Thursday, October 8, 2015

Trampolines Galore!

Hi all!

One of the things that make parents most nervous about the sport of gymnastics is the dreaded Trampoline.  However, one of the things that make kids most excited about gymnastics is the funtastic TRAMPOLINE!

Now, what to do with a trampoline.  The first and most important part of teaching trampoline is how to land safely!!!  One person at a time on a trampoline.  I start with most of my kids on mini trampolines and make sure they know how to control their bodies on there before I take them to our larger above ground web-based trampoline.  

Starting with teaching different types of jumps, straight, tuck, straddle, pike, split, jump 1/2 turn.  Personally, I don't move past those 6 skills for a LONG time.  Maybe one day I will introduce a seat drop on a large resi mat.  But even that I don't introduce until I have already got them on the large trampoline mastering the first 6 skills.

Once they get to the large trampoline, I set up side stations for my class to do while I am working with one student at a time on the trampoline.  Ideally, your gym will have an in ground trampoline like the one below.  

Mine unfortunately, has an above ground trampoline at this time.  

A sample first class set of stations for a beginners class- (our beginner classes are capped at 8 kids)
Station 1: One partner on trampoline with coach, one partner practicing the sitting position of whatever kind of jump you are working on.
Station 2: Safety falls!  If you have those mini cheeses, set up two, one for each partner.  If you only have a larger cheese, then make sure to set up a spot in front of each side for each partner to start on (we use carpet squares)
Station 3: Stick positions!  Set up a larger block (relative to kid size-no higher than waist height with a soft landing mat).  Jump to stick position and hold 3 seconds.
Station 4: Handstand work on the wall.  I set up a variety of different kinds of handstand work and drills for against the wall.  If you don't have that kind of space near the tramp, I would suggest basic skill work they can work on perfecting (ie. forward roll with a bean bag in between knees)  If you are extra limited on space, make this station a conditioning or stretching station depending on what your students need.

Sidewalk chalk works great on trampolines!  Use it to mark starting spots.  

The next blog I do will be on Tumbl Traks and how to adapt our lessons for the longer trampoline.  Keep your eyes out!