Plus, I have a feeling that unlike the average Joe, you’re in a much better position to actually achieve your New Year Tumbling Goals because chances are, you’re already in the gym multiple times per week.
Which means you don’t need motivation, or a new coach, or access to equipment.
All you need is a solid strategy, and that’s what I’m going to give to you today.
So let’s get started!
Step 1: Pick A Progressive Goal
For example, if you’re currently working on a back tuck — or you have one, but it’s not perfectly executed — then making your New Year’s goal a double full or a double tuck is a bit far fetched.
I’m not saying it’s impossible… but when you focus on something that far head in your learning curve, you are bound to take shortcuts on skills that are fundamental to your future success (i.e the pike and the layout).
I’ve seen this happen all too often; little Suzy who can barely do a back-walkover to save her life makes it her mission to “get” the back handspring. And because she’s so focused on just throwing it without adequate progressions, she has no choice but to take very dangerous shortcuts, resulting in a skill that looks like a hot mess.
Now Suzy has a Back Handspring that is barely worth watching (let alone scoring) and it will take three times as long to fix. Which means she is three times further away from the next logical progression, which would be a series of connected back handsprings.
So to help you avoid the same pitfalls as Suzy, I’ve listed common progressive goals that you can use…
This is by no means a COMPLETE list. There are plenty more progressions missing and I haven’t even touched on front tumbling (which you shouldn’t ignore). But this should give you a good idea of HOW to set your goals intelligently. If you’re still having troubles, feel free to ask your coach. In fact, I’ve even put together a little script that you can send VIA email or text:
“Hey Coach [Name]! I want to aim for a new tumbling goal for this year but I’m not sure where to start. I already have XYZ skill and ABC passes. What do you think would be the most logical and achievable goal for me? I look forward to your guidance. Thanks!”
Step 2: Round Up A Few Drills
Now that you’ve picked an intelligent and progressive goal, it’s time to put together a few drills that will help you get it.
If you’ve followed any of my stuff, you know I have plenty of drills posted on multiple channels. Below are some resources for you to check out:
A Few Things To Remember About Drills
Don’t get too stressed about trying to pick “the best” drill. There are literally hundreds of ways to learn any tumbling skill you can imagine. I do my best to provide drills that I feel are the most effective for the way I coach — you’ll see this if you read any of my guides.
But if something doesn’t work for you, don’t stress. It’s more important to find drills that work for your body type, skill level and equipment that you have at your disposal. Then it’s just a matter of repping them out until they are perfect.
A good drill not only helps you master the shapes needed, but should also allow you to FEEL what it will be like to execute the skill you want. If it doesn’t achieve those 2 things, find another drill.
This is also a good time to get some input and advice from your coach. I love it when my athletes ask me what drill they can use to help them out with a problem they’re having. It shows ownership, which is a trait I’ve found to be common among all great athletes.
Step 3: Create A Weekly Plan Of Action (Use My Template)
Once you have your drills ready to go, it’s time to come up with a weekly training plan that’s easy and simple to follow. Most gyms have their training schedules published online, so use it to find out when the Open Gyms are, when you can schedule in some private lessons, and when you can go in for extra practice.
To make your life easier, I’ve created a simple Plan Of Action (POA) Template that you can download and print off as many copies as you need. Just click the button below to access it for Free! ??
How To Use The Template
While I’ve tried to keep it as straight forward as possible, I want to make sure you can use it to its full potential. So open it up (or print it out) and follow along. The first thing you’ll notice is that the entire template is broken up into 4 sections — A, B, C & D. I’m going to go over each section in detail below…
This is where you’ll check off the days you can train towards your goal (so team practices don’t count). For example, at my gym we currently run Open Gyms on Monday, Tue & Thurs nights. If you can make those days, you would check the “Mon”, “Tue” & “Thur” boxes and write down the start times. We also have 2 locations, so you would write down which exact gym you’ll be visiting.
Since you’ve already selected your drills, write down the 3-5 that you plan on working, along with the number of *quality* reps to aim for. Don’t forget to write down the surface (AirTrack, Floor, TumbleTrak etc.) these drills will be performed on. A good way to progress towards your goal is to pull off drills on a soft surface (such as an AirTrack) then take it to floor.
Oh what, you thought we’re just going to be doing drills and throwing skills? Nuh uh, sister! You can’t gain new skills without getting stronger. As my friend Jessica Zoo likes to say, “Body Before Skill”. With the help of your coach (or my Conditioning Plan) select 3-5 exercises that will help you get stronger for your chosen skill, along with the reps, sets & weight (should the exercise need it). If you’re struggling to select the right exercises, just remember that your core can never be too strong and most athletes generally have weak hamstrings and glutes. So if you can target those areas, you can almost never go wrong.
Once you’ve spent a good amount of time on your drills, I assume you will eventually want to try throwing the skill you’re working so hard towards. That’s where this section comes in handy. Most of the sections are self explanatory – fill out the date, the location, on what surface etc. When it comes to the Spotted and Success column, simply put “Y” for yes or “N” for no.
For example: If you’re trying your back tuck for the first time and you got it spotted but you under-rotated it, you’d put “Y” under the Spotted column and “N” under the Success column. Then under the Notes column, you’d write down exactly what happened “I over-rotated” — this way, you’ll know what to fix.
Pro Tip: I highly suggest your first attempt be on forgiving surfaces (such as a pit) and with a spot. Don’t be afraid to ask your coach for further guidance. Trust me, we ALL want you to get your new skill. It only helps the gym and team look better. But rushing it will only get you hurt.
What To Do When You Achieve Your Goal
If you use the Template and actually put in the work, there’s no doubt in my mind you will achieve your tumbling goals for the new year (or mid year if you’re a late starter). Either way, once you do achieve success I want to hear about it!
Be sure to post about your journey in the comment section below! Not only will you help me feel awesome (I love success stories) but you might just help another athlete build up the courage and motivation they need!
You've Seen My Drills, Now Learn My System!
If you find my content helpful, then why not host a complete Perfection Before Progression™ tumbling clinic at your gym? Let your athletes gain weeks worth of experience in a single day, while you and your staff get the most comprehensive tumbling training in the industry. Comes with an official Certificate Of Completion. Click the button below to get started!