Last week we discussed how athletes want a rapid progression when it comes to skills in tumbling. Although coaches want the same type of progression, we find it more valuable to have an athlete well-rounded as a tumbler, even if it takes more time to perform the more advanced skills.
For example, let’s take an athlete that has never tumbled before but is placed on a level 1 team. She/he really wants to get their back handspring so they can be on a level two team next year. However, that athlete needs front walk-overs and back walk-overs for level 1 competition. If a tumbling coach decides to skip the mere basics of tumbling and teaches the athlete back handspring, the athlete can’t perform the tumbling skills needed for level 1. Before any athlete learns a back handspring, they should successfully be able to perform a front walk over and back walk over. Why you ask?
When an athlete goes through the proper progressions in tumbling, it allows their muscles used for tumbling to get stronger. It also increases flexibility in the athletes’ shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and back while strengthening important muscles such as the shoulders, hamstrings, and the core muscles. Core muscle strength is essential for strong tumbling, whether it’s for back handsprings or full-twisting layouts.
My suggestion for advancing your athlete in tumbling is getting them involved in tumbling classes. They are a great way for coaches to help your athlete advance at a steady rate and become well rounded. It also allows your athlete to work with other athletes with the same goals.