Question from “Thecoachwholovestocoach:”
Hi John! I am a level 7 coach for the first time after many years of coaching compulsories. I have watched your tumbling drills video and used those drills throughout the summer. Now I am having trouble coming up with drills to make my girls tumble better while in competition season because the floor is constantly being used for routine practice. We spent the whole summer practicing and perfecting the skills to put into the routines and I see the girls starting to relax and not have the same form they did before we put the pieces together. The judges killed us on our tumbling this past weekend on height, form, and having their chest down in the landings. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Welcome to the frustrating world of coaching. The process your are experiencing is never ending in that skills can look fine when isolated outside of the routines, yet the minute you put a little dance in front or behind the skill, it seems to change the entire look. Patience, believe in your drills, progressions and techniques and simply keep plugging away. IT is kind of like watching grass grow…. you know there is progress there… it is just tough to see.
One suggestion would be to make sure that the tumbling passes are incorporated into the floor rotation requirements. This is always tough because usually the floor coach is concentrating on the choreography. Set a standard that tumbling is just as important and make sure the kids are applying the proper amount of effort on their own. It is impossible to watch every kid on every turn so they will have to take on some of the responsibility for improving their skill. You way also want to introduce a mass/group complex warm up, where all passes are covered as a group going across the floor, prior to starting routines (coaches could then point of improvement areas prior to turning them loose on their idle time stations).
We have also introduced separate tumbling rotations for our level 6 and higher… so that tumbling can get it’s due attention. Floor routines would be a separate rotation and concentrate on all the combined aspects of floor… dance, acro, presentation, endurance etc.
Hope this helps!