Traditional Trampoline scores athletes based on their ability to control their flips within a few degrees meaning they can’t travel more than what is 'biomechanically' necessary, including when the skill should open up.
Steve Gluckstein competes for the US above.
Opening up the body position after the majority of the skill has been done is also included in the overall control score simply because kicking out early and seeing the trampoline shows a level of control. So why don’t all athletes master kick outs? It is generally for one simple reason.
Most athletes simply do not train it separately from their tricks. Most athletes learn their routines and try to kick out each of the 10 skills as they go for them. This is terribly ineffective because the athlete is thinking about so many other things like not traveling, pointing their toes, remembering the routine etc. The brain simply cannot process all the information. I suggest instead of spending time trying to figure out everything at once, you simply take each skill and do each one several times with perfect kick out.
I would also land with the arms down by the sides after each attempt. When you kick out and keep the arms down even when you hit the trampoline, you will notice something very interesting. You will naturally over-rotate. This is simply because when the arms come up above the head after a skill to connect into another skill, it lengthens the body so it slows down rotation. If you force yourself to keep the arms down, which really is more of a mental exercise than you may think, you will not lengthen the body at the end.
After doing each skill of your routine 5 times, one at a time, you will naturally start kicking out a bit earlier and even waiting on your take-off longer simple because you have now adjusted the amount of flip. You have given yourself a bit more rotation by holding the arms down so now you have more time for something else. That could be a longer take off, earlier kick out or even a slower kick out that focuses more on a particular aspect such as squeezing the butt or pointing the toes etc.
The interesting thing for me is that I rarely ever see competitive trampolinists ever practice holding their lines one skill at a time. I think it is another example of how easy it is to forget that the human brain can only truly focus on one thing at a time. I discuss in detail how to break down skills literally Degree-By-Degree and it is funny to me that many athletes forget that kick-outs are a skill.
This week, on my podcast, THE ROE SHOW, I interview Logan and discuss some of thee aspects with him. I think Logan is an athlete with some of the nicest lines I've ever seen so I would recommend watching some of his videos. We also feature him on our new Training Program mentioned below! In my interview you will also learn what it took for him to get to the Olympics and why trampoline has always been his dream sport.
Teaching the body to move in any direction or any position is a skill from a biological sense so remember that when you practice your kick outs. You will have to train them separately and build them into the routine one skill at a time.
It is better to isolate the kick out by doing it onto mats where athletes can do a 3/4 Front Flip or Back Flip, landing on the mat, holding a perfect line. The best part of that drill is that the athlete can land in the kick out position and not have to move before the coach can come critique the landing. When you do it on the trampoline, there is no way to stop the kick out and give direct point specific feedback before the athlete relaxes. This way you can have the athlete ‘feel’ what you want by poking and prodding loose muscles or adjust rounded shoulders. That will increase their chances of remembering the feeling, compared to remembering the correction after they landed and have psychologically moved on to the next repetition with no pause to fine tune the kick out.
I suggest in your next training you take each of your skills and practice kicking out and holding the lines on the trampoline to see if you over rotate and can afford to slow it down a bit but also on a stack of mats to rally focus on what the kick out position actually feels like.
It only takes 15 minutes and is a great drill that gives that athlete pin-point focus but also gives them a break from the 10 skilled routines. In short, unless you isolate the kick out holds, your progress in tightening it up during the routine will be slow at best. remember, one thing at a time!
When I see athletes train, with or without a coach, I tend to see them practice the routine as a whole, more than breaking it down into parts. In our Online Trampoline Program, I discuss in detail how to break down skills literally Degree-By-Degree and it is funny to me that many athletes forget that kick outs are a skill.
For more information on Logan Dooley please visit https://usagym.org/pages/athletes/athleteListDetail.html?id=369549
To inquire about training program with Logan please visit: https://www.worldelitersm.com/
For more information on the NEW GRT Training Program, that was written with both athletes and coaches in mind, please CLICK HERE. We offer both written materials and corresponding videos, from beginner to Olympic Level, including freestyle and traditional approaches. It is a complete training program that goes through every progression, step-by-step or degree-by-degree (as I say) and includes Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics, Theory and so much more!!