Q&A on How to Start a Trampoline and Tumbling Program
Q: My artistic gymnastics club is contemplating starting a Trampoline and Tumbling Program. What equipment do I need to begin Trampoline and Tumbling classes and start a basic developmental program?
A: If you have an artistic men’s and/or women’s program in your gym, you most likely have what it takes to start a TT program. Basic equipment and apparatus will be all you need to get started and this could include the following: Tumbling: panel mats and/or spring floor. Trampoline: Standard black bed trampoline, skill cushions (to use for drills and progressions). Double mini-trampoline: Double mini trampoline apparatus and/or mini trampolines, spring boards and landing mats. Down the road, when your athletes become optional gymnasts which is Level 8 and up, a competition rod floor (for tumbling), webbed bed double mini-trampoline (for double mini), and competition trampolines (for trampoline and synchronized trampoline) are the optimal equipment needs for a competitive T&T program. The developmental equipment needs above can suffice to get started. Many smaller or beginning programs have developed national champions on basic trampolines, no double mini-trampoline, and a spring floor. Clubs may also choose to specialize in one area/apparatus due to space or time constraints.
Q: How is the TT program structured?
A: TT has Levels 1-10 and then Elite. Levels 1-4 are developmental, Levels 5-7 are compulsory and Levels 8-10 are optional.
Q: I would like to start a TT program in my gym but I don’t have a TT coach?
A: There is a USA Gymnastics online educational course for trampoline called T200 that is perfect for Developmental Trampoline & Tumbling and Gymnastics Coaches as well as Recreational Instructors. Course T200 Trampoline & Tumbling Development Coaches Course (Level 1) covers a variety of topics including History of sport, discipline specific safety and risk management, communication, season/daily planning and instruction. It includes many videos on sport specific drills, athlete development and preparation, along with techniques used by top coaches in progression based skill learning. A downloadable handbook is available as part of the course.
Q: Who can participate in Trampoline and Tumbling?
A: Athletes of all ages and body types can enjoy and benefit from trampoline, which also
enhances skill development across all gymnastics disciplines. Trampoline may also retain
athletes who are looking for something different from gymnastics or need to adjust to
accommodate outside scheduling challenges. Additionally, the artistic gymnastics and trampoline
competitive seasons complement one another, which makes it is possible for an athlete to
participate in both. Many gym clubs in the U.S. already have trampoline as part of their
programming, which has proven to be very successful. Trampoline provides a fun segue for
gymnasts who are looking for a change and it keeps them involved in the gym.