Matt Kelly from Woodlands Elite and Karma Returns joins Shea and Sean on the first show of 2018.
Stunting with different people will make the athletes better as individuals and the team more alike. The individual athletes will become better because they’ll learn to make a wider variety of adjustments and corrections based on the tendencies of their new partners. Stunting is so much about being able to make to correct adjustment quickly that being exposed to more scenarios that require adjustments will better prepare athletes for the competition mat. For example if Amber heels, but Betsy toes, the people that stunt with both Amber and Betsy will be used to make adjustments for either position and more likely be able to hold Cathy regardless of where she is on the heel to toe spectrum.
Changing partners also gives athletes a chance to learn from more people. Having a base work with a new partner provides an opportunity for some detail of the stunt to be performed a little different and turn into a teaching/learning moment.
I also believe having people stunt with different people on a regular basis will make the stunts more similar to each other. If one group was consistently fast and another consistently slow, swapping some of the parts will push them toward meeting someplace that works for everyone.
Shea and David share their thoughts on the early season competitions they’ve attended on the 40th Drills=Skills.
Cheating is generally considered a bad thing, but when it comes to cheat grips and tricks for stunts it can be a good thing. Finding a way to get the same look of a skill, a full up for example, using a grip that makes it easier or less risky is a great training tool and helps the athletes build confidence.
Figuring out cheat tricks and grips isn’t always easy. I usually get ideas from watching stunt videos in reverse or watching live stunts fall. Finding them takes time, a different point of view, and a little creativity, but when you find them it makes it worthwhile.
The Perfect Cheer World is the topic of discussion on the 39th Drills=Skills.
When working stunts add an extra element to the end. Instead of doing only your 4 elements to hit the high range, practice with a 5th or 6th, even if it’s a repeat of one of the first 4. This will help build stunt endurance and increase control of the stunt sequence, since they’ll need to maintain control of the stunt to be able to add additional elements.
This week’s Drills=Skills features Shea and David talking about Level 4 tumbling.
This one also could have been named practice to music because as much as possible your teams should practice to music. This will get the athletes used to counting music and more importantly, counting to music while performing skills. This can only help a team when performing to music.
At a minimum use an 8 count track, like this one by Bowd Beal with Go! Fight! Win! Music:
I should probably say keep your elbows in, but that title isn’t as catchy. When stunting as a base, cradles excluded, elbows should stay inside of the shoulders. Power is lost when the elbows get wider than the shoulders. I see this being a problem most often on twisting up to group stunts, such as full ups, and the toss of coed style stunts. Focusing on keeping the elbows as close to the center of the body as possible during stunts will keep the top person’s body better aligned, making the stunts easier to hit.
I’ve heard several coaches emphasize the need to keep elbows in, but probably none more than Tony Crump, current coach at the University of Memphis, and Saleem Habash, former coach of the University of Kentucky and Dunbar High School.
Safety is the topic for the 37th Drill=Skills.