How to do a summersault on a trampoline
(Note: I originally made this as an independet node, but it was moved here. I have made a couple of changes, but if some of this still seems a little out of place, at least you know why.)
Some might find this very easy (If that goes for you, you might not want to bother reading this!). Others may find it extremely difficult to do. As with all things however, practice makes perfect. My younger brother (with some economic support from my parents) bought a trampoline not long ago. Now I thought I would be rather good at this stuff, as I have been attending a “sports-school” for almost a year now and should be in good shape and everything - I was mistaken.
It was slightly embarrassing not to be able to do one out of ten summersaults on the trampoline, when my seven years younger brother could do about eight out of ten. I tried and tried again, but it seemed only to be getting worse – probably because I was getting slightly pissed off at my own incompetence at something I thought I would master easily. I think I managed about two out of fifty attempts on that first day, before I finally gave up.
I tried again the next few days though, and kept trying till I finally felt that I mastered it really well, and in this write up I hope to give a few hints to help others master this a little quicker than myself.
First Of All...
First you have to get the feeling of the trampoline. Jump around a little, from side to side, as high as you can, etc.. Try landing on your knees, your bottom and flat on your back and bounce right back up to your feet. Just play around for a while until you feel relaxed on the trampoline. Now for the summersault:
If you have never tried this at all before, the biggest problem might be to dare to jump at all. All I can say is, don’t worry, it is not really that scary. As long as you make sure you jump round enough there is no real danger. Just don’t change your mind and try to pull away right after you have jumped, or you may end up right on your head, which can be slightly uncomfortable . :o) The things you should think about when you jump (or at least the things I think about) are these: (1) Get a rhythm (2) jump high and fast enough (3) remember to pull my feet up. In my experience, there is no need to consider the landing, because once you get the hang of these three steps the landing will fall (bad pun) natural by itself. Indeed, thinking of the landing will only make you more unsure and loose focus of the jump. Like I said, once you can do the jump, the landing is a piece of cake.
Jump carefully up and down three times before doing the summersault; Count: One, Two, Three, JUMP! This way you get a nice rhythm which makes it easier in the beginning. Now, on JUMP, jump slightly higher than when counting. You don’t need to jump very high, just make sure you spin well enough, and no, this is not difficult either once you get the hang of it. Just make sure you have really made up your mind about it when you jump!
Now finally (and this is the important part!), make sure you pull you feet up. Everybody knows you have to curl together like a ball to spin better, but there are different ways of doing it. My brother pulls his knees almost up to his chin and grabs around his legs with both arms in the air. I just concentrate on pulling my feet up as I jump. Until I realized this I kept landing on my butt, then I found out how to do it: Just concentrate on your feet (NOT your legs, knees, etc. but your feet!), draw them up right after you have jumped and pull them around. Pull them up in a quick "whipping" movement and use them to force yourself around. Before you know it you will be spinning so fast you will be landing on your face on the trampoline! Of course you must be prepared to land on your butt or on your front a few times before mastering it, but don’t worry, you will get the hang of it soon! Just remember that if you can’t do it on the first day, your brain will keep working on it unconsciously (even when you sleep), and within the two next days (with just a small effort of practicing) you should find it a lot easier.
I hope some of you find this write up useful, just remember that practice makes expert, and don’t be afraid to try – it is only dangerous if you think it is!