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QOTW: Why rolls?

This week's question of the week is:

Why does Spirit Technique start with rolls?

Preschool cheerleading in Memphis TN

In the years before I started coaching there were a number of catastrophic injuries within the sport of cheerleading. Through my coaches' training in gymnastics and cheerleading, the importance of safety was stressed. Each year our training would go more in depth on how coaches could prevent injury to our athletes.

This experience instilled in me the responsibility that I have to my athletes, their parents and the community to keep children safe. Not kind of safe but we want to ensure that the way they walk in, is the way they walk out.

Safety | Technique | Execution | Progressions

As a gym owner I still have the same mindset. We want our athletes to S.T.EP into their greatness. Rolls allow them to do just that. Rolls allow children to have an exit option that is safe for them when they aren't sure if they will complete the skill they are performing.

Beginner Tumbling

By learning rolls in beginner tumbling an athlete's body develops what is known as muscle memory. This is the ability for your child's body to tuck and roll when it needs to protect itself. This can be scene in our preschool littles learning cartwheels and rolling when they loose balance, our school age kids rolling out of handstands as they perform them off the wall, or our advance children rolling when they over rotate a skill. The earlier we introduce rolls to children the more established muscle memory is within the neuro-muscle relationship for children.

Preparing for the future

Safety is not the only reason that learning rolls are important. Many of the body positions that athletes are taught in beginner gymnastics are used in future classes. From the ground to air the mechanism used to perform rolls are similar. By introducing rolls early we allow athletes to master them before they are needed.

Levels of Rolls

  • Log roll

  • Egg roll

  • Forward tuck roll

  • Forward straddle roll

  • Forward pike roll

  • Backward tuck roll

  • Backward straddle roll

  • Backward pike roll

  • Handstand roll

  • Dive roll

  • Back extension roll

  • Punch Front (tuck roll body position in the air)

  • Back Tuck (tuck roll body position in the air)

  • Swan / arch dive roll

Ready to get your preschooler started with their rolls? No problem check out Spirit Technique's new member trial at Have questions? Email us at



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