As Cbeckford pointed out, you can learn a lot by watching the prelims of people that have done well at contests before you. Look at the high scorers of the prelim round at this year’s WYYC:
1 Shinya Kido 84.3
2 Iori Yamaki 80.6
3 Peter Pong Si Yee 79.4
4 Hiroyuki Suzuki 77.9
5 Izuru Hasumi 75.4
(I’ve left these as links as to not fill up this page with videos)
If you watch their freestyle’s you’ll see that they’re all very similar in their construction and execution. They’re all very fast, very string-hit heavy and they all contain a mixture of sidestyle, frontstyle and horizontal.
Granted, Iori throws a couple of arm moves in at the beginning of his, but they’re pretty much all just a flurry of string hits. Over the course of an entire 3 minute routine this might bore the judges a bit and count against them, but for the prelims where you only have a minute, you want to cram in as much as is physically possible.
So bangers/elaborate body wraps/showmanship should not be your main focus in a prelim. Just hit your moves, hit them fast and hit them clean. Zac Gormley’s prelim had some fantastic flashy and orignal tricks, however the sloppiness of them went against him and he scored pretty low down on the rankings. By comparison, Izuru Hasumi had a fair amount of mess-ups and Mickey even had a restart, but the sheer volume of tricks in their routine helped balance that out.