Starting with the basics is the best way for you to be successful in your tumbling and overall cheerleading career. Taking things one-step at a time and perfecting your Level 1 skills is extremely important. How often do you see an elite gymnast or cheerleader with a bad round off? You don’t! They had to learn the perfect round off before they started throwing harder skills as well. It is all about progression; give yourself time and patience to reach your goals!
A round off brings in the almighty handstand when tumbling, if you do not have a solid handstand then round offs aren’t your trick just yet. Holding your body over your hands requires strength and power. If you have a solid handstand, move onto your cartwheels. If they are fast and straight on a line, you are ready to move on!
Round offs begin the same way as a cartwheel: Starting in a big lunge with your arms on your ears and eyes forward.
-As you kick off from your lunge, keep your arms on your ears and turn your hands into each other making a diamond with your fingers.
-The diamond with your fingers will help keep your arms tight and help turn your body in the round off.
-After kicking and placing your hands down, your legs will come around the top and click together shortly after being vertical. This is your handstand position, the key is to click your feet and hit a handstand in your round off! Then, you snap your toes down to the floor and bring your arms up to your ears once again.
-A round off is fast and instantaneous, getting it faster and stronger takes time. After landing your trick on the floor numerous times, you can move onto drills that will improve your round off.
Such drills consist of: round offs up hill (take a cheese and put your hands at the top, BIG KICK!), round offs across a panel mat (hands reach to the edge and big kick!).
Drills are amazing for improving all of your skills, even the most basic. The basics of tumbling are brought into each level of tumbling, so you must perfect until you cannot anymore! It is all about repetition!
By: Amanda Tunison