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Get to know USA rising freestyle star Pat Shaw

Best known for his acrobatic and dynamic style, Patrick Shaw is certainly one freestyler to look out for in the future. At just 17 years old though he’s already accomplished a lot in the sport. From creating original, mind-blowing moves, to representing USA at the Red Bull Street Style world finals. Pat Shaw has the world at his feet. Or hands if he’s upside down in one of those crazy handstand moves.

Everyone’s freestyle football journey is unique in it’s own way. Pat’s discovery and introduction to the sport equally as pure and fascinating.

“I actually learned about “true freestyle” from an exchange student that came and lived with me for a year! He was already a freestyler for a couple of months and he taught me the history of it and we grew closer throughout that year and trained all the time together. When he left I continued doing it and have been training ever since. The exchange student’s name is Alvaro Obregon, (Obregon_fs on Insta).” He explains.

Living with another freestyler for sure has it’s advantages in a training companion and just generally the motivation to get up and make things happen. Pat recalls one of his earliest freestyle memories where he and Alvaro woke up at 4 in the morning, biked in the pitch black to a training spot near his house with lights and landed his first 9 trick basic combo as the sun was coming up.

Now in his senior year at high school, Pat is 4 and a half years deep into freestyle training. He used to play conventional football too, for a high level academy team that travelled all over USA before discovering his passion for freestyle. He’s also able to teach kids online and in person to earn some money on the side.

The Bboy influence is clear to see with Pat, which he admits he loved to watch and break dance himself when he was younger. This has now carried on over into his freestyle skillset as well as some influences from other big name freestylers.

“There are so many amazing freestylers. I get a lot of motivation from guys like Michryc, Brynjar, Erlend, Andrew Henderson. The list goes on, but for my favourite it will have to be Ricardinho.”

He then continues: “He was the first freestyler I ever saw on a trickshot video by “Dude Perfect” which was so random but it was how I found him! He has such an upbeat personality and is such an incredible athlete in all areas. He is for sure my favourite just due to his personality and incredible talent with the ball.”

Exploding onto the freestyle scene, Pat has skyrocketed in his level and brought it into competitions too. The young guy who hails from North Yarmouth in Maine, might have shocked a few when he became the national freestyle football champion of USA in 2019.

As a result of this, Pat would go on to represent USA at the Red Bull Street Style World Finals later that year and produce what he described as his best freestyle memory:

“I think making top 16 in RBSS and battling Ricardinho in the finals is my best freestyle memory. Battling my idol in one of the biggest competitions was unreal. I will for sure remember that for the rest of my life. Battling such an amazing freestyler put into perspective that I really have the potential to be world champion and be one of the greats in this sport. Even though I lost, just being on that stage and getting the experience was amazing!”

Pat’s ambitions show no signs of slowing down as he continues to train hard and create new original moves in the process. Although he leaves ample room for training whatever he feels like and is not too strict and specific for the most part.

“I do not structure my trainings too much. Before competitions I structure my training and practice sets in a certain order, but other than that I train freely! I believe if you have too much structure with your training you won’t have the ability to let your mind run freely and think of new tricks because you’ll be so focused on your agenda that you created. I usually train freestyle or work on some aspect of my body to reach freestyle goals everyday.”

When you see the insane acrobatic, calisthenic, break dance style tricks and transitions that Pat is doing, it’s no surprise at all to hear he is putting in a crazy amount of hours in practice. From some of the earlier inspirations of these kind of moves, Pat is now striving to be one of, if not the best in this department as well as his solid all round ability in all aspects of freestyle.

“I saw Erlend do the “Esteban transition” in the 2016 RBSS and instantly fell in love with that move. I thought it was the greatest thing ever! As well as some moves done by Jordan from France. Those handstand moves were so incredible to me and I saw that there were still many moves to be made with this style. This explosive acrobatic style is something that I want to be the best at. I want to have moves that nobody else can do even if they tried.”

We’re now even seeing him start to work on holding a one-armed handstand which would undoubtedly take things to a crazy new level if you add in a ball with this. Creating new tricks and combinations can be challenging, especially in a world where if you can think it, there’s a strong chance some talented individual elsewhere has already done it. Pat’s approach for some time was to take what you know and try a new position:

“I used to think of any sitdown trick and apply it to one arm handstand and if you look at my videos you can see that for most of my moves that tactic applies. Recently I have realised that I have a lot of variations, and I’m at the point where I want to create something authentic and special. I have found myself thinking outside of freestyle itself to make new moves at the moment.”

The rising star leads by example in a freestyle scene in USA that Pat believes is growing and destined for big things:

“There are definitely a lot of young guns coming up fast with a lot of passion and power! I see a bright future for the USA scene as we work hard to grow awareness of the sport. Businesses like Undefined Fs are growing the awareness drastically and introducing many young freestylers to the community.”

When it comes to the gear of course everyone has their personal preferences, but Pat Shaw is a big advocate for 4Freestyle too, not just for the products but the brand ethos overall:

“4Freestyle has the best gear for freestylers. A brand formed by freestylers, creating gear to solve issues with the grip, weight, feel with shoes to make the best and most comfortable shoes for freestylers to optimise their control with the ball. Along with the shoes which I’ve been using for a while now they also make incredible apparel with amazing designs, appealing to many people besides freestylers. This is more than just a brand to the freestyle community, but rather a company that cares for the athletes.”

As for the future, Pat says his plans are to continue to push himself in ways that will allow him to make a unique and authentic style that is true to himself. He makes no secret of his aspirations to take this style to the big stage too and one day win a world championship.

“Outside of freestyle I hope to travel as much as I can and meet new people from other cultures and keep growing my knowledge of everything that’s out there! But this year, within freestyle you can expect to see a whole lot of new tricks from me and a new undeveloped style that is definitely going to shock a lot of people. I am excited to show it.”

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