Ashburn, Va. (October 21, 2014) – The Dulles Gymnastics Academy (DGA) Trampoline and Tumbling (T and T) team had great success at the week-long Nationals competition in Spokane, Washington. Every team member qualified for the Nationals competition and all but one placed. Although the team has only gone through two competition seasons, they currently have seven national champions and two of the boys are headed to the National Training Center in Texas for an Elite Developmental Testing. Also, in October, the T and T gymnasts are excited to participate in an “Elite Academy” in New Jersey, where they will learn from USA’s 2012 trampoline Olympic athlete, Stephen Gluckstein.
The T&T team coaches at DGA are: Debi Walk, a Nationally Certified Coach and DGA owner, Erin Pettid, Junior Olympic Certified Coach, Kevin Kepick, DGA Boys Team coach and Joshua Ruman who came from a soccer and football background, but when he was introduced to T&T, quickly fell in love with the sport. The coaches consistently attend many training camps to learn from top National coaches at camps and clinics around the country. They are constantly studying the sport to further increase their knowledge and produce new combinations and material.
T & T is a unique gymnastics sport that has recently grown in popularity and was introduced on the Good Morning America show. The show discussed trampoline as a one-of-a-kind Olympic sport that is quirky, fascinating, and one that most people don’t realize exists. It was developed from tumbling performances done by entertainers from very early times but as a sport is now codified, regulated, judged and performed using standardized, special equipment.
T & T is more challenging than it looks and is made up of three events: tumbling, trampoline, and double mini-trampoline. Tumbling, also known as power tumbling, is an acrobatic discipline, which combines some of the skills of artistic gymnastics on the floor with those of trampolining. It is practiced on a 25-meter long sprung track. Competitors perform two passes, each containing eight skills including twisting somersaults along the track ending in a dismount skill. The dismounting skill is often another double or triple full or a double or triple back somersault, which can also include some extra twists. The T & T tumbling routine happens at a much faster pace than traditional floor gymnastics routines. A typical pass would be six long and fast back handsprings in a row topped off with a back layout and twist.
The trampoline portion is a competitive Olympic sport in which gymnasts perform acrobatics while bouncing on the trampoline. These can include simple jumps in the pike, tuck or straddle position to more complex combinations of forward or backward somersaults and twists. In T & T, the trampoline portion involves ten back-to-back skills, which is challenging because if the gymnast messes up on one skill, it has a chain reaction effect on the rest of the routine. He or she will spend the remainder of time making up form, not bouncing as high or not being able to complete the remaining skills. Consistency in this sport is very important.
Last, a double mini-trampoline is smaller than a regulation competition trampoline. It has a sloped end and a flat bed. The gymnasts run up and jump onto the sloping end and then jump onto the flat part before dismounting on the mat. Skills are performed during the jumps or as they dismount. There are two types of passes for the double mini-trampoline. In the one, which is known as a mounter pass, the athlete performs one skill in the jump from the sloping end to the flat bed and a second skill as they dismount from the flat bed to the landing mat. In the second, which is known as a spotter pass, the athlete does a straight jump from the sloping end to the flat bed to gain height, performing one skill while landing back on the flat bed and then a second skill as they dismount. These skills are similar to those performed on a regular trampoline except that there is movement laterally along the trampoline and landing cleanly (without stepping) or landing outside the designated area on the mat, is very important to the score.
T & T is appealing because it a fun and different way to think about gymnastics and there is no age limit with this sport, as in traditional gymnastics. It is a sport that can greatly increase your air awareness, tumbling skills and many T and T gymnasts can also easily make a smooth transition to diving.