Unity skills camp 2012
Hey guys on 19/08/2012 Cheer From Head To Toe attended the Unity skills camp.
The camp location was at the Tennis academy in Sutton . When entering their gym I was so jealous they have a lovely full spring floor, air track, gymnastic equipment and just loads of space, I felt like, I was in an American gym so jealous. I really do think it make such a differents if you have the right equipment and correct coaching. I believe that if every programme had cheer gym equipment, British cheerleading would be so different. I’m just not sure if the top teams would still be at the top, sorry I’m ranting.
After moving past my jealousy, we were welcome to the gym and explain what would happen throughout the day. We were told we would do, hour long warm up then be separated into group depending upon our levels for stunt and tumbles. After this we would have lunch then learn a jump sequence then another quick break and then learn a cheer dance after that we would either continue with stunting or tumbles.
They also made it very clear that they would not allow us to move on to different skills until we had properly master the pervious skill. They said every season you need to revisit the basics as you rebuild your team for the new season. I understood what they were saying but my heart sunk because, I knew learning a kick double was out of the question.
The coaches instructing us, were two members of unity black team ( I felt bit weird that I knew who they were so was laughing to myself)
We were told to get into lines on the sprung floor we were given instructions with different motions to perform across the matt. After doing this we then moved on to tumble forward roll, dive rolls , handstands , snap down , handstand to forward roll and round off back handsprings or just round off if that’s all you could do. It was so nice tumbling on sprung floor I felt a lot safer because when you did something wrong you weren’t falling on a hard matt.
The coaches walked around the room giving tips and advice to us, they were great very sympathetic to people who couldn’t tumble and encourage them to try.
After our hour warm up ,we were so sweaty you do not understand this hall was boiling. I mean sweat dripping from your forehead your whole body perspiring.
My group was sent to stunt first and I wasn’t stunting with my normal stunt group so I was excited to see if we were going to blend will.
We started with the basic, prep cradles, extension cradles and show and go until we all felt comfortable. Coaches came around and gave up tips for example hand placement for the bases and correct body position for flyers. After this we moved onto twist cradles which we were doing with ease and then my flyer for the day got mental. Getting mental is when a person over thinks what they are doing to the point that they cannot perform the skills. I don’t know why it happens it just dose and more they think more they are frustrated and the circle continues so we took a break. I find that this may sound weird but asking the flyer to added numbers together when performing said skills. Helps them to focus on working out the sum so muscle memory takes over and it seems to work most of the time.
Then it was lunch, for a hour which was nice to get out of the hot gym and just talk to other people at the camp, everyone was so friendly
Coming back from lunch we did half hour warm up and then move on to jumps. Which I wasn’t looking forward to which is surprising because I ‘m actually quite good at jumps and my aim by nationals is to have a hyper extended toe touch.
Our Coach for this section was Dave also a member of Black but also coaches Unity indigo taught us a jump sequence. He really focused on performance side of doing jumps and reminded us how important technique and performance are when jumping. He was so right, I half perform when I jumping I’m so focused on getting my legs as high as possible and pointing my usually flex toes that I forget about the face.
We got to watch Amanda who use to be on unity black but now coaches Black and performs on ruby. She performed the jump sequence and she didn’t do a crazy facial but just had this confident air about her which just drew you in.
Follow on from this, we move on tumble which was the thing I was looking most forward to.
We were separated into tumble ability and then I was disappointed to find out that we were going to be doing practice drills. My heart sank but he did explain that we did need to learn these skills to give us a good foundation to progress correctly with our back handsprings. I knew he was right but I still didn’t want to do it, I want to run before I can do anything else. This is because I feel like I have been learning to tumble for years but really I have only been doing it consistently for a year.
While we did these drills for about half an hour during this half an hour I found out that most people in my group were desperate to tumble like me it was real bonding moment. Then another Coach came over and said if anyone felt confident enough to try and do a back handspring then she could support them. My hand went straight up because that’s all I really want to do. I was surprised when I found out that most people didn’t actually want to practice back handspring. I thought why you would not practice with such great experience coaches; it just meant more goes for me.
I rushed over and then realised that there was only one coach, I was nervous because usually I practice with two people although the second person doesn’t even touch me.
I went up to do the back handspring and first attempt was a bit hesitant but once I realised that wasn’t going to hurt myself because my arms could take my weight I was so happy. My back handspring wasn’t perfect but I was so happy that I have the confident to perform this skill with just one person. Tumbling for me is such a mental thing when I was younger I used to do such crazy things like jumping out of trees and jumping off cliff into the sea.
We learnt a dance which I was excited to learn because I do like unity dance style but I love north London wild cats and Gold star dances even more. The dance we actually quiet fun it was to the spice girls, spice up your life. We learnt 4 counts of eight it wasn’t too long and then we were told to really perform
After this we went back to stunting and by this point everyone was so hot and our whole body was pouring sweat . I said to my group people always think cheer is so glamorous but in reality it a lot of sweat , blood and tears.
My group got to learn level 2 and 3 switch up, handstand stunt it was very exciting to learn this new skill especially with a new stunt group makes you feel like I’m a good base.
Over all, I would say the day was really organised which I liked. I know another high level programme which had a camp and it was more like open gym session which was annoying because they should have called it open session instead of a camp.
Unity skills camp was very well organised, the staff were very friendly, encouraging and informative.. They have great facilities which really does make a differents when you train with the right equipment. I would definitely advised cheerleader to go and would go again.
Firstly when I got their all I wanted to do was stunt and tumble but going to this camp makes you realise how important it is to perfect all your cheer skills if you want to be Allstar cheerleader and progress through the levels .
I hope you guys like this review and found it helpful
Love Cheer From Head To Toe
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