Having problems getting those jumps high in the sky? Need to learn proper technique on various styles of jumps? You've come to the right place. This section will eventually house comprehensive information and tips from various resources and coaches for perfecting your jumps. From exercises to stretching to proper form, you will find what you need to execute AWESOME jumps!
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We are looking for pictures to add to this section as visual aids. If your squad would like to donate pictures, please either email them or snail mail them to:Leslie's Best
P.O. Box 38
Severance, CO 80546.
In order to master your jumps, you must consider several key fundamentals: conditioning, flexibility, strength, and of course the jump itself. We will be adding a section soon covering the conditioning, strength (or weight) training and flexibility aspects soon. Meanwhile, here are some basic jumps tips to get you started.
Relax and smile throughout the jump. Jumps should be executed from start to finish with apparent ease, poise, grace, and form. Jumps have four important fundamental aspects: the prep, lift, execution, and landing. In order to properly master the jump, you must be able to break down each jump into each of these smaller parts so that you can perfect every aspect of that movement.
The Prep is essential to getting maximum height, and therefore more time to accomplish better execution in jumps. Always start your jumps with feet together, good posture, and weight distributed evenly from heel to toe and on all five toes. Start with arms in a high "V." Lifting your body up through the rib cage with tummy in, quickly whip arms, crossing them over your head and down in front of your body in one smooth movement, and bend deeply at the knees to prepare for the lift.
The Lift is mastered by concentrating on several factors which are key to getting maximum height: your feet, legs, stomach, arm movement, and visualization. Take advantage of every ounce of centrifugal force which is at work moving you off the ground. Visualize yourself as a spring. As your feet and legs move from a bent knee position into the air, use the force of the arms and the full range of movement of the feet (utilizing every single joint moving from the arch, then ball and then toe joints, moving completely through the toes) to get maximum "spring" off the ground. Concentrate on the power of your toes and arch to help you propel off the ground. Think "up," as you jump "up," visualizing a string lifting you "up" high into the sky.
The execution is the part of the jump pictures are often taken of. See the technique section (coming soon) for pointers specific to various types of jumps. Some general tips to follow on jumps are:
- Point your toes!!! Keep legs straight where required.
- Use your abdominal muscles to help pull the legs up.
- Keep head and chest up. Leaning forward actually lowers jumps.
- Don't let arms or hands fly freely. Keep them sharp, tight and use proper form.
- If you can't get both high jumps and good form, then lower your jumps and concentrate on the form. The height will come as your muscles develop from repeatedly executing jumps and doing your workout program.
The landing is a judge's final impression...make it sharp! From hang time, quickly whip legs back together to ensure landing with both feet together. Land with feet in the reverse sequence that you lifted off with (ball, through arch, then weight evenly distributed throughout both feet), bending knees to absorb the impact. Then straighten to your beginning pose and FREEZE for a memorable finish.
- Before attempting to do any jumps or jump training, it is essential that you stretch out thoroughly and correctly before attempting any jumps in order to avert injury and get them high and get the fullest range of motion.
- Before trying any of these tips, first video tape yourself doing the jumps. Then periodically videotape yourself again doing those same jumps and watch your improvement! You'd be amazed at what you see on a video tape that you won't notice in a mirror.
- To improve your form, do the prep and then instead of executing the actual jump,just jump off the ground with your feet together as high as you can making sure your hands are straight out in the T (or whichever position they should be in for that particular jump) just as if you were doing the full jump.
- Try doing the jumps on a trampoline. The trampoline helps with technique as well as your actual jump, though it is best to practice on the ground because the trampoline won't actually help your height.
- Once you have the arms and moves perfected, then try doing lower jumps and concentrate on getting your form down first. Once you can do the full jump with perfect form, gradually increase the height making sure to keep the form.
- For problems with preps, etc., try counting out loud for the prep, jump, and landing.
- Consider using instructional videos on jumps, like Jumps & Jump Conditioning in the cheer video category of the Spirit Mall
- Keeping your total body in condition is extremely important, because these jumps require stamina, endurance, flexibility and muscular strength. So make sure your squad has a good workout plan geared for strength, power, endurance, aerobics and range of motion. Don't forget to focus on the abs, legs, arms, shoulders, back, chest, as well as wrist.
- Get your squad PUMPED so that they LOVE doing jumps, as well as the conditioning exercises, by using cool upbeat music while practicing.
- If you want to make your jumps higher. Squat down and then immediately jump back up do that about 25-50 times.It will strengthen your legs and you will jump higher. Thanks to D. Wallin for the tip submission
- Have someone stand behind you and lift you while you jump. This helps build the muscles you use for jumping plus helps improve height and preps.
- Jump up a few consecutive times doing tuck jumps..like 3 sets of 15.
- Using a partner, you kick one of your legs up to the side (i.e.: the position it would be in for a jump) and have your partner grab it, throw it up, and you whip your leg down. Try doing 3 sets of these.
- Practice jumps with ankle weights on, and then do those same jumps without the ankle weights on. Jump on the ground as well as on the trampoline with the weights.
- Consider using Jumps & Jump Conditioning in the cheer video category of the Spirit Mall
Tips for & from Coaches
- To get jumps precisely on the counts, try counting out loud while either clapping or using a kid's drum to emphasize counts.
- Have your squad get in a circle facing each other and do jumps.
- When I teach my team members jumps such as the tuck or spread eagle, I have them lie down first. Then they hit the position they should achieve in the execution phase while lying on the floor. For jumps such as the toe touch or pike, I have them sit and demonstrate the position. This way, they gain a familiarity with how the position should feel when properly done. Thanks to Danielle Clapp for the tip submission
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