Before attempting any more difficult moves it is important that you first know how to stop safely. You stop by bending your knees as you touch down on the trampoline. Things to watch out for are:
- not bending them enough which will cause you to rebound again – we want the trampoline (and you), to both stop moving at your first attempt; not after several ever-decreasing rebounds;
- leaning forwards or backwards as you ‘land’ might make you fall over or, worse, ‘ping’ off the side!
Once you understand how to stop you can learn how to bounce higher safe in the knowledge that you can stop if necessary.
Key to good bouncing is establishing a rhythm with the trampoline - it helps to have an understanding of the 'phases' of a bounce - each bounce is in 4 parts:
- From take-off to the ‘TOP’ of your bounce;
- From TOP to when you touch the trampoline again (first contact);
- From ‘first contact’ to when the trampoline bed is as low as it will go (full depression);
- From ‘full depression’ to take-off point (or last contact).
The most critical period for accurate bouncing is the time between 'first contact' and 'last contact' since it is here that you most need to establish a good rhythm. Starting with low controlled bounces we push our toes down into the bed at the same time as gently 'sculling' with our arms moving in small circles from our side forwards and round in a small circle and then back to our side again as we come back to first contact - as the bounces become higher it is important that you ‘reach up’ into your bounce as high and straight as possible (but still keeping the idea of moving the arms in 'circles' up and round) by doing the following:
- Bringing your arms up the front;
- Having your arms above your head from as near ‘full depression’ as possible until near TOP;
- Trying to push your toes deeper into the trampoline immediately before take-off;
- Keeping your toes pointed and your arms stretched (like the picture above right) until TOP;
- Bringing your arms back down the side;
- At all times keeping your upper-body & head as still as possible.
So we ought see the following occurring:
Every move you do should be starting off the same way with arms (and fingers) as straight as possible swinging from the side of your legs in front of you to high above your head and then back round the side to the side of your legs as you approach the trampoline again.
Whether performing ‘shape’ bounces (tuck, pike & straddle), twists or moves involving some degree of somersault (seat drop, front drop or more) the same basic principle applies – lift your arms towards the ‘TOP’ before making the shape or move.
It is important that you point your toes at all times APART from when landing on your feet. To achieve the most efficient bounce you should land with your feet ‘flat’ onto the bed and then keep them that way until the bed starts rising again. As the rise starts to accelerate press your toes deeper into the bed (keeping your legs straight) to drive yourself higher and then keep them pointed until just before you land again.