Jump Turns

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A common misconception when performing jump turns on the floor or on the trampoline is don’t twist off bed, don’t twist off the floor, or make sure you are airborne before twisting.  Whereas this is true for somersaults and advanced maneuvers, the same is not true for a simple jump turn.  It is OK for the pupil to use the floor to initiate the twist.  In fact, if the athlete is allowed to use the floor to initiate twisting, then this shall encourage her to pull her feet and toes together more tightly during the move.  The collecting of the feet can speed up the twisting phase, just as a figure-skater pulls her arms in for a spin.

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Instead, what should the athletes be focusing on?  Have your pupil focus on what to look at AND more importantly WHAT NOT TO LOOK AT.  For a half turn, instruct the athlete to see the wall in front of them at the moment of take off, then instruct the athlete to find the wall behind them, but do not look for anything else in between those 2 points.  Apply the same principal for jump full-turn, jump 1.5 turns, and double turns.  Overtime, athletes will memorize the feel of spinning 1/2, full, or even double.  Trying the spot the entire time will put the performer’s head out of alignment, and may induce dizziness.  Work up the the full-turn by connecting 2 halves.  Work up to the 1.5 turns, but connecting the full-turn the half-turn.  Here are fun combinations that athletes can practice on the trampoline:

  • half turn, half turn, half turn
  • half turn, full turn, half turn
  • full turn, half turn, full turn
  • full turn, full turn, full turn
  • half turn, full turn, 1.5 turn
  • 1.5 turn, half turn
  • half turn, 1.5 turns
  • 1.5 turn, 1.5 turn
  • half turn, double turn

Make sure that all twisting occurs in the same direction.

It is absolutely crucial that the athlete lands each twist 100% accurately, facing the correct way that she should be facing.  The tendency is to overshoot the twists, especially the half-turn and full-turns.  The pupil should not be over-twisting, even by 1 or 2 degrees.  Precision is key.  If the pupil cannot be precise, then they should remain with that skill or combination until it gets better.

Instruct the pupil to always have her arms up, with her elbows by her ears, anytime that she is twisting.  But anytime that she is not twisting, her arms should be down.  Thus, every time she touches the trampoline bed or floor, her arms should be down.  If she is performing multiple consecutive twists, then the arms will move up and down like jumping jacks.

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