Why do we use them?
We use checkpoints as a tool to:
help slow down a transition,
understand it as much as possible,
make sure both flyer and base are on the same page and ready for the next part of the move.
How do we use them?
Let's say we are learning a new transition (or taking a transition hands free). It can be really beneficial for learning, to break it into its constituent parts.
Once we have attempted the move a couple of times we establish our checkpoints (there is of course potential for these to change over time). We then practice the transition, or sections of the transition, with the intention to understand it and become more ergonomic in the execution.
Only once we are consistently happy at each checkpoint do we start reducing their duration's to zero, trying to complete the flow without any pauses. Of course some are harder to smooth out than others. It takes time to go from first tying something, to having it consistently and effortlessly repeatable.
Feel free to decide on your own checkpoints for any given transition. As an example, here are our checkpoints for a particular entrance to star.
The first check point is also the starting position of the flyer.
Checking in before the flyer lowers their shoulders.
Checking in before the base straightens their legs.
Checking in right before the flyer loads weight on the bases hands.
Checking in before the flyer bring their legs over.
Checking in to see 'if each other are happy with the overall execution.
This is how we utilise checkpoints in our acro. We hope they are as useful for you, as they are for us.
Joshua & Natalia
Images 1 through 6 are taken from the Checkpoints in Acro video.