Whether searching Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube you will find coaches, tumblers, and parkour that describe or show how to teach and learn to tumble. But very few describe how to execute the skill. This small missing piece of information may result in injury, progression plateau or progression regression. To prevent athletes from experiencing these consider teaching athletes how to execute their skills using proper technique versus just throwing them.
There are a few definitions that we need to consider before discussing how to teach proper technique.
Google describes these definitions as below:
Do - perform (an action, the precise nature of which is often unspecified)
Example: If I do a toe touch jump, I may or may not point my toes.
Execute - carry out or put into effect (a plan, order, or course of action).
Example: If I execute a toe touch jump, I will (1) perform a prep, (2) swing through, (3)
push off toes, (4) rotate hips and snap legs up while pointing toes, (5) rotate hips and
snap legs down, (6) absorb.
Perform - carry out, accomplish, or fulfill (an action, task, or function).
Example: If I perform a toe touch jump, I will (1) perform a high V prep, (2) swing arms
in a circle motion, (3) push off toes, (4) rotate hips and snap legs up, (5) rotate hips and
snap legs down, (6) absorb.
Technique - a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.
Example: If I perform or execute a toe touch jump with technique, I will (1) perform a
high V prep - arms placed at temple, big cinnamon swirl / thumb side of fist facing forward, arms tight, (2) swing arms in a circle motion in towards the center of body - starting at high V create a circle with first that ends crossed between belly button and knees, knees should be slightly bend, (3) push off toes - completing the circle finish at T body position, (4) rotate hips and snap legs up - after pushing off of the ground lift through top of pointed foot, (5) rotate hips and snap legs down, (6) absorb - landing toe, ball of foot, heel with slight bend in knees.
*Note the example provided is one example of a toe touch variation
Teaching athletes to perform skills is more than just demonstrating and asking them to perform.
Technique + Execution = Perform(ance)
To get athletes to execute proper technique consider using these 4 tips.
By focusing on the athletes understanding of the skill, drills and elements the athlete’s mental and physical awareness are increased. This also increases the athlete’s understanding of the mechanical aspect of the skill. Now the athlete isn’t just trying to get over, they are executing the plan (drills and elements) in an order that minimizes stress throughout their body while benefiting from the physical momentum of the order of execution. The skill is being performed in the best way to eliminate injuries and use momentum created.
Want to learn more about teaching technique? Not sure where to start, or maybe you are a visual or kinesthetic learner? Feel free to reach out to Spirit Technique at firstname.lastname@example.org for support in improving your athlete’s technique and execution.