Many sports camps and club practices have been canceled due to the current pandemic. Foothill Force Jump Rope Team (FFJRT), located in La Canada California, annually takes part in a summer camp for kids in their area. However, this year that has been canceled. Many who signed- up for the class were disappointed, therefore, the head coach decided to continue the classes online. These lessons were taught by the head coach herself as well as experienced jumpers on the team.
As one of the youth coaches, I feel the process of teaching this class went extremely well. There were times where the students could not figure out how to do some tricks, but after explaining thoroughly it was easy for them to understand the fundamentals of jump-rope. The class was run just like a normal summer camp, but consisted of coming onto a Zoom call every weekday for a full fifty minutes. The lessons lasted from June all the way to the middle of August, before school started for the students. Some members came all three months, while others rested for a few weeks. The age range of the students varied from third grade all the way to seventh graders, all who were interested in the sport.
Many jump-rope tricks are usually associated with a partner or with a group of multiple people. However, because the lessons were online, these skills were off-limits. Still, coaches tried to make the best out of single-rope jumping. The students first started by learning the basics, such as normal single bounce jumping and then moving onto double-bounce jumps. As soon as they mastered these tricks, we moved onto harder skills like jumping on one foot and then alternating between two feet. They also worked on backward jumps, consisting of crosses and other tricks that they were able to do forward. As they kept practicing these various tricks they were able to come up with their own routines consisting of skills that they had mastered. Soon enough, they started to work on skills that people on a real team would do. One student was so great that the head coach let her join our team.
My co-partner stated, “Although it seemed daunting and nerve-wracking in the beginning, I ended up enjoying myself while teaching this summer. I was able to not only teach others, but learn myself. Due to the extensive explanation necessary to describe and elucidate each individual skill, I was able to use my own revelations in improving my skills as well. Overall, I was able to create a teaching experience that I enjoyed whilst simultaneously learning from myself.” As I was teaching, I felt exactly like my partner and found out that teamwork is a very important part of teaching and learning myself.
Even though many people are going through this difficult time, due to COVID-19, I hope that many people can stay healthy and active through classes like this one.