This was a busy time for my fourth grade classes. We talked about several things including setting goals, maintaining health and increasing performance. We did an exercise in goal setting and looked at our past mile run times over the years and attempted to come up with realistic, motivational mile run goals for our run this year. Our unit on jump ropes is very useful in understanding how they can be used for both maintaining health and improving performance. We were exposed to 16 different jump rope styles: Basic, Single and Double Side Swing, Skier, Bell, Side Straddle, Straddle Cross, Scissors, Twister, Jogging Step, Backwards, Heel to Heel, Wounded Duck (alternate heel and toe), Criss-Cross Arms, Double Under, Crazy Duck (jump Wounded Duck while alternating each foot. Heel and Toe one foot with Toe and Heel on the other foot. Rotate. And finally, the Behind the Back Cross.
We learned the Basic Jump, when performed at a rate of 110 jumps per minute for 10 minutes equals the workout in a two mile run! We learned about empathy for people who do not easily get physical challenges that may come easier to others. The last four jump styles are difficult enough that most of us can not perform them well, or at all. It takes plenty of practice. As in the mile run, we realize that our bodies can adapt to greater work loads as they progress in getting stronger. Skill levels also increase through repetition (practice).
Here is an example of one of our hardest jumps, the Behind the Back Cross: http://youtu.be/lgwd2vheSLQ About 5 or 6 students were able to perform this jump this year.
- Coach Robert Briglia