I remember I tried it in 2016 with Luca in England and I said that one day it would be possible. In the last few months I’ve become a lot faster and I touched it 2 trainings before I landed it. That day, I touched it with an extra juggle 2 or 3 times so never doubted it, just knew it would take time.

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Why freestyle football? There are so many other sports in the world – rugby, football, basketball – you have chosen this one.

I used to play football, and Irish football (different sport completely – like rugby) but I suffered a bad knee injury and was told I must be very careful and I was out of playing for a couple of months. I was an active YouTuber who used to take freekicks, then I see some freekicks takers doing some freestyle. I tried an around the world and after some time I got it and then it just kind of went from there – I found it more enjoyable than football. I didn’t like being told what to do by the managers, playing me in a different position to which I prefer and my teammates would be messing – freestyle is a more disciplined sport which suited me more.

However, all the time we are talking about overcoming the limits – how do you think how far freestylers can come in freestyle?

Honestly, I don’t think the level can be much higher than it is. We are seeing freestylers doing 30 seconds sets with no juggles very fast and practically flawless (Erlend for example) how can you better that? Apart from harder tricks but most tricks have been done. As for lowers, all new Freestylers are more into all-round than just a lower body Freestyler. A lot of people are saying 4 revolution tricks will be normal in the future and they are so wrong. Most Freestylers are just focusing on competitions and perfecting their sets and consistency – not trying to push limits. Even Freestylers who once were only lower Freestylers are now training all-round. I don’t think it’s possible for the limits to go much further as we don’t have many Freestylers who just focus on breaking limits – but we shall see. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think so…

The PACT10 has recently started – I saw your movie – it’s amazing! If you knew you would join this tournament, what advice would you like to give yourself now that would help you win this tournament?

Thank you very much – I’ve been working extremely hard these past 6 months and the results are incredible. I never thought I’d be this good but I know I will not win PACT, I never will. I’m not negative I’m just realistic. But, I enter every year anyway because I always see improvements when I do enter. It’s such an intense stressful competition but you do benefit. So my advice is just to enter and push yourself. It’s not always about winning. You’re winning if you improve, right?

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If you were to write a book about freestyle football, what 3 chapters would be in it and what would the first sentence look like in the book?

If I were to write a book about Freestyle it would be to help others so three chapters that would be in it are : 1. Importance of weak foot 2. Importance of basics 3. How to keep improving when you feel like you can’t First sentence? Ummm, something along the lines “When I learn a new trick in Freestyle, I try my best to learn it weak foot almost immediately as I have the technique fresh in my head and muscle memory will help me land it”. That’s something I always go by and well, look at my weak foot now – the cross AMG NT was weak foot.

If you moved in time to when you started train freestyle football, what advice would you give yourself?

I would just make myself train nearly everyday like I do now, I’m in much better shape, more consistent and my improvement is rapidly improving but I train 6 times a week. I used to train 2 or 3 times because the weather is so bad in Ireland. I wish I had an indoor hall years ago. That’s the only advice, I think I’ve achieved a lot in Freestyle. I’ve competed, I’ve judged, I’ve organised a competition, I’ve travelled all over the world. I’ve formed life long friendships and my level is better than I ever imagined so what ever happens from here on, I’ve got to be very thankful. I’m lucky.

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