Building Tumbling

Discussion in 'High School Cheerleading' started by CPop, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. CPop

    CPop They call me Susie

    Jun 26, 2015
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    Coach / Athlete
    I've been taking random notes/collecting data about the past 4 years. This year was my first year coaching this team. This year I made a deal with a local gymnastics gym to have the athletes come to 2 classes a week. After practice 2-3 times a week our tumbling coach would spot/give drills before they left for gymnastics.

    0 people gained new skills. 0!!! Not a single BHS moving to tuck. Not even a single new aerial. 0! I only managed to get them to clean up technique!

    I really struggled with getting the underclassmen to attend tumbling. I coach in a low income area so it's hard for me to even word it to sound "mandatory" without feeling guilty. How do I get these underclassmen to attend and buy into this new culture?? It would have made my life so much easier if I had managed to convice a greenhorn to attend and they got a BHS with no prior experience. So many of them buy into the attitude that tumbling is unattainable, they "don't have the body for it", etc. I try my best to curb this attidude, but what's helped the most this year is "proof." They didn't do progressions or drills EVER in years prior. This year they whined and complained about them, but they saw what difference they made. They went from barely being able to press up to platform to being able to do low to highs. I've gotten them to buy into my culture 80% of the way, but how to I push them with tumbling without making it a huge financial obligation? :(

  2. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

    Nov 10, 2015
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    I am not sure you are competitive, but here is my take on this topic and how I coach my team:

    At UCA, tumbling difficulty (combined running and standing) is 5 points. Tumbling execution (combined running and standing) is 5 points. Cleaning old skills, as you have discovered, is much easier than building new skills.

    I don’t bank on developing any new tumbling skills over the course of a school year. Whatever you have at tryouts, you are expected to clean and polish and keep through the year. We will occasionally add a backhandspring or a tuck. It’s not common. This year is an above average year where we have added one BHS and two tucks. This with a roster of more than 40 athletes.

    UCA recognizes the difficulty in obtaining tumbling skills versus stunting skills hence the 45 stunting points compared to 10 tumbling points. The hardest selling point for me is convincing someone of why they are an alternate with a BHS when a much stronger base is on the mat who cannot tumble. The reason is 45 to 10.

    The kids who are the exception for me are the ones who have collegiate cheer aspirations. I tell them what they need to do in order to achieve their goal. It is up to them to do it. Many of them at least go for it. We have taken about 5 layouts this year and at least convinced them to start toying with a twist.

    I applaud you for pushing your kids, but the culture of tumbling development will be years in the making. Younger athletes in the elementary and middle school ranks will have to start hearing about your emphasis on tumbling and doing it before they get to you before it really takes hold.