We have put together the following instructions on how to do cup-stacking. Hopefully with the added graphics, it will be easier to learn this fun sport!
You will notice that the instructions always start with the right hand. If you are more comfortable starting with your left hand, just use your left hand when the instruction says to use your right hand! But remember, speed is important in cup stacking, so using both hands is necessary if not absolutely essential.
But before we start, lets learn some basic tips about holding cups:
1. Hold the cups from the sides and not from the top. Your hands may get in the way of your stacking if you hold the cups from the top.
2. Hold the cups firmly with the tips of the fingers. The palms and lower part of the fingers should not be in contact with the cups. However, do not hold the cups with an 'eagle-claw' hand.
3. Spread your fingers across half the length of the stack to get a good hold of the cups, with the last finger at the base of the cups to control any releasing of the cups. Do not clench your fingers together. This will result in you holding the cups tighter than necessary, and having less control over the cups.
4. Once the fingers are in contact with the cups, do not try to manipulate/twist/turn the cups in your hand.
5. There is also no need to pass cups from one hand to the other.
6. When up-stacking the cups into pyramids, make sure the cups are touching each other at the base. Leaving gaps between cups will cause the pyramid to be unstable as you stack upwards. As you stack, gently push the cups towards the center or the neighboring cups to close any gaps.
7. When down-stacking, let gravity do the work. It is not necessary to slam the cups too hard! Down-stack swiftly with a scooping motion to bring up the stacks if necessary.
8. Be patient and start slow to make sure you get the steps right. Learning the correct stacking steps will ensure that you stack efficiently.
9. Stack with both hands!
Wish to stack faster? Try these advanced tips:
1. During cup-stacking, tuck your elbows close to your body to have controlled and stable arm/hand movements.
2. Be conscious of the spacing between your stacks. Do not build your pyramids too close to risk knocking over them. Neither do you want to build the stacks too far apart. Remember, every centimeter the cups travel takes time!
3. When there are space constraint, be creative and flexible to manage your space. You can stack your individual pyramids in semi-circle (instead of stacking the base cups in a straight line), as well as slant your side stacks (instead of straight parallel to your body) so you take up less space yet be able to stack comfortably.
4. It is always good to slow down at times to examine your stacking habits and find out if there are ways you can improve your speed. Find the style that suits you best. Video tape yourself, you just may be able to spot some bad stacking habits!
5. Very importantly, think efficiency! To be efficient in sport stacking means doing the least to achieve your objective of stacking fast. Do away with unnecessary movements and steps. Again, bear in mind, every centimeter the cups travel takes time!