How to Become the Most “Technical Athlete” – Stunts

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By Sean Timmons 

With stunt difficulty on the rise over the past 10 years, a lot of focus has been placed on twisting skills, inversions, and release moves. But what sets us apart from every team who is doing similar type skills?  Technique!!! The weight of the technique score has increased drastically over the past 4 seasons and the teams who are executing with perfection are reaping these rewards.  So how do you become a better “Technical Athlete?”  Here are a few things to focus on as an individual.

It starts with the SET! Are you and your group setting for your stunt with a purpose? This is the first thing the crowd or judges are going to see to let them know that a stunt is about to begin.  Whether it’s a slap, clap, or shrug, you and your group want to focus on the timing and sharpness of the set.  Confidence and performance are a huge factor in the start of a strong stunt.

Explosion! Explosive power is what gets a stunt to the top quickly and creates weightlessness for your top girl.  As a base or back, you want to focus on having a great starting position with your feet as close together as possible. (Think about your position if you were going to jump as high in the air as you can.  This is your bodies most explosive position, also known as the athletic stance, and this is where you are the strongest). You want to have your arms at a 90 degree angle and be as close to your other base as possible.  As a top girl or flyer, you want to be able to hold yourself up in the load, and your goal is to stand up as fast as you can, keeping your body as tight as possible for your stunt to hit the top quickly and effortlessly.  If we can have explosive power from our belly button to our chin, every stunt should have no problem hitting solid at the top.

Dancing! Lets save the dance steps for that section of our routine.  A technical stunt should have no movement at all in the legs and feet of our bases.  Unless that stunt is created to step, ¼ ups, ½ ups, 1 ½ ups, and Double Ups should be the only area where there is some movement from the bases on the way up to the top.  Once that stunt hits the top, all movement below must STOP!

LOL! Lots of Legs.  This is so important to all stunting.  Your legs are the home of the strongest muscles in your body and we want to make sure we are engaging those muscles from all 4 members of our stunt group.  When those muscles go to work, we should have no problem with our Explosion and this should eliminate all of our Dancing.  If your goal is to be the most technical stunter on your team, you want to focus on leg strength.

These are just a few tips to help build a solid foundation for technical stunting.  Good luck this season and lets keep focusing on being the best “Technical Athlete” that we can be.

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