Sometimes doing things like cartwheels, handstands, and backwalk overs at practice can seem pointless and boring. Especially for higher level athletes.
I actually skipped the basics as a cheerleader and regret it so much.
Coming in as a new cheerleader when I was in elementary school, I didn’t excel but I wasn’t uncoordinated either. I was put on a level 3 team and never learned level 1 or 2 basic skills. So, my whole life I have only ever had a mediocre back handspring and tucks and even JUMPS, due to skipping the basics.
I grew up thinking it was good enough to at least have the skills and it didn’t matter how pretty they were. I’d tumble with my arms and feet waaayyy to far apart. It was slow and had no momentum. I didn’t know this until after I “Aged out” of cheer so I am here to let you know…. Back handsprings are actually supposed to speed up and give you power, not to make your life harder! ;P
Now as a coach, going to all of the coaching conferences and learning new techniques. I have realized how important it is for athletes to START from the BEGINNING and review every practice!
I never imagined how much it helped to STRETCH and to practice your forward rolls and cartwheels and all of the “boring” stuff on a daily basis! At least 3 times a week!
I have seen so many athletes in our gym that have started day one on the basics and have worked their way up the levels. Now when you watch them move and tumble, it’s so graceful yet powerful! All because they properly trained their bodies the way the sport designed it to be.
This applies for more than just tumbling and more than just cheerleading!
There are basics for a reason! They are designed to help you in the future!
Don’t ignore them or blow them off.
– It’s a slow process but quitting won’t speed it up.