WARM UP FOR “DEVELOPMENT LEVEL” TRAMPOLINE GYMNASTS
A document prepared by Jack Kelly for East Region Development Squad on 29th July 2012
I would define a “development level” performer as one who has made the decision to take part in competition or may already be competing, even up to National C. The following process outlines the program we conducted today. The aim is to provide all the conventional benefits of warm up and the “added value” of educating the gymnast in the basic movement and postural principles for performing on trampoline with control and good from. Creative coaches will be able to use these ideas as a basis upon which to develop their own specific warm up programs.
THE KEY TO GAINING FULL VALUE FROM THIS WARM UP IS THE CONTROL AND THE INPUT OF THE COACH THROUGHOUT ITS PERFORMANCE!
- Shoes on! Shuttle running between two lines (approx width of badminton court) Control the speed and stress the weight shift as the runner prepares to slow down to change direction. Tramp relevance: Control of forward and backward weight distribution affecting direction and degree of travel.
- Shoes off for remainder of warm up! Standing in own space, gentle “running” on the spot but without allowing the toes to leave the floor. Emphasise the flexible ankle action. Tramp relevance: Awareness of flexible ankle action can maximize power and control during bed contact.
- Continuous light jumping on the spot with arms by the sides. Emphasise an ankle action similar to the previous exercise. Focus on light springy action and be aware of hitting the same spot each time. A visible spot on the floor may help e.g. The join between two lines on the court. Tramp relevance: Maintenance of good posture whilst jumping and remaining in same place throughout.
- Three small jumps followed by one squat jump and spring up to “touch the ceiling with your hands”. Continue immediately with three more small jumps before repeating the process up to eight repetitions. Tramp relevance: By increasing the height of jump with a full arm stretch overhead after the small preparatory jumps, tests the gymnast’s control of balance.
- Repeat the previous exercise but end each sequence of four jumps (three small followed by one high) with a perfect “competition” stop and hold for three seconds. Tramp relevance: Unless the gymnast can control this action on the floor they are unlikely to deal with it at the end of a routine. (Point one deduction for a single step is trebled by the judges. This can lose point six over two routines. That could wipe out the tariff of a barani!)
- Jumping on the spot with arms by the sides. After five jumps on the spot start to jump forward then back repeatedly under control. The gymnast must be made aware of the transfer of weight they are employing to create these “travelling” jumps. Tramp relevance: Understanding this process on the floor can enhance the gymnast’s ability to correct travel on the trampoline.
- Repeat the previous exercise but jump from side to side. The gymnast must be made aware of the sideways weight transfer needed to create this movement. Tramp relevance: Understanding this process on the floor can enhance the gymnast’s ability to correct cast on the trampoline.
- Squat with hands flat on the floor and knees together. Jump the feet back to a “pressups” position i.e. “front support.” Hold the position with head and all body parts in a straight line. On command jump feet back into squat. Repeat as appropriate with coach always checking alignment. Tramp relevance: The expression “out of sight out of mind” can refer to the gymnast’s body positions which they can not see. This exercise starts to address the gymnast’s need to “feel” straightness which they can not see..
- From the straight “front support” position, turn longitudinally to arrive at “back support” whilst maintaining the perfect alignment of head and body. Return to front support maintaining straightness of form. Repeat for an appropriate number of reps. Tramp relevance: In back support the gymnast will tend to look down towards the feet. The head should “feel” slightly back in order to achieve actual straightness as in a straight back s/s or straight barani.
- From back support, sit down with legs straight and together. (Long sitting) With feet together, point the toes to current maximum. Look at the feet and recognize the “toe point” shape whilst “feeling” the sensation of tension or mild stress in the arch of the foot or lower leg. (Whatever is relevant to the specific gymnast.) Now turn the toes up to create flat feet. Look at the feet and repeat the recognition process in terms of physical sensation. Close the eyes and on command replicate the toe point and foot flattening drill using only the “feel” and confirmation that the desired shape has been achieved. Tramp relevance: This exercise is more effective in achieving correct foot shaping than countless hours of nagging to “point your toes!”
- Start in a long sitting position with arms raised overhead. On command, assume a seated tucked shape balancing on the hips with feet just off the floor. On a signal return to long sitting with arms above head. Coach can check the correct shaping and advise as required. Again this exercise can be done sighted then with eyes closed.
- Repeat the exercise to create a piked shape with correct form. There is no need to insist on the gymnast balancing on their hips for this variation although it is desirable.
- Repeat but create a piked straddle shape before returning to the long sitting position with arms straight overhead.
- From the starting position the coach calls the name of a shape at random and the gymnast smartly snaps into position with perfect form before returning to the start position ready for the next command.
- This sequence can also be performed where the starting position is back lying with arms straight behind the head. We now have a strong abdominal exercise known as “piked snap-ups” with a tucked and straddled variation. Tramp relevance: Exercises 11-15 can transfer effectively onto the trampoline having established the sensory awareness on the secure base of the floor.
- Start the on-trampoline warm up with clear instruction to take their floor warm up thinking, feeling and awareness into the way skills are performed during the trampoline session.
THIS PROCESS IS KNOWN AS “TRANSFER OF TRAINING” AND IS UNLIKELY TO BE EFFECTIVE UNLESS THE COACH MAINTAINS THE EMPHASIS ON WHAT WAS ESTABLISHED DURING THE FLOOR PHASE.
SUGGESTED TRAMP WARM UP TO FOLLOW FROM THE FLOOR WARM UP
- 2 X 10 Straight jumps with arms strictly by the sides. Finish each 10 jumps with solid stop and 3 second hold.
- 2 x 10 Straight jumps. First three with no arms then gradually bringing in a full arm lift for next seven. Finish each 10 jumps with solid stop and 3 second hold.
- Tuck jump, straddle jump, pike jump with three jumps between each x 2. Finish each group with perfect competition stop.
- Tuck, straddle, pike, half twist jump, tuck, straddle, pike, full twist jump. X 2. Competition stop on each!
- Own choice skills and combinations.
International Performance Coach