My third In-Depth meeting turned out to be very successful! Before Rory and I started practicing my twisting, we discussed the specifics. Every meeting would take place at Leapfrog, the gym where he and I both coach. I made sure to tell him beforehand, and during the meeting how many meetings there needs to be in total, and how many more we have left. Each meeting will last about 45 minutes to an hour. We will be communicating online (text message), and additionally, in person, when we see each other at work.
This meeting, I showed Rory where my progress was at. On the tumble track at Leapfrog, I did my round-off layout to the best of my ability. Once I had done it about five times, Rory started to give me pointers. He told me it is “important to keep [my] chin tucked in […] reaching for my chest” on my take-off. When doing my layouts, I was landing on the mat about a meter and a half away from the edge of the tumble track. Rory explained to me that it is crucial to not go long but go for height instead. If I am landing far, it means that I am not staying as tight as I could have, and I’m throwing my head back. I then did my layout three more times with Rory spotting me. All he did was help me in gaining height, not distance, during my take-off from the tumble track. His minor assistance allowed my whole layout to look, and feel, so much better; I landed less than a meter away from the edge of the track!
After about 20 minutes, we moved onto to my half twists. I focused on keeping my core tight, and “leading with my feet.” The technique used for a layout and a half twist are relatively similar. For both of them, it is important to keep your body in a hollow ‘banana’ shape, without your head being flung back.
What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
What went particularly well was the amount of progress we got done within an hour. We were able to discuss our schedules, times and dates available, what goals I have for myself moving forward, and how I feel I am progressing. We also had perfected my layout as best as we could before moving onto twisting where I was able to get a three-quarter rotation. This made me really happy.
What learning challenges emerged?
A learning challenge that emerged was the difference in teaching between my tumbling coach, Roop, and my mentor, Rory. Roop is a cheer and tumbling coach, whereas Rory is a gymnastics coach. Cheer tumbling and gymnastics tumbling are quite similar but are slightly different in terms of technique. I go to tumbling class with Roop twice a week, and for the past two months, he has been helping me with my twisting. Roop taught me to drop my right arm by my side and tuck my chin in to the right and downwards since I twist to the right. During my mentor meeting, Rory told me to twist, dropping my left arm instead. Both techniques worked well for me, but it may confuse my body in the future since I have been practicing both ways, which increases risk of injury also.
Were you communicating effectively with one another?
I believe that Rory and I were communicating effectively with each other throughout the entire meeting. Once I did another layout, for example, I would tell him how it felt for me. I would tell him if I felt as though I flung my head back, or opened up too early in the air, then he would tell me what he noticed and what he thinks that I need to focus on. We also communicated with each other when we would meet next, and what days of the week work best for both of us.
Overall, I had a very successful mentor meeting where I made a lot of progress!